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Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange Scheme

A visa route for approved internships, training, work experience and research programmes

Many of our higher education clients rely on the Temporary Worker route to support sponsored researchers to come to the UK for a temporary period to undertake research. It is also a great route for interns and for people undertaking work experience in the United Kingdom and can be considered by businesses who are looking to set up an internship programme.

The Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa is ideal if a person wants to come to the UK for a short time for research purposes, to complete an internship, to do work experience, or an Overseas Government Language Programme. 

The UK based role, internship or work experience must meet the requirements of the specific Government Authorised Exchange scheme, must not be filling a vacancy in the UK and must be a skilled role (skilled roles are set out in the Immigration Rules). Before applying for a Temporary Worker visa, or when setting up an internship scheme, an applicant or UK business wishing to take on an intern or person on work experience, will need to liaise closely with the Government Authorised Exchange Scheme provider to ensure their requirements are met. The team at Freeths work closely with a number of schemes and can support you through this process. 

If the Temporary Work visa is under the scheme for sponsored researchers, then the role must be supernumerary, so in addition to normal staffing requirements. Sponsored researchers include academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists. The sponsored researcher may give lectures (which does not amount to a formal teaching post), act as an examiner, undertake skill development/knowledge transfers, undertake a period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement or work on research collaborations.

Before applying for a Temporary Work visa you must have a sponsor, who is listed as the provider of an approved government authorised exchange scheme. They will be an organisation running an approved exchange scheme, a higher education institution (if you are a sponsored researcher, visiting academic or examiner), or a government department or agency. Most of the approved government authorised exchange schemes work with UK employers to coordinate internships and work experience schemes in their specialist sector. In general, a UK employer (unless they are a higher education institution), will not be the direct sponsor of the Temporary Worker. The sponsor must not intend to employ the applicant in the UK once the training or work experience is completed. The sponsor will be the overarching body responsible for the approved internship, work experience, training, language programme or research programme.

Once a sponsor has agreed to sponsor a proposed Temporary Worker, they will issue a certificate of sponsorship which will be used to support the candidate’s Temporary Worker visa application. The candidate will also need to show that they have enough money to support themselves and their dependants in the UK, unless their sponsor is able to certify this maintenance requirement.

The specific requirements will depend on your circumstances. The immigration team at Freeths are on hand to help.

How can Freeths help?

At Freeths, we are experienced in at supporting businesses to establish internship and work experience schemes and can liaise with the approved Government Authorised Exchange Schemes to find the best fit for your business and potential Temporary Workers. We also work with a number of higher education institutes and can advise on the requirements of this route for sponsored workers and help you to assess whether this is the best route to take.

We will discuss your plans and advise whether a Temporary Worker Visa is the best solution. We will ensure the certificate of sponsorship is in place, prepare the visa application, advise on and carefully review the supporting documents and submit the application to UKVI via their visa processing partner organisation.

Our fees are transparent. We offer a fair pricing structure which will be agreed with you at the outset, giving you certainty about the overall cost of the end-to-end process.

If you would like to know more about the Temporary Worker visa route, or need help with an application, please contact our immigration team, who are on hand to help.

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