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Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visas

Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visas are for anyone coming to the UK on an approved work placement scheme. Our expert solicitors can help you with every aspect of your visa application, and help arrange for your partner and children to come too.

If you want expert support applying for your Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa, our highly skilled immigration solicitors are here to help.

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Who is a Tier 5 visa for

If you wish to come to the UK to work on a temporary basis you may be able to apply for a Tier 5 visa. This visa category was set out with the aim to share knowledge and experience with temporary visitors from countries outside the UK and EEA.

The Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa is a visa category for temporary workers and is aimed at people who want to get work experience, take part in training or participate in a language programme in the UK. You may also apply for this visa if you are looking to complete research or complete a fellowship.

To understand more about this visa category get in touch, we can help you assess if you are eligible and help you apply.

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What this visa allows you to do

On the Government Authorised Exchange scheme you may be able to work for up to 20 hours a week. In addition, you may also be able to extend your visa for up to two years if you are wanting to partake in additional research or training.

Be aware that the Government Authorised Exchange visa is not designed to bring unskilled workers to the UK, or to fill local job vacancies. This means that if you are planning to move to the UK to work full time, this visa is probably not right for you. If you’re not sure what visa you need, just get in touch with our team. We’ll take you through all your options and guide you through the application process with ease.

Switching to a Government Authorised Exchange visa

You can only apply for a Tier 5 (GAE) visa before entering the UK, unless you are currently in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa and you wish to switch over.

If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 general study visa then you have the option of switching to a Government Authorised Exchange visa as long as you want to do so to undertake work experience or an internship.

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The Tier 5 (GAE) application process

To apply for your Tier 5 visa you must meet the minimum requirements and score a minimum of 40 points on the points-based scheme. If you don’t meet these requirements, then your Tier 5 visa application will automatically be rejected. Our solicitors can help you assess if you are eligible for this visa and guide you through the application process once you are ready.

It’s important to know that you may also be able to bring dependants with you on this visa, as you could be staying in the UK for up to two years. Dependants that would generally qualify would include dependant children and your partner.

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General requirements

The following restrictions apply to sponsored researchers and visiting academics:

  • You must not fill a genuine vacancy in the UK workforce
  • Your employment must conform to UK employment legislation
  • Any funding/salary you receive must meet the national minimum wage
  • Funding can come from any source, but you can’t fund yourself
  • You can be paid weekly, monthly, annually or in one lump sum. There are no restrictions, as long as the rate reaches the national minimum wage
  • The work must be skilled to at least level 3 on the National Qualification Framework. This is broadly defined as ‘A level and above’

To confirm the skill level is appropriate, a relevant SOC Code needs to be assigned to every Tier 5 application. Because we can only appoint ‘sponsored researchers’ or ‘visiting academics’ to Tier 5 roles, the SOC Code will never be anything other than PhD level.

The only rule regarding Tier 5 job titles is that it needs to relate to the relevant SOC Code. For sponsored researchers we most commonly use ‘visiting scientist’, ‘visiting researcher’ or ‘sponsored researcher’. These kinds of visas are valid for two years and can’t be extended. You are allowed to take on extra paid work if you want.

This may all sound very complex, but don’t worry. We can talk you through how you can meet each requirement before you apply. We will be by your side from start to finish, so we are here to answer any questions you may have.

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Documents you need to provide

As part of your Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa application you’ll need to submit the following documents:

  • Original bank statements proving that you have a minimum daily balance of £945 (if applying in the UK or overseas) for a continuous three-month period
  • Your current passport and any previous passports containing UK visas
  • Proof of your English language proficiency, such as a current IELTS certificate or your degree certificate
  • Two recent passport photos on a cream or light grey background

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Before you apply for your visa: securing your Certificate of Sponsorship(CoS)

Anyone who wants to come to the university through the Tier 5 (GAE) route must be issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the university first. It is up to the faculty or departments to request your CoS, not you. To apply for a Tier 5 CoS, departments need to supply the following documentation:

  • Tier 5 application form
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Photo page of a valid passport
  • A copy of your degree certificate including a certified translation, if it’s not in English
  • A copy of the letter from the organisation that is going to sponsor the applicants’ stay whilst they are at the University. This letter needs to include the dates of your stay and the total amount of funds you will receive

You can’t apply for your visa more than three months before the CoS starts. The CoS must be used within three months of being assigned.

