You can apply for a Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa if you:
- want to come to the UK for a short time for work experience or to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme
- have a sponsor
- meet the other eligibility requirements
This visa has replaced the Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5).
If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
If you or your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:
- you have a later deadline - for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 - for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse
Otherwise you need a visa to work in the UK.
Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.
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 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.
As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents.
You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.
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
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
The application fee for each person applying is £244.
The fee is the same whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.
If you’re from an eligible country
Your application fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you’re from one of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
This reduction only applies to your visa application. Your partner and children will still need to pay the full application fee.
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 14 days, whichever is shorter.
You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your job.
What you can and cannot do
- 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
- apply to change (‘switch’) to a Global Talent visa if you’re in the government authorised exchange scheme for sponsored researchers
- bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
- take a permanent job
- get public funds