Government Authorised Exchange Visa

Government Authorised Exchange visa

The Government Authorised Exchange visa caters to those individuals desiring to visit the UK temporarily for the purpose of gaining work experience or receiving training. It also permits participation in Overseas Government Language Programmes, research initiatives, or fellowships organised under government-approved exchange schemes.

This visa has replaced the Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5).


Prior to seeking employment in the UK, it is essential for individuals to obtain approval from an authorised sponsor in the form of a sponsorship certificate.

In order for your work, training, or research to be conducted within the UK, it is imperative that it aligns with the objectives and undertakings of your sponsoring 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 takes

  • You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:

  • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

If you need to go to an appointment, you may be able to pay for a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you’re outside the UK or inside the UK.

Government Authorised Exchange Visa

For more information on our Government Authorised Exchange Visas, please get in contact where we would love to discuss further on how we could help you.

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How much it costs

You, your partner or children will each need to:

  • pay the application fee
  • pay the healthcare surcharge, which is usually £624 per year – you can check how much you’ll have to pay
  • prove you have enough personal savings – check how much in the eligibility requirements

If your employer can support you instead, your certificate of sponsorship must confirm this. Your employer will need to complete the ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ section on your certificate. This is under ‘Additional data’.

Application fee

The application fee for each person applying is £259.

The fee is the same whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

How long you can stay in the UK

  • The amount of time you can stay depends on the length of your visa and the start and end dates of your job.
  • Depending on the scheme you apply for, you’ll get a visa for a maximum of 12 months or 24 months.
  • You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the date your job starts, as long as you do not arrive before the start date on your visa.
  • You can stay in the UK for up to 14 days after the date your job ends, as long as you do not stay past the end date on your visa.
  • You cannot enter the UK before the date your visa starts. You must leave the UK by the end date on your visa.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate)
  • work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week as well as your main job
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible

You cannot:

  • take a permanent job
  • get public funds

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Get in Touch

With years of experience working in UK immigration and Litigation law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps toward obtaining your goals. Get in touch today.