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Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange visa

What is the Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange visa?

The Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange visa of the points-based system allows migrants to come to the UK on a temporary basis and is the route of relevance to the University.

What is the Government Authorised Exchange Scheme?

This allows people from outside the UK and Ireland to come to the UK through approved schemes to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through approved government authorised exchange schemes. This category cannot be used to fill job vacancies.

Who can the University sponsor under Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange?

The University holds a license to sponsor:

  • Visiting academics who are giving lectures, acting as an examiner or working on a supernumerary research collaboration.
  • Sponsored researchers defined as "a person who wishes to come to the UK to lead or to take part in any formal research project. Formal research projects are those hosted but not necessarily funded by a UK research institution including universities, non-commercial research organisations, charitable organisations and national research councils (such as the Medical Research Council). The sponsored researcher fills a research post and works under the full or partial control of the institution, which will itself benefit from the research. Sponsored researchers can be funded from sources in the UK or overseas."

For internships and work experience, the University of Manchester cannot be the sponsor and does not issue the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) but may act as a host.

What restrictions should I be aware of?

For sponsored researchers and visiting academics, the following restrictions apply:

  • The individual must not fill a genuine vacancy in the UK workforce.
  • The Individual can be our employee, but the employment must conform to UK employment legislation and any funding/salary received must meet national minimum wage requirements.
  • Funding can come from any source, including from the University or a third party, but the individual cannot fund themselves.
  • There are minimum skill level requirements; in practice, as we can only appoint ‘sponsored researchers’ or ‘visiting academics’ to Temporary Work roles, the SOC Code will never be anything other than PhD level.
  • The visa is valid for 2 years maximum and cannot be extended beyond this date.

What are our sponsor duties for Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange workers?

Outline of your responsibilities as a line manager.

The University must adhere to UKVI’s required record keeping and reporting duties; these duties apply equally to individuals sponsored under Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange, even if they are not University employees. They include:

  • Reporting late arrivals to the UKVI
  • Keeping a record of the individual’s contact details while in UK.
  • Keeping a record of the individual’s absences
  • Reporting unauthorised absence to UKVI
  • Reporting when an individual finishes work before the CoS end date

Before an individual who is sponsored under TW - GAE starts work, faculties/schools must tell them about their responsibilities under the points-based system. People & OD Operations will also issue a standard letter to the sponsored individual, and new starter information is available here. If you have any queries contact

How do I arrange a Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange Certificate of Sponsorship?

It is for faculties and schools, not individuals, to request a CoS. You should contact as soon as possible; they will send you a CoS request form, and let you know what other documentation needs to be submitted.

Who pays the costs of sponsoring Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange individuals?

  • The University pays for the Certificate of Sponsorship from a central budget. Payment is made in People & OD Operations.
  • The University does not pay visa fees or the immigration health surcharge for Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange applicants or their dependants.
  • The University does not certify maintenance for Temporary Work - GAE applicants.

Further guidance can be found in the UKVI Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange policy guidance. You should contact if you have queries about Temporary Work internships and work experience.

What do I need to know about Temporary Worker - GAE internships and work experience?

For internships and work experience, the University of Manchester cannot be the sponsor and does not issue the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) but may act as a host.

  • The individual must approach an approved overarching body to be their sponsor for work experience purposes. See the link for full details.
  • The hosting department/institution may be required to provide a letter for the purposes of the visa application which sets out the nature of the work they will undertake.
  • Although the University is not the Sponsor we have a responsibility for ensuring UKVI requirements are complied with (including a right to work check) and any breaches could have an impact on the University’s own Sponsor Licence.
  • Tier 4 students are permitted to switch to TW - GAE for the purposes of undertaking work experience.