Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (gae)

Tier 5 (GAE) is a subcategory of the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa route. Tier 5 (GAE) is for applicants coming to the UK for a maximum period of 12 or 24 months through approved exchange schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice through work placements, whilst experiencing the social life and culture of the UK.

Any role assigned to the applicant must be supernumerary and equivalent to level 3 or above on the National Qualification Framework (NQR).This category cannot be used to fill job vacancies or bring unskilled labour to the UK.

Individual employers and organisations are not allowed to sponsor anyone under this category, even if they have sponsor licenses under any tiers in the Points Based System (PBS). An overarching body listed in Appendix N of Immigration Rules will manage the exchange scheme. This overarching body will be the sponsor, which can assign a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to the applicant who meets the requirements of the scheme.

Applicants who are already in the UK as Tier 4 students can switch in-country to Tier 5 (GAE), provided they have completed a UK bachelor’s or master’s degree that is directly related to the internships they are being sponsored to undertake.  

Applicants are required to score at least 40 points in total to successfully apply for this visa and can claim points in the following way:

Certificate of Sponsorship 30 points

The applicant has a valid CoS from a UK sponsor. A multiple entry CoS can be issued by the sponsor to enable the applicant to leave and return to the UK.

Maintenance 10 points

The applicant can score 10 points under this section by either of the following ways:

  • The applicant has at least £945 in savings that has been held for at least 3 months prior to submission of the application. This is to prove that he can maintain and accommodate himself without use of UK public funds.

  • The Tier 5 A-rated sponsor states in your CoS that they will maintain and accommodate you for a month should it become necessary and that you will not access UK public funds during your stay.


We have had the privilege to assist many of our clients successfully obtaining their Tier 5 (GAE) visas to undertake internships in the UK. You are most welcome to contact us at +44 (0)20 3371 0606 for answers to your questions.