The Cheapest Work Visa in the UK – Move with/without a Job

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When considering opportunities overseas, many people who are trying to enhance their professions do so in the United Kingdom. Within the UK’s immigration system, the GAE (Graduate Academic Extension) Work immigration is a gem that deserves notice. Well-known visa alternatives like Tier 2 (General) work visas usually receive attention.

A special and underutilised option for people looking for fellowships, internships, and other short-term job opportunities in the UK is the GAE Work Visa. This visa, which was designed to promote professional growth and international cooperation, enables talented individuals from other countries to get considerable experience in a fast-paced workplace.

Name of the Scheme

There is a Government Authorized Exchange route for someone who wants to enter the UK through one of the authorized programs schemes listed below:

  • AIESEC internships
  • Bar Council
  • BAE Systems Training, Intern and Graduate Programme
  • BNSC Satellite KHTT Programme
  • BUNAC Blue Card Internships – ‘Intern in Britain’
  • Chatham House Fellowship
  • Chevening and Marshall Sherfield Fellowships Programmes
  • China-UK Mandarin Teachers Scheme
  • Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan
  • Defence Academy
  • Diplomatic Missions Interns Scheme
  • Engineering work placement scheme
  • Erasmus
  • European Voluntary Service (Youth in Action Programme)
  • Finance Ministries and Central Banks scheme
  • Foreign Language Assistants Programme
  • Glasgow Caledonian University International exchange programme
  • International Horticulture Scheme
  • International Internship Scheme
  • International Optometrists Scheme
  • Khebrat Leadership for Change Programme
  • Law Society GAE scheme for migrant lawyers
  • Lord Chancellor’s Training Scheme for the Young Chinese Lawyers
  • Medical Training Initiative
  • Medical Training Initiative for Dentistry
  • Mountbatten Programme
  • NIM China Secondee Programme
  • NPL Guest Worker and Secondment Scheme
  • Scottish Government Interchange Scheme
  • Serious Fraud Office
  • Sponsored Researchers
  • The Ofgem International Staff Exchange Scheme
  • GTI intern scheme
  • UK Research and Innovation – Science, Research and Academia
  • US-UK Education Commission (also known as the US-UK Fulbright Commission)


Before you may apply to travel to the UK for work, you must have a certificate of sponsorship from an authorized sponsor.

A sponsorship certificate is not a paper record. It’s a reference number that your sponsor provides to you to verify your employment and personal information.

Your training, research, or employment in the UK must be connected to the objectives of your sponsor organization.

Any of the following can serve as your sponsor:

  • A company that operates a recognized exchange program
  • A university (if you are a sponsored researcher, a visiting professor, or an examiner)
  • An institution of the government

A decision on your visa is made once you’ve submitted an online application form, verified your identification, and presented your papers.

  • If you’re not in the UK, 3 weeks
  • If you’re in the UK, 8 weeks

If you have an appointment to keep, you can pay extra for quicker decision. Whether you’re inside UK or outside UK will affect how you handle this.

How much it will cost

Each of you, your spouse, or your kids must:

  • Pay the application cost.
  • Pay the healthcare surcharge, which typically costs £624 a year. You may verify how much you’ll be required to pay.
  • Substantiate your savings by referencing the amount needed in the eligibility requirements.

Application fee

  • Each applicant has to pay a £259 application fee.
  • The price is same whether you apply from within the UK or outside.

How much time you can spend in the UK

The length of your visa and your employment’s beginning and ending dates will determine how long you can stay.

You will be granted visa valid for 12 or 24 months, depending on the program you apply for.

As long as you don’t come before the start date listed on your visa, you are permitted to visit the UK up to 14 days before the day your job begins.

As long as you don’t stay past the expiration date on your visa, you are permitted to remain in the UK for up to 14 days after your employment ends.


You have to

  • Own a UK sponsor’s certificate of sponsorship reference number: A certificate of sponsorship is a number that contains facts about the position and your personal information. Your sponsor will provide you a certificate of sponsorship reference number. They must also provide additional details to aid your application, such as working hours. You must include the reference number from your certificate of sponsorship on your application form because you can only use it once. From the time it is assigned to you, your sponsorship certificate is valid for 3 months.
  • Possess the resources necessary to maintain oneself in the UK; in most cases, this entails having at least £1,270 (unless an exception applies): You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to demonstrate that you can sustain yourself in the UK. The funds must have been accessible for at least 28 days straight. Day 28 must occur no later than 31 days after this visa application.

When you apply, you’ll often need to provide evidence of this unless:

  • You’ve had a valid visa to enter the UK for at least a year.
  • Your employer will pay up to £1,270 of your first month’s expenses in the UK.

Along with you, your partner and the kids must demonstrate their ability to support themselves in the UK. Could you find out how much they’ll require?

For more details on amount of money you will require and how to demonstrate it, read the guidance on financial proof. Your employer must ensure your job pays at least the minimum wage and complies with UK labor laws on the number of hours you work each week. Your application will be turned down if your company fails to accomplish this.

Documents that you must submit

When you apply, you must provide:

  • Your employer will provide you with a reference number for your sponsorship certificate.
  • A current passport or other proof of a identity and nationality
  • Bank statements, for example, would prove that you have the necessary personal savings to maintain yourself in the UK (unless your sponsorship certificate demonstrates that your company can do so).
  • If you are applying with your partner or children, documentation of your relationship with them
  • If you’re from a country where you have to take the test, the results of your tuberculosis test
  • A current ATAS certificate if your employer informs you that it’s necessary since your position requires Ph.D.-level or higher research on a sensitive topic.
  • A letter granting permission to stay in or re-enter the UK from a government or international scholarship organization.

For your visa, you need a blank page in your passport.

A certified translation must also accompany any documents not in English or Welsh.

How to Apply

Application from outside the UK:

This visa requires an online application.

You must provide identification documentation as part of your application. There are many ways to accomplish this, depending on your country of origin and passport type.

You’ll either:

  • Take your picture and fingerprints at a visa application center – Do this to obtain a biometric residency permit.
  • You can scan your identity documents using the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app. You’ll also need to register or sign into an account with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Once you apply, you’ll be instructed what to do.

If an appointment is required:

  • Your passport and other paperwork must stay at the center while they process your application.
  • Your nearest visa application center (which can be in another nation) may require travel.

Find out if you can pay to receive a speedier decision if you submit your application through a visa application center; this will depend on where you are applying from.

Apply from within the UK:

If you are already in the UK, you can switch to this visa or extend your current one.



The UK’s visa options include a hidden treasure called the GAE Work Visa. It gives a fantastic chance for people wishing to launch their overseas careers because of its cost-effectiveness, trial period advantages, flexibility, and streamlined application process. By accepting the GAE Work Visa, employers and employees can embark on a journey of development, education, and exploration within the diverse setting of the British professional world. Consider the GAE Work Visa as your key to opening up a world of opportunities if you’re looking for a means to leave your imprint on the global stage.


  • Unlock UK Masterclass Excellence: Use Globology to find your way across the various routes to the UK Masterclass.
  • Secure Employment Assistance: Sign up for our job support service for professional direction.
  • Leverage GAE Work Visa: “Open the Door to Success” with up to a year of international employment in the UK, boosting your prospects.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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