You can apply for a Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5) 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 Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange) visa.
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 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 when you apply from outside the UK.
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.
If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK
You’ll need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
Get a faster decision on your application
If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK you can pay an extra £500 for the priority service to get a decision within 5 working days.
You can pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a decision:
- by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
- 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend
Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
Once you’ve got your decision letter, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.
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