If you believe that you may be eligible for this route, please contact the P&OD team for the College you will be collaborating with. They will request the relevant information in order to assess eligibility for sponsorship.  If the information indicates that this route is suitable, a Certificate of Sponsorship will be prepared and assigned to you. Please note that start dates should be 3 months from first contact with the University at the very earliest.

Certificate of Sponsorship

In order to apply for a GAE T5 visa, you require to have been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (abbreviated as ‘CoS’) by the University of Glasgow once the arrangements for your research have been agreed. This is a virtual record which can be assigned to you by the University as a licensed sponsor.

When the University assigns a CoS it is providing an undertaking that the requirements of the visa route have been met. 

The CoS will contain information about you and your research role. It will contain a 4-digit occupation code which is referred to as the SOC code - this stands for ‘standard occupational classification’ code. It is a classification of your work, based on your job duties.

The start and end date of your Certificate of Sponsorship will be in line with the agreed duration of your engagement and funding, up to a maximum of 24 months.

When you apply online for your visa, the application form will request the CoS reference number. UKVI will use this number to obtain information about the role as this information will be saved on their systems.

We will also provide you with a copy of the Certificate of Sponsorship for your records. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of the date on which the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned, after which the CoS will expire. The CoS cannot be assigned any earlier than 3 months prior to the intended start date of the engagement. Please also note that where an ATAS Certificate is required, the CoS will not be assigned until the ATAS Certificate has been obtained.

Please note that receiving a Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee a successful outcome of the visa application. You will need to meet all the requirements as set out in the Immigration Rules and submit the required documents requested by UKVI. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) process all visa applications and all decisions are at their discretion.

Switching and Extensions

Switching to this visa category from within the UK is generally only possible for certain groups of students. Please see the following for further information: 

Those who are already in the UK on a T5 GAE can extend their visa provided they continue to meet the requirements. The total time spent on the visa when extending cannot exceed 24 months. Information on extensions is available here: 

Please note that time spent on this route does not count towards any future settlement applications.

How to Apply

Once you have been provided with your Certificate of Sponsorship, you will be able to apply for your visa through the following website:

You will be asked to answer a series of questions and provide your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number.

Once you have completed the questions, the online form will generate a checklist of documents to be submitted. You will also be directed to pay the visa application fees, Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and book an appointment with a local Visa Application Centre in order to submit your original documents and enrol your biometrics which will involve providing fingerprints and having a digital photograph taken.

Eligible EU nationals will be advised during the process if they are able to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to verify their identity instead of attending a Visa Application Centre.

Processing Times and Fees

Current visa application fees and processing times can be found here:

Processing times are guidelines only and delays may occur for various reasons.  The visa application processing time starts when you either:

  • attend your biometric information appointment to provide your fingerprints and a photograph at a visa application centre; or
  • verify your identity using the UK Immigration: ID Check app


Travel whilst a decision is pending

If you applied for your visa from outside of the UK, please note that you must not travel to the UK whilst your application is processing as doing so will result in your application being treated as withdrawn.

You must also ensure that you do not enter the UK before the start date of your visa/visa vignette. If you do so, you will not have the Right to Work and will be required to leave and re-enter the Common Travel Area (CTA).

If you are extending/switching to this visa from inside the UK, you must ensure that you do not travel outside of the UK whilst your application is processing as doing so will result in your application being treated as withdrawn.

After you have applied

Once you have been granted your visa, please ensure that you carefully read any accompanying letters provided by the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). These will detail the conditions of stay in the UK and what you must do next.

Please note that the information on these pages is provided as a general introduction only and should not be solely relied upon to assess your eligibility. Please check the Immigration Rules and UKVI guidance for the full requirements.