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Important information for the end of the Brexit Transition Period and the EU Settlement Scheme, if you or your close family members are an EU / EEA Citizen

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Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) - What Is It?

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

Under the UK Immigration Rules non-EEA migrants who wish to come to the UK in order to work on a temporary basis may apply for a visa (entry clearance) under one of the various Tier 5 visa categories.

Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) is a temporary worker visa category specifically aimed at people coming to the UK in order to undertake work experience, to do training, participate in an Overseas Government Language Programme, complete research, or complete a fellowship through one of the authorised schemes (as contained in the Immigration Rules). The visa category is suitable for applicants coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice.

In order to be approved, the applicant must have sufficient funds to support themselves and have obtained a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor. The licensed sponsor may be an organisation running one of the authorised schemes, a higher education institution, or a governmental agency. The sponsor should hold a valid license awarded by the Home Office. If the applicant is already in the UK as a Tier 4 student, they may apply to switch into this category as long as they are sponsored.

Once the application is approved, the applicant can stay in the UK for up to 12 or 24 months (depending on the scheme they are applying for). Once they are in the UK, the applicant can study, work in the job that he is sponsored to do, work in a second job for up to 20 hours per week, and bring family members with him to the UK. In certain circumstances, the applicant can apply to switch their visa to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent).

As the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) is aimed at people who are coming to the UK for temporary work, the job that the applicant will be doing should not be a permanent position. If the applicant finds a permanent job while in the UK, they will be required to apply for the relevant visa in order to undertake this employment.

As the UK government has indicated, this type of visa is likely to receive further attention and gain more importance once the UK leaves the EU, as it will help to bring knowledge and skills from young and experienced professionals alike.

Gherson has extensive experience dealing with employment matters requiring work visas. Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2019

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