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Government Authorised Exchange Visa

If you plan to come to the UK temporarily for work experience, training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship then you could be eligible for the Government Authorised Exchange Visa.

Do you need help with your visa application? Our immigration lawyers are here for you, get in touch today on 0333 305 9375 to find out more about our services.

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    What is the Government Authorised Exchange Scheme?

    The Government Authorised Exchange Visa was previously known as the Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5). This visa is part of the UK’s Temporary Worker visa category and is aimed at foreign nationals planning to come to the UK with the aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice.

    To be eligible for this visa you must be coming to the country under a government-approved exchange scheme and have a licensed sponsor. Your sponsor could be an organisation running an approved exchange scheme, a government department or agency or a higher education institution if you are either a sponsored researcher, examiner or visiting academic. A full list of the approved schemes that are eligible for this visa can be found here.

    The Government Authorised Exchange Visa allows you to enter the UK for a short time for the purpose of work experience, training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship. How long you can stay in the UK for depends on what you will be doing whilst here. You can stay for up to 12 months if you are doing work experience or you can stay for up to 24 months if you will be doing research, training or an Overseas Government Language Programme.

    As well as doing the work outlined in the exchange scheme you are participating in this visa also allows you to study and take on a second job part-time whilst in the UK.

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    Who is eligible?

    You could be eligible to apply for the Government Authorised Exchange visa if you plan to come to the UK for a short period of time to do work experience, training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through one of the schemes approved by the UK government.

    As well as being accepted onto an approved scheme there are several other eligibility requirements that you will need to meet, you must:

    • Be over the age of 18
    • Hold a Certificate of Sponsorship from a registered UK sponsor
    • Prove that you have enough money to support yourself whilst in the UK, you will need to show that you have at least £1,270 available in your bank for at least 28 days in a row within 31 days of your visa application

    You can be exempt from the financial requirement if you have already been in the UK for at least 12 months on a valid visa or if your employer agrees to cover your costs during your first month in the UK.

    How to apply

    You must apply for the Government Authorised Exchange Visa online via the form available on the gov.uk website. You can apply for this visa up to 3 months before you are due to start work in the UK.

    As well as completing the application form you must also prove your identity as part of your Government Authorised Exchange Visa application. How you do this will depend on where you are from and the type of passport that you hold.

    You will either need to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan your valid identity document or if this is not possible you will need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to have your biometric information taken, this is your photograph and fingerprints.

    It’s worth noting that you can only apply for this visa from outside of the UK. If you are currently in the UK you can only apply to extend this visa or to switch from your current visa to this one.

    Required documents

    When applying for your Government Authorised Exchange visa you will also be expected to submit a number of documents to prove that you meet the visa requirements. The documents that you will need include:

    • A valid passport or another national identity document, you will also need a blank page on your passport for your visa
    • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number
    • Evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself, this could include bank statements
    • Your tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you have to take the test
    • A valid ATAS certificate if your employer tells you that you need one because your job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher

    If you are planning to bring any dependent relatives with you to the UK such as your partner or children then you will also need to provide documents proving your relationship with them.

    All documents submitted must be in either English or Welsh, if your documents are in another language then you will need to provide a certified translation of them.

    What can you do on a Government Authorised Exchange Visa?

    The Government Authorised Exchange Visa is a Temporary Worker Visa that allows you to participate in work experience, training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship whilst in the UK. These activities must be part of an approved scheme.

    This visa also allows you to do some activities outside of the job described on your Certificate of Sponsorship, this includes studying and taking on a second job outside of your main job. However, you cannot take on a permanent job whilst in the UK, you can only take on a second job on a part-time basis for up to 20 hours per week.

    You also cannot access public funds as a Government Authorised Exchange visa holder.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your Temporary Worker Visa application. Contact Us

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      How can IAS help?

      If you want to apply for a Government Authorised Exchange Visa, our lawyers are here to help. We have helped thousands of clients to apply for their Temporary Worker Visas and know exactly what it takes for an application to be successful.

      Because this visa is only for those participating in certain activities through an approved scheme it can be difficult to know whether you are eligible. Our lawyers can assess your eligibility and if you are not eligible they can also advise you about how you can meet the requirements or offer some alternative visas that you may be eligible for.

      When it comes to completing your application our lawyers can be there to support you through every step of the process, this includes assisting you with the application form, helping to gather all of the required documents and communicating with the Home Office on your behalf.

      For further information about our visa application services get in touch with our team today on 0333 305 9375.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The application fee for the Government Authorised Exchange Visa is £244. The application fee is reduced by £55 for citizens of some countries, this includes 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.

                As well as the application fee you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is usually £624 per year. If you are bringing family members with you will also need to pay separate application fees and Health Surcharge fees for them.

                The Government Authorised Exchange Visa is just one of the Temporary Worker visas, the other temporary worker visas include the:

                The Government Authorised Exchange Schemes are a variety of schemes that have been approved by the government that enables the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practice. The schemes include internships, training programmes, work experience, research programmes and language programmes. A full list of the schemes can be found here.