(GAE) T5 Visa

The Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) T5 visa (formerly Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange) is for those who wish to come to the UK for a short time to do research or other permitted activity through an approved government authorised exchange scheme

Higher Education Institutions can sponsor certain sponsored researchers up to a maximum of 24 months subject to the researcher and the role meeting the eligibility requirements. This is under the ‘sponsored researchers’ category of the approved government authorised exchange schemes.

Overview of requirements

Sponsored Researchers

 ‘Sponsored researchers’ generally include:

 Academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists who will be hosted at the sponsoring higher education institution in a supernumerary role.

  • Giving a lecture or lectures (which does not amount to a formal teaching post),
  • Act as an examiner (the alternative Permitted Paid Engagements visa route might also be suitable)
  • Undertake skill development/knowledge transfer,
  • Undertake a period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement (subject to conditions)
  • Formal research collaborations.

 The activities permitted under this route and category are:

 This route cannot be used to fill an advertised position and should be used for supernumerary roles only. This means that: 

  • the role must be over and above normal staffing requirements; and
  • if the person filling the role were not there, it wouldn’t be filled by anyone else.


A sponsored researcher cannot be self-funded (e.g. funded by savings) and their funding must meet the National Minimum Wage requirement. Their funding must generally be from an external source such as an external funding provider or their overseas employer. The external funding provider must confirm the funding arrangements and duration in a letter.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a scheme operated by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). It requires certain individuals subject to immigration control to apply for and obtain an ATAS certificate before being able to study or research certain sensitive subjects

This scheme was already in place for international students and from 21 May 2021, the scheme has been expanded to researchers applying under the T5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) route.

The requirement to obtain an ATAS certificate applies to all applications (including visa extensions), made from 9am on 21 May 2021, if the following conditions apply:

  1. The applicant is not an exempt national
  2. The role is in a relevant SOC code
  3. The role includes an element on research at Phd Level and above in one of the relevant subject areas

Where an ATAS certificate is required, a Certificate of Sponsorship will not be assigned until an ATAS certificate has been obtained by the applicant.

ATAS Certificate Exempt Nationalities

Nationals of the following countries are exempt from the ATAS requirement and therefore do not require an ATAS certificate:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United States of America

SOC Codes covered by the ATAS Requirement

The occupation codes covered by the ATAS requirement are listed below, however for the purposes of the GAE T5 visa, SOC 2119 and SOC 2311 will generally be applicable to the sponsored researchers category:

  • 2111 Chemical scientists
  • 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists
  • 2113 Physical scientists
  • 2114 Social and humanities scientists
  • 2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2150 Research and development managers
  • 2122 Mechanical engineers
  • 2123 Electrical engineers
  • 2124 Electronics engineers
  • 2127 Production and process engineers
  • 2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2311 Higher education teaching professionals;
  • 3111 Laboratory technicians
  • 3112 Electrical and electronics technicians
  • 3113 Engineering technicians
  • 3114 Building and civil engineering technicians
  • 5235 Aircraft maintenance and related trades

Relevant Subject Areas covered by the ATAS requirement:

The subject areas covered by the ATAS requirement are identified by their Common Aggregate Hierarchy (CAH3) code and are listed below:

Subjects allied to Medicine:

  • CAH02-02-01 - Pharmacology
  • CAH02-02-02 - Toxicology
  • CAH02-02-03 - Pharmacy
  • CAH10-01-06 - Bioengineering, Medical and Biomedical Engineering

Biological Sciences:

  • CAH03-01-02 - Biology (non-specific)
  • CAH03-01-03 - Ecology and Environmental Biology
  • CAH03-01-06 - Zoology
  • CAH03-01-04 - Microbiology and Cell Science
  • CAH03-01-05 - Plant Sciences
  • CAH10-03-05 - Biotechnology
  • CAH03-01-07 - Genetics
  • CAH02-05-03 - Biomedical Sciences (non-specific)
  • CAH03-01-08 - Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
  • CAH03-01-01 - Biosciences (non-specific)
  • CAH03-01-10 - Others in Biological Sciences

Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects:

  • CAH05-01-02 - Others in Veterinary Sciences
  • CAH06-01-02 - Agricultural sciences

Physical Sciences:

  • CAH07-02-01 - Chemistry
  • CAH10-03-07 - Materials Science
  • CAH07-01-01 - Physics
  • CAH07-01-02 - Astronomy
  • CAH26-01-05 - Others in Geographical Studies
  • CAH07-04-01 - Physical Sciences (non-specific)
  • CAH07-04-03 - Sciences (non-specific)
  • CAH07-04-04 - Natural Sciences (non-specific)

Mathematical and Computer Sciences:

  • CAH09-01-01 - Mathematics
  • CAH09-01-02 - Operational Research
  • CAH11-01-01 - Computer Science
  • CAH11-01-02 - Information Technology
  • CAH11-01-03 - Information Systems
  • CAH11-01-04 - Software Engineering
  • CAH11-01-05 - Artificial Intelligence


  • CAH10-01-01 - Engineering (non-specific)
  • CAH10-01-07 - Civil Engineering
  • CAH10-01-02 - Mechanical Engineering
  • CAH10-01-04 - Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
  • CAH10-01-05 - Naval Architecture
  • CAH10-01-08 - Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • CAH10-01-09 - Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering


  • CAH10-03-03 - Polymers and Textiles
  • CAH10-03-01 - Minerals Technology
  • CAH10-03-02 - Materials Technology
  • CAH10-03-04 - Maritime Technology

Changes in research – requirement for new ATAS certificate

Researchers already in the UK may need to apply for a new ATAS certificate if changing their field of research or where they conduct their research, or are making a new visa application. For full details please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme#academic-researchers

Full information on the ATAS Scheme and information on how to apply is available through the following links:

Financial requirement

This was formerly known as the ‘maintenance requirement’). You must show that you have enough savings to support yourself in the UK. As an A-rated sponsor, the University of Glasgow can ‘certify maintenance’ on the Certificate of Sponsorship to show that this requirement is met. Details on this requirement are available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-evidence-for-sponsored-or-endorsed-work-routes

Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate

You may require to obtain and submit a TB test certificate if you are entering the UK from any of the following countries

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.