As experts in the field of immigration law, we understand the importance of obtaining the appropriate visa for temporary work in the United Kingdom. In this article, we will discuss the Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) visa, a temporary work visa that allows non-EEA nationals to work in the UK for up to 12 months.

What is the Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) Visa?

The GAE visa is designed for individuals who wish to come to the UK for temporary work experience, training or research through an approved government authorised exchange scheme. The scheme enables participants to gain knowledge, skills and experience through work-based training and exchange programs with a view to improving their skills and expertise in their respective fields.

Who is Eligible for the GAE Visa?

To be eligible for the GAE visa, you must be a non-EEA national and have a valid certificate of sponsorship from an approved exchange scheme sponsor. You must also meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years or over
  • Have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Pass a tuberculosis (TB) test if you are from a country where TB is prevalent
  • Have no criminal convictions

What are the Requirements for a GAE Certificate of Sponsorship?

A GAE certificate of sponsorship is a mandatory requirement for applying for a GAE visa. The exchange scheme sponsor must provide the following information:

  • Confirmation that the applicant will participate in an approved exchange scheme
  • A description of the exchange scheme, including details of the applicant’s role and responsibilities
  • The duration of the exchange scheme
  • Confirmation that the applicant will be paid at least the National Minimum Wage
  • The address where the applicant will be working
  • The total cost of the exchange scheme, including any living expenses
  • The sponsor’s licence number

What is the Application Process for a GAE Visa?

The application process for a GAE visa is straightforward. Once you have obtained a certificate of sponsorship from an approved exchange scheme sponsor, you can apply online for the visa. The following documents are required for the application:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • A recent passport-sized colour photograph
  • Evidence of your financial situation
  • Confirmation of your TB test results, if required
  • A criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
  • Any other relevant documents specified by the UK Home Office

How Long Does it Take to Get a GAE Visa?

The processing time for a GAE visa application is generally around three weeks. However, it is advisable to apply as early as possible to avoid any delays.


The Government Authorised Exchange visa is an excellent option for non-EEA nationals who wish to gain valuable work experience in the UK. As immigration experts, we can help you navigate the complex UK visa system and provide guidance on the GAE visa application process. Contact us today to discuss your immigration requirements.

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