Tier 5 Visa
Government Authorised Exchange (GAE)

Training / Work Experience

Under this scheme, as a Tier 5 Temporary Worker visa holder, an overseas national is allowed to come to the UK for a short time for:

  • Work experience; or
  • Training; or
  • An Overseas Government Language Programme; or
  • Research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme


To qualify for Tier 5 Temporary Worker – GAE, the overseas national must either hold a degree, or be studying towards a degree equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or higher.

In support of their visa application, the overseas national will need a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed sponsor and in most cases, savings.

A licensed sponsor can be any of the following:

  • an organisation running an approved exchange scheme; or
  • a higher education institution (if you are a sponsored researcher, visiting academic or examiner); or
  • a government department or agency


Tier 5 GAE Visa Employer FAQs

Can I sponsor the candidate directly under this scheme?

No, unless you are registered as a Tier 5 GAE sponsor yourself, you will need to go through an approved provider.

How long does the process take?

It will very much depend, on various factors, such whether the candidate is switching into this category from the UK or applying from abroad, whether they are using any of the priority services, whether the approved provider has any certificates available to be assigned…etc.  When all goes well, it normally does not take more than a few weeks.

What jobs can a Tier 5 GAE visa holder do?

This scheme is aimed at training and work experience.  You are likely to be asked to provide a detail training / work experience programme.  This route cannot be used to fill a permanent position. The role must be skilled, supernumerary and supervised.

The salary offered must meet the UK national minimum wage requirements.

How long will the visa be for?

The maximum will be 12 or 24 months depending on the scheme used.

Can I offer them a permanent role at the end of the visa?

You might be able to if you can sponsor under the Tier 2 scheme and in most cases if you can show that you have tested the resident labour market, and have been unable to find a candidate suitable for the role.

The candidate would need to go home to apply for their Tier 2 visa.

For further information please contact us.


Tier 5 GAE Visa Applicant FAQs

Work experience / Training

What is the process to obtain a Tier 5 GAE visa?

Once you are satisfied that you meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme, you need to find an employer willing to offer you work experience / training, obtain a certificate of sponsorship from a Tier 5 Scheme provider, and apply for a Tier 5 visa.

What is a certificate of sponsorship?

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It is not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number. You will need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your visa application form.

They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, such as for instance your working hours.

As you can only use your certificate once, you will need to take great care that your application and supporting documents are correct.

Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you.

Is the Tier 5 GAE visa a multiple entry visa?

Your sponsor can give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship so that to permit you to leave and return to the UK during the length of your Tier 5 GAE visa.

How much savings to I need?

You will need to show £945 in savings. The monies must have been in your bank account for a continuous period of 90 days before you apply.

Alternatively, you might be able to rely on a confirmation from your sponsor that they will certify your maintenance and that you will not claim public funds during your stay. It is important to note that only fully approved (A-rated) sponsor can certify your maintenance.

What type of jobs can I do?

You should not take a permanent position. The role must be supernumerary, supervised and required a mininum skill level. The salary offered must meet the UK national minimum wage requirements.

How long can I stay?

You can stay in the UK for up to 12 or 24 months depending on the scheme you are applying for, or the time given on your certificate, plus 28 days, whichever is shorter.

You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your job.

Can I switch from inside the UK?

Students who currently hold a Tier 4 visa are permitted may be permitted switch into Tier 5 (GAE) to undertake work experience or an internship.

Can I extend my Tier 5 (GAE) visa?

In most cases, you will not be permitted to extend your visa beyond the maximum length accorded under your chosen scheme (i.e. 12 or 24 months).

You may, however, be able to switch into a partner visa.

For further information please contact us.