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Remaining in the UK after your Tier 5 visa

After your stay in the UK on the Tier 5 visa you may be eligible to switch to a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. There are 2,000 available places in this visa category between the 6th of April 2008 and the 5th of April 2019.

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to five years, after which you can apply for permanent residence.

No matter what your immigration needs may be, our solicitors are here for you. It isn’t always easy to understand which visa is right for you, and how you would meet the minimum requirements, but you don’t need to worry. Our immigration experts can explain this all to you in easy to understand language without any of the legal jargon. To find out more, get in touch today.

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Our Fees

Due to the large amount of services and the complexity of each case we cannot provide any standardised fees without knowing a little bit more about your situation.

However, if you get in touch with us we can discuss in detail what charges you can suspect and what fees we will charge.

Full transparency at all times

We aspire to be completely transparent on pricing from the beginning, so none of our clients will ever be surprised at the end of the process.

Furthermore, we believe advice and support from our team of solicitors should be affordable to those in need.

This is why we provide competitive prices across our range of services.

Immigration solicitor fees
30 minute initial consultation £60 + VAT
Additional 30 minutes where consultation runs over £60 + VAT
Initial consultation + advice letter £300 + VAT
Visa checking service(no drafting) £250 + VAT
Extension applications settlement From £1,000 + VAT

Entry clearance fees - out of country
Visit Visa £600 + VAT
Spouse Visa Sponsor Employed £700 + VAT
Spouse Visa Sponsor Self Employed £800 + VAT
Dependants (Parent/Relatives) From £800 + VAT

What is included:

  • Advice on procedures and law
  • Completion of the paper and on line application form
  • Advice on all documents required to submit with application
  • Consider the contents of all documents supplied to submit to the British Embassy and follow up
  • Advice on strengths and weaknesses of the case
  • Preparation of the covering letter
  • Attendances and follow up

In country applications (extensions)
Extension applications for:

  • Spouse visa
  • Tier 4 student
  • Application for discretionary leave/humanitarian protection
  • Applications for long residence
  • EEA Applications
  • Domestic violence applications
Services include:

  • Attendance and advice on procedure and legal procedure
  • Advice and completion of forms
  • Advice on documents required
  • Preparation of covering letter
  • Submission to Home Office
From £800 + VAT
Points based system - applications and extensions applications
  • Extension applications
  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 4
All cases are individually assessed and if additional dependants are placed on application they will be charged seperately.

From £900 + VAT

Other Immigration applications
Application for transfer of visa into biometrics card £400 + VAT
Travel document application £400 + VAT
Entry clearance forms (completion only) £70 + VAT
Home Office Forms (completion only) £200 + VAT
Asylum From £2,000 + VAT
Asylum - fresh claim £1,200 -£1,500 + VAT

British Citizenship
Application for British citizenship/children registration £500 + VAT

Corporate fees
Employers licence for businesses (online) From £1,000 + VAT
Tier 1 entry clearance (Entrepreneur) From £2,000 + VAT
Tier 1 extension application(Entrepreneur) From £2,000 + VAT
Business audit services Price available upon request

Lodge appeal only £400 + VAT
Lodge appeal and representation £1,200 - £1,500 + VAT
Asylum appeal £1,500 - £2,000 + VAT
Bail application and representation at hearing From £1,000 + VAT
Application for permission to appeal to upper tribunal From £900 + VAT
Review of decision and counsels opinion £350 + VAT

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