Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (Tier 5)

Switch to this visa

You can apply to change (‘switch’) to a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.


You can apply if you’re a:

  • student, whether studying, resitting an examination or writing a thesis
  • student union sabbatical officer
  • student nurse
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • Tier 4 visa
  • sponsored researcher who came to the UK on a work permit and you want to continue in the same job with your sponsor

You must have completed a UK bachelor’s or master’s degree during your last grant of leave.

You must also have both of the following, whether you have the relevant qualifications or study time:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor
  • £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 days before you apply, or confirmation from your sponsor that you will not claim public funds during your stay


Check the fees for your visa.

How to switch your visa

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 Your application will be withdrawn if you do.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.

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

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