Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa

The Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa is for individuals who wish to come to the UK to take part in an approved training, internship, work experience or research programme, on a temporary basis.

If you are a temporary worker and you need to know whether this immigration route is right for you, it can be worthwhile to speak to a specialist immigration solicitor from the team at Latitude Law. There are many types of temporary work visas that might be suitable, depending on your aims in coming to the UK, and you must ensure you meet the relevant eligibility requirements for any route you intend to take, so legal advice can make a significant difference to your chances of success.

To speak to a solicitor about making an application for a Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa, call us on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or complete our contact form to request a call back.



In order to qualify for a Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa, you will need to prove that you have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you plan to undertake, issued by a sponsor that holds a valid Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange sponsor licence.

Your sponsor can be any of the following:

  • an organisation running an approved exchange scheme
  • a higher education institution (if you are a sponsored researcher, visiting academic or examiner)
  • a government department or agency

You must also meet the following criteria and demonstrate that:

  • The role you are planning to undertake meets the requirements of an approved Government Authorised Exchange scheme;
  • The role appears in Table 1 or Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations;
  • The role does not fill a vacancy in the UK workforce;
  • The role you are being sponsored to undertake is genuine;
  • You have sufficient personal savings to support yourself in the UK;
  • You meet general suitability grounds.

The exact requirements to be satisfied may vary depending on your circumstances.

Documents to provide

You will need to provide several legal documents to support your application. These include:

  • a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by a Home Office-approved sponsor for the role you plan to undertake
  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
  • evidence that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself in the UK

Additional documents may be required depending on your circumstances.

How we can help with your Government Authorised Exchange Visa application

Government Authorised Exchange visa applications are submitted online and must be supported by specified documents to demonstrate that you satisfy the requirements of the Government Authorised Exchange visa programme. You will have to provide your identity, either by attending a biometrics appointment or using the ‘ID Check’ app.

Our expert solicitors can help you to identify the requisite documents needed for a successful outcome and support you throughout the application process.

Contact Us

Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation in relation to a Government Authorised Exchange visa application. Call on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or complete our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

Government Authorised Exchange Visa FAQs

Is there a fee to apply for a Government Authorised Exchange Visa?

The application fee for each person applying is £298. The fee is the same whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK. Applicants must also pay the healthcare surcharge, which is usually £624 per year.

How long can you stay in the UK with a Government Authorised Exchange Visa?

You can stay in the UK for up to 12 or 24 months (depending on the scheme you are applying for) or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your job.

Can my partner or children join me in the UK while I hold a Government Authorised Exchange Visa?

Your partner and children can apply to join you or stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they are eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

You, your partner and your children will each have to pay the application fee and the healthcare surcharge, and prove that you have enough personal savings to maintain your stay in the UK.

How long does it take to process a Government Authorised Exchange Visa?

You can apply for a visa up to three months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you will usually get a decision on your visa within:

  • Three weeks, if you’re outside the UK
  • Eight weeks, if you’re inside the UK

It is currently taking longer to get a decision on Government Authorised Exchange visas when you apply from outside the UK.

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All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 03/10/2022