Do you wish to hire interns on a Tier 5 visa?

Do you wish to hire Interns on Tier 5 visa?

January 23, 2017 | Immigration, Latest Thinking

Tier 5 visa

Have you considered hiring an intern on a Tier 5 visa to come to the UK for a short period e.g. one year in order for them to gain work experience, training etc.?

It would be worthwhile considering bringing them under the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) scheme without having to utilise your Tier 2 (G) certificate of sponsorship allocation. Even employers who do not hold a Tier 2 sponsor licence can hire interns under this scheme.

An application can be made under this scheme if an applicant:

  • wishes to come to the UK for a short time to gain work experience or to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme.
  • has a sponsor.
  • is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)and Switzerland.
  • has a certificate of sponsorship reference number from a UK sponsor.
  • holds £945 in savings – this is to prove they can support themselves and must have had this in their bank account for 90 days before they apply, unless the UK sponsor (overarching body) is A-Rated and will certify maintenance.

The programme is designed to allow recent graduates to come to the UK for 12 months if you would like them to undertake work experience in the UK or for 24 months if they will be doing research, training or an Overseas Government Language Programme. This is the maximum time an applicant is permitted to be in the UK on the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa.

There are number of schemes which an applicant can apply under for this particular visa, a full list can be found here.


Applicants who are already in the UK on a Tier 4 (G) visa and some other visa categories, may be eligible to switch into a Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) category provided they meet the necessary requirements.


The first step in the process is for an overarching body to issue a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) for the applicant, based on them meeting certain criteria. Subsequently, the applicant can apply for entry clearance (visa) from overseas or further leave to remain from within the UK, as the case maybe. We can assist with both stages of the process. We work closely with several overarching bodies in the UK who can issue a CoS for the candidate and also certify maintenance for them.

Settlement and Dependants

The Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa does not lead to settlement our count towards it, however, it does allow dependants to join the main in the UK provided they have the necessary funds to support them whilst in the UK and they do not claim public funds.

Next Steps

To find out more or if you would like one of your interns to apply under this scheme, contact our team of UK Immigration Lawyers on +44(0) 20 3318 5794 or via email at