The Tier 5 visa route enables international students from outside the EEA to undertake temporary work experience, internships or approved training in the UK during or after their studies. Here, we consider the Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) and Youth Mobility schemes under Tier 5 of the Points Based System. Both routes allow a student/graduate to live and work in the UK for 12-24 months.
Tier 5 – Government Authorised Exchange Scheme
In a nutshell, this category is for those coming 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 UK.
There are four separate programmes:
A list of schemes and sponsors can be found in Appendix N of the Immigration Rules.
Tier 5 – Youth Mobility Scheme
This scheme is open to student/graduates between the ages of 18-30 from:
This visa enables the applicant to carry out most jobs in the UK for up to 2 years. The visa cannot be extended beyond 2 years and you cannot switch into a work visa from within the UK. A business which intends to keep such an employee on, can sponsor them under the Tier 2 route, providing the resident labour market test has been satisfied and the applicant applies for entry clearance from outside the UK.
If you are an international student wanting to intern in the UK or a UK business which wishes to take on a non-EEA national under a work experience/training programme, please get in touch with our business immigration lawyers. We can consider which sponsors would be suitable and assist you with any visa application.