Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa

Below you will find information on the Tier 5 visa.

Tier 5 visa Introduction

The Tier 5 category is designed for those who want to come to the UK for a short time for work experience or to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme. GCU are a sponsoring body under the Tier 5 Temporary Worker route.

The Tier 5 visa is suitable for people who want to get some work experience in the UK or be sponsored by GCU to conduct research for the University. Further details on eligibility can be found available on the Gov website

Which programmes are supported by GCU?

GCU hosts a successful exchange programme with one US University under Tier 5 to obtain work experience within the UK. GCU students are also participating in this exchange programme and they can get work experience in the US.

•           GCU supports CARA (Council for Academics at Risk) sponsoring academics under Tier 5 to undertake research at GCU. An academic department within GCU is usually sponsoring the applicant.

•           Sponsored Researcher

•           GCU internship. An academic department within GCU is usually sponsoring the applicant.

For information and enquiries please email Visa Tier 5. An Advisor will contact you to assess your eligibility, and provide initial advice.

Application process for students coming to the UK on work placements

1. Submit GCU Placement Programme Application Form: The application form is now available online for both September 2020 and January 2021 semesters.

  • The on-line form for the September 2020 semester can be found here (link also below):
  • https://gcu.radiusbycampusmgmt.com/ssc/aform/GfI772C67a3m0x671m0xK.ssc
  • The on-line form for the January 2021 semester can be found here (link also below):
  • https://gcu.radiusbycampusmgmt.com/ssc/aform/M0kT3FzC77020x671m0xK.ssc
  • The application form consists of following sections: 
  • Personal Details
  • Employer Details              
  • Government Authorised Exchange Scheme- GAE Scheme.
  •  Disclaimer
  • Additional Documents upload

2. Required attachments in Additional Documents upload documents will be as follows:

  • Passport
  • Letter of Employment
  • Evidence of minimum £945 maintenance funds held for 90 consecutive days
  • Current Immigration Status (if required, i.e. F1-visa)
  •  Address Details
  •  NEU Letter of Support
  •  Travel Insurance

3. Pay the Tier 5 CoS Admin Fee.

The fee for this administrative process is currently set at £60. This fee must be paid online at GCU  Online Store - Tier 5 CoS. You can pay by credit or debit card and you will receive an email receipt. If you have difficulties processing your fee, please email GCU at arstudent@gcu.ac.uk or contact Finance on +44 (0) 141 331 8195.

4. Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) issuing begins once all required data is received.

Please contact a VISA Advisor directly if you require personalised assistance with the application process - visatier5@gcu.ac.uk.

Student/Worker Responsibilities

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and GCU require you to complete the following:

  1. Register Online: You will receive email instructions (including passwords) on how to register online. Ensure you provide an email address you check regularly. Please note the nature of these GCU forms and this process is subject to occasional changes by UK Government and Immigration Law.As soon as you receive the email instructions, register as a student with GCU. You will then have your own GCU student ID number.
  2. Arrange Student ID Card Meeting:You mustschedule a meeting within 14 days of your arrival in the UK with Student Office (GCU London) or Campus Life Desk (GCU Glasgow) to present your passport and visa for your GCU Record. You will receive a GCU student ID card.
  3. Apply for National Insurance Number: Apply as soon as you arrive. You must provide a scanned copy to GCU and show original to your employer. 
  4. Keep GCU Up-to-Date: Inform GCU by contacting VISA Tier 5 if you:
    1. Are absent from work for any reason. You must notify GCU within 5 working days of being absent.
    2. Intend to leave the UK during your work placement. You are required to complete a ‘Permission to Leave’ (PTL) form and should carry this in your hand luggage to show on re-entry to the UK.
  5. Change your address or contact details. As a Tier 5 student sponsored by GCU, you are entitled to use GCU student facilities/services in our London and Glasgow campuses.
What is a certificate of sponsorship (COS) and how can I obtain this document?

The certificate of sponsorship (COS) is issued by your sponsor that includes your certificate of sponsorship reference number. The COS includes information about your job, your employer and all of your personal information. The document will be send to you electronically by the GCU VISA team and you would need this document before you can apply for your Tier 5 visa.

How do I apply for the visa?

Check here and select your country to see if you need a UK visa. If you need to apply for a Tier 5 visa, you will need a COS (Certificate of Sponsorship). This is an electronic document with a unique number that you must use in your visa application. It will be emailed to you by GCU VISA Team after you have provided all required documents as listed on the online application form and then completed the CAS data check.

To find out how to apply for your visa, visit the UKVI website. The fee is £244 for applicant and each dependent.

You may have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for your Tier 5 visa so please check the section below for more information.

You will need to fill out the visa application form (online), pay the application fee and prepare your supporting documents. You will then be given an appointment at your local Visa Application Centre to submit these documents. In some countries, the Visa Application Centre is run by a commercial company (such as VFS Global or TLScontact), but they do not have any influence over the visa process itself; your application will still be considered by Entry Clearance Officers working for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

As part of the process, you may also be interviewed. The person interviewing you will be looking to confirm the reason why you wish to come to the UK. They may also ask you about why you chose to to gain work experience in this specific field, and a little about your subject area in your current degree course. You may also be asked about your life and family at home, and your immigration history.

What documents do you require for your visa application?

•a current passport or other valid travel identification. You need a blank page in your passport for your visa. If you have another type of travel document (for example, a stateless person’s travel document) it must have space for your visa.

•bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 days before you apply - this is to prove you can support yourself

•your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

Please note that you would require to translate any documents that are not in English before submitting them with the visa application.

What documents are required to show maintenance funds?

You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK.

You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.

You’ll usually need to show proof of this when you apply, unless either:

  • you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months
  • your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270

Your partner and children will also need to prove they can support themselves while they’re in the UK. Check how much they’ll need.

Read the guidance on financial evidence for more information about the money you need and how to prove it.

How soon can I apply for the visa?

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before the date you’re due to start work.

Can I bring my family with me to the UK?

Yes, you can bring your family with you. If you would like to bring your family with you, please contact visatier5@gcu.ac.uk so we can advise you on the documents that you need to prepare for the Tier 5 visa application.

When can I start to work?

The start date of your employment will be provided on your contract from your employer. It would be the responsibility of the employer to confirm the start date for you.

Further information

You can find out more about the Tier 5 visa on the gov.uk's Tier 5 visa webpage.

This provides further information on:

  1. Eligibility
  2. Documents you must provide
  3. Apply
  4. Extend your visa
  5. Switch to this visa
  6. Family members

If you require further assistance, please contact VISA Tier 5.