1. Overview

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


You must get sponsored - ie 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

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

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

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


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 by post in the UK Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service)
You £225 £225 £625
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £170 £170 £570
All dependants £225 each person £225 each person £625 each person

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: