Visa conditions

Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa holders must observe the following conditions:

  • they will have no access to state benefits;
  • they will register with the police within the required timeframe and report any changes to the police, as required (it should be stated on the visa holders vignette, or in a letter from the Home Office, whether they are required to register with the police, but for further information please see Police Registration);
  • they will, if applicable, collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the designated Post Office within 10 days of arrival in the UK;
  • they will report to the Home Office if their BRP is damaged, faulty, lost, or stolen and if the details listed are incorrect or change;
  • they will not start up or run a business.

Tier 5 visa holders are permitted to undertake a course of study in the UK without prior approval from the Home Office, however, those undertaking studies in science, engineering and technology subjects must check whether the course subject will mean they are required to first obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate. Further information can be found in relation to ATAS and applying for clearance in the University's Tier 4 student visa guidance.

In addition to the work for which their visa was issued, Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa holders may also take up supplementary work so long as the following conditions are observed:

  • the supplementary work is in the same profession as the job specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship* e.g. a sponsored researcher may take up supplementary research for another department or organisation;
  • the supplementary work is at the same professional level as the work specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship, e.g. the funding/salary is at the same level;
  • the supplementary research is for no more than 20 hours per week; and
  • the supplementary research is outside the working hours covered by the Certificate of Sponsorship.

*Note that the Home Office does not consider University research and University teaching as the same profession. Therefore, a Tier 5 sponsored researcher would not normally be permitted to teach for another department/organisation as 'supplementary employment' unless the purpose of their visit included giving one or more lectures and this was listed in the description of duties on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

If a Tier 5 sponsored researcher's Certificate of Sponsorship does not make any mention of giving lectures teaching may only be undertaken after an additional requirement to give lectures has been reported to the Home Office.

For Tier 5 sponsored researchers employed or funded by the University the additional requirement to give lectures must be approved by the host department/ college, however, for those funded by an external organisation written approval from their funding organisation must also be provided. The department/college should then complete a Tier 2 & Tier 5 Changes & Leavers form (269kb) form and return it to the Staff Immigration Team, along with written approval from the funding organisation if applicable, so that a change in duties can be reported to the Home Office. Note that a change in duties must be reported before the individual can take supplementary work in a teaching role. 

If, however, the purpose of visit for which a Tier 5 sponsored researcher's visa was granted included giving lectures, and the lecturing responsibilities were noted on the Certificate of Sponsorship, then they may give additional lectures as 'supplementary employment', providing this also complies with the above rules for supplementary employment.

Tier 5 visa holders do not require permission from the Home Office to take supplementary employment that meets the above conditions.