Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa

You can apply for a Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa if you:

Sponsorship

You need to have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor before you can apply to come to the UK to work.

Your work, training or research in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

Your sponsor can be any of the following:

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

How long it will take

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before the date you’re due to start work. This date is on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

How much you pay for your visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch online or by post in the UK Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service)
You £244 £244 £854
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £189 £189 £799
All dependants £244 each £244 each £854 each

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

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

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

What you can and can’t do

You can:

You can’t:

 

Eligibility

You must have both of the following:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor
  • £945 in savings – this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply

You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

Certificate of sponsorship

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

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.

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

You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your application form – you can only use it once.

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

Multiple entry

Your sponsor can give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship so you can leave and return to the UK.