For most international students who want to secure a graduate job in the UK, the Tier 2 (General) Visa is the main route. However, if you are unable to obtain a job offer under Tier 2 and are prepared to consider alternatives, or you just want to stay in the UK for a limited period to do an internship, then the Tier 5 visa is a route worth exploring further.
Key features of Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE):
- This programme is aimed at students/graduates who wish to do a period of work experience or training in the UK.
- The time duration is usually up to 12 months for work experience but can be up to 24 months for specific research or training. The length of time will depend on the scheme applied for.
- The visa is organised through a GAE sponsor on behalf of students (and employers).
- The GAE sponsor must issue a certificate of sponsorship before the individual can apply for the visa.
- There is a list of approved GAE sponsors on the government website
- The post must be a skilled role, supernumerary (i.e. not a vacant job), temporary, and pay at or above the level of the national minimum wage.
- Students/graduates can apply from within the UK to switch from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 5 GAE visa if the job is directly relevant to their degree.
- Students/graduates can do a Tier 5 role not directly related to their degree but they must apply from their home country.
- Students/graduates have to pay a fee for the visa – this is £225.
- Students/graduates must also have ‘proof of support’ funds of at least £945. These savings must have been in your bank account for at least 90 days before application unless the sponsor agrees to certify your maintenance.
For more information visit our webpage or give us a call at 020 3695 4626