Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (Tier 5)

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Extend your visa

You can apply to extend your Tier 5 (Temporary worker - Government Authorised Exchange) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.


You might be able to extend your stay. You must still meet the eligibility requirements.

You must apply while you’re still in the UK.

How long you can stay

You can apply to stay in the UK for up to a maximum of:

  • 12 months, if you’re doing work experience
  • 24 months, if you’re doing research, training or an Overseas Government Language Programme

You can also stay for the length of time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.


Check the fees for your visa.

How to extend your visa

You should read the full Tier 5 guidance before you apply.

You must apply online.


You can add dependants to your online application - including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

Providing biometric information and supporting documents

When you apply, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).

You’ll also need to submit your supporting documents. You can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

How long it takes

A decision will be made within 8 weeks of your application date if you use the standard service.

If you use the super priority service a decision will be made:

  • by the end of the next working day after your UKVCAS appointment if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after your UKVCAS appointment 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.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Changing your sponsor

You must apply again and meet all the eligibility rules if you want to change your sponsor within the same organisation or move to a new organisation.