Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange (formerly known as TIER 5 Government Authorised Exchange)

Temporary Workers of the points-based system enables young overseas nationals to experience life and culture in the UK and also permits workers to undertake short term or temporary employment in the UK and consists of two main categories: the Youth Mobility Scheme and the Temporary Worker which consists of six sub-categories, set out below:

Temporary Workers – Government Authorised Exchange

This scheme provides individuals with the opportunity to come to the UK temporarily through approved schemes. These individual schemes are designed to share knowledge, experience and work practice through placements in the UK. This category is not to be used to fill job vacancies or provide a route for unskilled labour force to come to the UK.

The Immigration Rules have allow selective switching for students who have completed degrees in the UK to undertake corporate internships which directly relate to their degrees. These internships will take place in the  Government Authorised Exchange category. It will make it easier to recruit graduates with specialist skills for internships with a view to offering them a permanent position in the future. As with any work experience scheme in this subcategory, roles must be supernumerary and stay is restricted to 12 months. Switching into Skilled Worker Visa at the end of the internship is not permitted.

A. Requirements

The applicant will be required to enter the UK solely to work or train temporarily in the UK through an approved exchange scheme. The applicant cannot establish a business in the UK and will be expected to meet the requirements of the individual exchange scheme they are attached to. All work undertaken by the applicant under this scheme must be skilled work which is deemed to be the equivalent of N/SVQ Level 3 or higher.

There will a main body to manage this scheme and act as sponsor for applicants. Individual employers and organisations are not permitted to sponsor applicants even if they are licensed as sponsors under the points based system.

The main body (sponsor) will be required to have the support of a UK government department and will be issuing the certificates of sponsorship to applicants meeting the requirements under this scheme.

All applicants will need to score a total of 40 points for the above criteria, which is detailed in the next section.

B. Points Assessment

Applicants will need to satisfy a points test and maintenance requirement under this scheme. A total score of 40 points is required in order for applicants to successfully submit an application for the Temporary Workers scheme.

Points are awarded under the following heads:

(i.) Certificate of Sponsorship – 30 points
To score points under this section, it is mandatory that applicants are in possession of a valid certificate of sponsorship issued by their sponsor.

(ii) Maintenance (Funds) – 10 points
To score points under this section, applicants will need to prove that they have sufficient funding to support themselves for the duration of their stay in the UK.

The requirement is to demonstrate either/or the following:

  • At least £1,270 of personal savings in applicants’ own bank account for at least 3 months prior to the date of the application plus £285 for spouse (partner) dependant plus £315 for first dependant child and £200 for any other dependent child; OR
  • An A-rated sponsor guarantees the applicant’s maintenance on the certificate of sponsorship. (Please note that the sponsor is unable to certify maintenance for any accompanying dependants).

C. Visa Validity and Extension

Applicants successful under Government Authorised Exchange category will be granted Entry Clearance valid for a maximum period of 24 months; or a shorter period if this is specified in the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days.

Applicants can only apply for an extension of their visa up to the maximum period of 24 months or if shorter, the time specified in the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days,

D. Switching

No applicants of the points based system are entitled to switch into the Temporary Worker. In the same way, applicants from Temporary Worker cannot switch into other visa. The Temporary Worker route does not lead to settlement in the UK or offer applicants the opportunity to switch into any other work or study category.

No switching is permitted between the subcategories of Temporary Worker.

E. Applying for Entry Clearance

Applicants are required to obtain prior for Entry Clearance under the Temporary Worker before entering the UK under this scheme. Applicants can apply for Entry Clearance from their home country or legal country of residence.

F. What other work is allowed under Government Authorised Exchange Scheme

Applicants under this category are able to work on short-term contracts; or participate in/ perform at specific engagements relevant to their role and specified in their certificate of sponsorship.

In addition, applicants under this category are able to undertake supplementary employment providing the work is in the same sector, and for no more than 20 hours per week. The work must be at the same level as declared on the certificate of sponsorship and must be outside of normal working hours. The applicant is obliged to continue to work for their original sponsor.

The applicant is not permitted to work in any other employment which fails to satisfy the above criteria.

G. Change of Employment

Applicants who have previously obtained permission to enter or remain in the UK may be able to apply for a “change of employment”. This is on the basis that the applicant intends to vary their leave in the UK because they have changed employment either within the same organisation or with a new organization within the same sector.

The employment will need to be with a licensed sponsor and the applicant is required to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship and again satisfy the all important maintenance requirement.

You are advised to seek professional legal advice if you wish to change your employment whilst in the UK.

H. Dependants of Government Authorised Exchange 

Dependant of those applying to enter as Government Authorised Exchange Scheme migrants will be able to accompany the main applicant to the UK as long as there is evidence of at least £630 in available funds to maintain each dependant.

To discuss your visa application contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone 
+44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London),
+7 495 933 7299 (Moscow), 
+971 509 265 140 (Dubai)
or complete our enquiry format on the top of the site

Administrative Review (Entry Clearance applications)

Applicants who have their applications refused under the points based system are entitled to have the decision reviewed free of charge.

Individuals who wish to exercise their right for an Administrative Review will have to make this request within 28 days of the date of receipt of the refusal notice. The applicant is not entitled to send any additional documents or fresh evidence with the review request. Finally, applicants will only be entitled to request ONE review request per refusal decision.

Right of Appeal

Applicants who apply under this scheme will only have a limited right of appeal. We therefore advise that applicants seek legal advice on the procedure for appealing.

 What services we can offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure of making the Temporary Workers application in line with the sponsorship certificate
  • We can assess the job and the applicant's details and advise on the likelihood of the applicant being sponsored under Temporary Workers
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making their leave to remain/entry clearance applications in line with the certificate of sponsorship
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can lodge an appeal (in-country only) or make a request for an administrative review if the applicant's application is refused for some reason

Still have questions?

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