Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) scheme is a less widely known visa category that allows individuals to come to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice through work placements, whilst experiencing the wider social and cultural setting of the United Kingdom.
The Tier 5 GAE visa is normally granted for 12 months and extendable up to a maximum of two years in the UK, depending on the scheme chosen. This route allows individuals to gain valuable professional and life experience and employers to hire the brightest candidates from overseas, see their performance and hire them permanently after. This route remained the most popular post-study work experience option available to International Graduates prior to the UK government’s re-introduction of the graduate immigration route.
The Tier (GAE) scheme has been designed specifically to allow graduates from overseas to gain UK work experience and is open for all nationalities and can be applied from outside the UK. It also provides UK employers with the scope to deploy the brightest and best talent from overseas on key initiatives and to learn key skills they can take back to their home country.
Individuals on student visas can switch immigration status from within the UK to Tier 5 (GAE), if they have completed an UK degree in their most recent student visa leave and has been offered an internship directly relating to their course. This route will be attractive to those who do not qualify for the new post study visa starting from 2021 to gain international work experience prior to returning to their home country.
The employers do not need to have a sponsor licence to offer internships, unlike the Tier 2 general visa. However, they must register under the GAE scheme as an authorised employer with one of the approved overarching sponsors. The internship must be supernumerary to normal staffing requirements and meet other criteria set out by the authorised schemes.
Please get in touch with our award-winning team on 0330 058 3929, if you need any assistance on Tier 5 GAE application or employer registration.