GAE Employer Registration

The GAE employer registration allows employers to hire overseas candidates for 12 months and is extendable in some cases.

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The Government Authorised Exchange Visa allows individuals to enter the UK for 12 or 24 months to engage in approved programs such as internships, training, work experience, or research. Employers must meet the relevant scheme rules of the approved overarching body to sponsor candidates.

Eligibility requirements for businesses

The eligibility requirements for GAE employer registration vary based on the scheme; some of the common requirements are as follows.

  • UK registered employers (excluding those in hospitality, care or agriculture)
  • The internship should be based in the UK, and the role must be supernumerary (additional to normal staffing requirements)
  • Maximum 12 months duration (unless eligible for an extension)
  • Must be skilled work (minimum NVQ Level 3)
  • Paid a salary equivalent to UK minimum wage, or above
  • Interns should ideally be recent graduates or working towards a degree for some schemes
  • Must have the financial and personnel resources to support and supervise the Intern throughout the period of their internship
  • Must meet GAE Employer registration requirements of the relevant scheme, such as already a licensed sponsor under the skilled worker scheme or able to provide Employer’s & Public Liability certificates, VAT, PAYE registration, etc.

An essential stipulation of the GAE route is that roles must be “supernumerary”. This means that the intention is not to facilitate labour supply – participants must not fill existing vacancies but be in addition to the regular staffing requirements. In essence, the scheme’s purpose is to enhance knowledge and skills exchange rather than address labour shortages. The eligibility for individuals taking part in the scheme can be seen here.

What are the costs involved for GAE employer registration?

The employer might have to pay the following costs under the GAE scheme.

  • Joining fee
  • Re-registration fee
  • CoS fee

The amount will depend on the overarching body’s price list. Some of them don’t charge any joining fee and some have no re-registration fee.

First-time registration costs for employers can start from £250 + VAT and can go up to £700 + VAT. Some overarching bodies also give the first year into the scheme free of charge and then charge the employers from the second year in the scheme.

The re-registration fee is usually charged when an employer registers with the overarching body again after a period of inactivity. This fee can start from £300 + VAT, again depending on the overarching body.

Every employer must pay the CoS issue fee, which may vary depending on the period of sponsorship. For short-term sponsorship (1-3 months), the fee can start from £450 + VAT and go up to £650 + VAT. For medium-term sponsorship, this fee can start from £750 + VAT and go up to £850. Long-term sponsorship can start at £850 and go up further depending on the overarching body.

The fees for initial and subsequent re-registrations depend on the scheme and the overarching bodies.

GAE Internships vs Skilled Workers

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How can City Legal help?

Our Immigration Solicitors at City Legal have immense experience in assisting international graduates & their employers in registering for the GAE programme. At City Legal, we work with numerous overarching sponsors and can ensure a smooth, fast and efficient process. We pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to providing clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

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