Conditions and restrictions and FAQ's
Who is this scheme for
This scheme enables researchers, including academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists, to come to Swansea University on a temporary basis.
The University has very limited Certificate of Sponsorships (CoS) per year. This scheme is governed by very strict parameters and the University has compliance duties on which the University’s licence depends. Where possible, we would encourage applicants to come through other visa routes.
This scheme was previously known as Tier 5 (T5) GAE.
How long is the visa for
You can apply to come for 12 months or 24 months. The maximum time is 24 months.
Normally you must apply for this visa overseas and wait for it to be granted before travelling to the UK. You cannot request to come in under this category at the UK border.
If you are already in the UK as a Student, it may be possible in some cases to switch and apply for this visa in the UK.
- A formal research project, collaboration or fellowship
- A period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement
- Skills development/knowledge transfer
- A series of lectures, which doesn't amount to a formal teaching post
- Acting as an external examiner
The researcher may be funded by their host, their overseas employer, or an independent UK or non-UK funding body.
The researcher cannot be self-funded and must be in receipt of funding in line with, or above, the National Minimum Wage.
Individuals undertaking work experience or internships may not be entitled to the National Minimum Wage due to specific legislative exemptions. Further guidance is available from the government website.
If your visit is funded through Swansea University, the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued to you will certify funding/maintenance for you so you won’t have to include any financial evidence such as bank statements with your application.
However if your visit is not funded through Swansea University, it is very important you have a bank/savings account in your name of at least £1,270. The funds in the account must have been held at this minimum balance for a full 28 days before you apply. The end of the 28 day period must be within 31 days of applying for the visa.
Conditions and restrictions
- Cannot extend stay beyond 24 months.
- The researcher does not have to be employed overseas to be eligible for sponsorship under this scheme, and if necessary, it is permitted for the host to issue an employment contract to the researcher, provided the activity does not amount to a genuine vacancy, as below.
- The work or activities undertaken must never amount to what the Home Office terms ‘a genuine vacancy’. In accordance with the Home Office rules, the role must be over and above the organisation’s normal staffing requirements, and which would not be automatically refilled once the post holder leaves.
- ATAS required for roles in certain occupations (see below).
- No recourse to public funds.
What to do and who to contact
To see if you are eligible to come under this route, you will need to contact Human Resources in the first instance.
You will need to prepare the following documents:
- Copy of passport (data page)
- Confirmation of funding for the visit (e.g. copy of financial sponsorship letter)
- (If you are a student) Letter from your overseas institution confirming you are an enrolled student at your overseas institution
- (If you are a member of staff) Letter from your employer confirming your employment overseas, mentioning your job title
- Copies of any previous Tier 5 or GAE visas
- Copies of any previous visa refusals and declare any periods of overstay in the UK or any other country (staying in a country after visa had already expired)
- Any other relevant information or documents e.g. ATAS clearance certificate
If the visit has been approved, you will be emailed a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which you will need to submit with your Temporary Work GAE visa application.
If you have been advised you need a GAE visa for the activity you intend to undertake at the University, it is important that you do not enter the UK with other types of visa as you will not be allowed to carry out your research with the wrong visa.
If you have specific visa enquiries, you can email the International@CampusLife team.
ATAS, immigration health surcharge and TB test
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
ATAS is the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) managed Academic Technology Approval Scheme. It requires clearance to be granted to workers who are to be sponsored by the University in certain job roles in the fields of science, engineering or technology.
The University will be able to advise you if ATAS clearance is needed as part of the process for issuing a CoS.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
As part of the visa application, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is mandatory for all non-EEA nationals coming to the UK for more than 6 months. Payment of this surcharge will ensure you have full access to the National Health Service (NHS). Cost of the IHS is £624 per person per year.
If you are applying with Dependants, the surcharge will apply to their visa application on the same basis.
If you or your Dependants are coming for less than 6 months, you will not have to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge. However, you will then not be entitled to free healthcare under the NHS. It is very important that you and your family get private health insurance before coming to the UK.
Tuberculosis (TB) test
If you are coming for more than 6 months, some nationals will need to do a TB test (chest X-ray) at an approved clinic and submit a certificate as part of the visa application. Find out if you need one from the UKVI website
A TB test is not required if you are coming to the UK for less than 6 months.
For applications under the Points-Based System (PBS), ‘dependants’ include the following:
- Husband, wife or civil partner;
- Unmarried or same-sex partner;
- Child aged under 18 at the time of application.
No other family members are eligible to apply as a PBS Dependant.
Children can attend state schools as a PBS Dependant.
Dependants will have to meet the financial requirements of the GAE visa, details are available from the UKVI website.