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, re-sitting 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


Who you’re applying for Switch to this visa (standard service) Switch to this visa (premium service)
You £244 £854
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £189 £799
All dependants £244 each £854 each

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 to switch your visa

You can apply online.

If you want to apply in person to get a quick decision, follow the instructions in the online application.


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

Biometric information

You must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be told how to do this after you’ve applied.

How long it takes

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for online or postal applications
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

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

  • 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.