Temporary worker visa

Basic information on temporary work visas for short term work, training and work experience in the UK.


We can’t offer detailed advice or support with these types of visa applications.


Temporary Worker has five sub-categories:

These schemes allow you to undertake specific types of work in the UK for a period of one or two years, depending on the scheme.

It requires sponsorship and the sponsor must issue a certificate of sponsorship (CoS).  T5 Sponsors are listed together with skilled worker sponsors, visit:

It doesn’t lead to settlement but you can have dependants.

Visit the relevant links above for more information about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Temporary work – government-authorised exchange visa

You can apply for this visa if you:

  • want to come to the UK for a short period to undertake work experience, training, research or to do an overseas Government language programme
  • have a sponsor
  • meet other eligibility requirements

The sponsor can be:

This visa will be granted for one or two years and allows you to:

You cannot:

The sponsored researcher route includes academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers and other skilled research technology specialists who may wish to come to the UK on a temporary basis to:

  • Conduct research on a formal project or collaboration
  • Undertake a period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement
  • Undertake skill development/knowledge transfer
  • Undertake a series of lectures, which doesn’t amount to a formal teaching post
  • Undertake external examinations

How to apply

You must obtain sponsorship from the host (eg University) who will need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

You cannot be self-funded. You must be funded by the host, overseas employer, or an independent UK or non-UK funding body. The funding must be equivalent to or exceeding National Minimum wage.

You must not be filling an advertised position. The role must be supernumerary which means over and above the University’s normal staffing requirements, such that if the sponsored researcher was not there, the role would not be filled by another person.

The University’s Human Resource Department deals with this type of visa sponsorship. Contact them for further information.

If you’re a visiting academic or student researcher, you may be able to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

If you’ve recently completed your studies and meet the requirements for the new Graduate Route visa, this could be a better option for temporary work, internships or work experience.

Youth Mobility Scheme

You can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you:

  • have certain types of British Nationality or are from certain countries or territories
  • are aged 18 to 30, or 18 to 35 if you are from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or Republic of Korea
  • have £2,530 in savings held for 28 days prior to application date
  • meet the other eligibility requirements which may differ according to your nationality
  • have not held a YMS visa previously

You can:

  • study -for some courses, you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
  • work in most jobs
  • be self-employed and set up a company - as long as your premises are rented, your equipment is not worth more than £5,000 and you do not have any employees

You cannot:

  • work as a professional sportsperson (for example as a coach)
  • get public funds
  • bring in dependants on your application - they must apply separately. 

The YMS visa is usually granted for two years. It cannot be extended unless you are from Australia, Canada or New Zealand in which case you can extend it to three years.

This visa does not lead to settlement.

Applicants from certain countries will need to firstly be nominated via a ballot system and places may be limited:- see here for more details.

India Young Professional Scheme

This is a new route under the part of the Youth Mobility scheme

To be eligible you must

  • be an Indian national or citizen between 18 and 30 years old
  • be at least 18 years old on the date you plan to travel to the UK
  • have a qualification at bachelor’s, masters or PhD level degree from the UK or an equivalent overseas qualification
  • have £2,530 in savings to support yourself in the UK
  • not have any children under the age of 18 who live with you or who you’re financially responsible for

You must first apply to and be selected in the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot before you can apply for your visa. 

There were 3000 places in 2023 and entries to the ballot are picked at random. Ballots take place in February and July, but most places are allocated in the February ballot.

If selected, you must apply for your visa within 30 days of receiving the email and must travel to the UK within six months of applying for your visa.

You cannot apply if you’ve already been in the UK under the YMS visa and must apply from outside of the UK.

You must pay:

  • £298 application fee and
  • £1,552 Immigration healthcare surcharge

You must apply for this visa from outside of the UK.

If granted you will get visa allowing you to live, work and study in the UK for two years.

Visa conditions are the same as for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa as outlined above.

If you are a student or recent graduate, a better option could be the Graduate Immigration Route - however, this could be a potential option for those that are not eligible for the Graduate Route.

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Information for students

The Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) answers a range of general student related enquiries