To gain post study work experience via a Tier 5 GAE Visa

For China and UK Students and Graduates

Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Government Authorised Exchange) is intended to give international students the chance to gain post study work experience related to their course before they return home.

International students can apply for a Tier 5 visa while you are in the UK before your Tier 4 visa expires, if you find an internship in the UK and employer that meet certain conditions.

Under this visa, instead of the employer sponsoring (as required for Tier 2), there are a number of organisations who can act as sponsors and will sponsor your internship usually for up to 12 months provided it meets their requirements for sponsorship.

A number of companies sponsoring Tier 5 students use Post Study to search for candidates. Please fill in your Online CV so it is searchable by those companies.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How to join the schemes?

There are over 70 schemes under Tier 5 Temporary Worker. Tier 5 sponsors are listed alongside Tier 2 sponsors in the Sponsor Register or you can find a list of all the current Tier 5 schemes and sponsors on the UK Visa and Immigration website.

If I find an internship opportunity in the UK, can I apply for a Tier 5 GAE Visa?

Yes, as long as you and the employer meet each Tier 5 GAE scheme criteria.

What are the Criteria for students/graduates

Although there are some variations in the different schemes, in general the internship should meet the following conditions to qualify for sponsorship:

- Hold a valid passport, good immigration records, and no criminal records.
- Internship must be between 3 and 12 months, with minimum 20 hours per week to full time. 
- Be paid at least National Minimum Wage. 
- Must have completed their studies within 3 years and have graduated with minimum of bachelor's degree. 
- The internship role must be on NQF Level 3 or above. 
* If applying to switch in the UK from Tier 4 to Tier 5 GAE, the internship role must be directly related to their most recent degree.*

Does the sponsor monitor the internships?

Yes, sponsor monitor both the intern and the company with spot checks and audits to ensure that both parties meet the requirements set by the Schemes and the Home Office. It is the responsibility of the migrant and the company to ensure we are sent a copy of the Tier 5 GAE visa, updated with the contact information of the migrant, copies of the migrant payslips and their National Insurance number. We must also be informed of any changes of circumstances within 10 working days.

Can you extend the stay after your internship?

A Tier 5 internship is for a maximum of 12 months and the candidate MUST return to his or her home country; however, if there were to be a career progression in both the job position and salary with the same employer or a different company, the candidate can apply for another Tier 5 visa, but the maximum period of time the candidate can stay on Tier 5 GAE visa in the UK is 24 months.

What should I do and what happens if I resign?

If you resign you must notify the sponsor via email immediately and provide the sponsor with the reason for the resignation, the date of the last day of the internship and your current UK address. 

As required by the Home Office the sponsor will then withdraw the visa sponsorship via the Sponsor Management System which then in turn notifies the Home Office. If you have more than 60 days remaining on your Tier 5 GAE visa then you will be sent a curtailment letter from the Home Office which will detail your options. These are, you can either make a fresh application or leave the UK. 

If you have less than 60 days remaining on your Tier 5 GAE visa then you must leave the UK before or on the current visa expiry.

What should I do and what happens if I find another job?

If you find another position you will firstly need to resign from the current internship and inform us immediately. We will then withdraw our sponsorship accordingly. Dependant on the position offered you will either need to make the new visa application from your home country or be eligible to make a fresh visa application in the UK.

**if you are eligible to apply in the UK you must not begin at the new employer until the new BRP has been granted**

Am I allowed to do a part time job “supplementary employment”?

A migrant sponsored under a Tier 5 GAE scheme is allowed to do a part time “supplementary” job only if it meets the following criteria:

• must be in either a job on the shortage occupation list in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules or a job in the same sector and at the same level as the work for which the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned; 

• must be no more than 20 hours per week;

• must be outside of your normal working hours for which your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned.