Tier 5 GAE Scheme

If your firm wants to bring workers into the UK on a temporary basis, for work experience, secondments or internship programmes, it will need to join the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) Scheme.

We're licensed by the government to administer the scheme for the legal sector.

What is the Tier 5 GAE Scheme?

Under the government’s points-based immigration system, Tier 5 covers a range of categories of temporary worker who may want to come to the UK, mainly for non-economic reasons, such as training.

Prospective migrants can apply for a visa to come to the UK for a short time if they meet the criteria.

Under the scheme, we authorise eligible firms to issue certificates of sponsorship to prospective migrants. The firm will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the migrants, including reporting and record-keeping.

Benefits of the scheme

Sharing knowledge, experience and best practice with practitioners from around the world through work experience, secondment and internship programmes is essential to business development.

The scheme enables firms to continue developing international networks and provides certainty in planning secondment and exchange programmes.

Eligibility

To join the scheme, your firm must:

  • be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
  • operate an exchange programme that meets the requirements of our GAE scheme by running suitably robust programmes for secondments, internships or work experience, and keeping records
  • hold a current UK Visas and Immigration sponsor licence with an A rating 

Your firm will need to enter into a contract with the Law Society, requiring you to meet the sponsor obligations defined within the government’s points-based immigration scheme.

GOV.UK: how to apply for a sponsor licence

GOV.UK: how to sponsor a migrant worker

Cost

There’s no fee for joining the scheme. Once you’ve joined, you’ll need to pay a fee of £450 plus VAT (£540 in total) for each certificate of sponsorship (CoS).

Fees are for one year, after which you’ll need to pay a renewal fee of £450 plus VAT (£540 in total). No refunds will be given for any CoS which you buy and do not use.

When we receive your application, we’ll determine the fee and send you an invoice.

How to apply

To join the scheme, contact us at tier5@lawsociety.org.uk or call 020 7320 5797. We’ll send you an application form and details of how to apply.

Contact us

Call: 020 7320 5797

Email: tier5@lawsociety.org.uk

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

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