Add outside collaborators to a team without giving them acess to other repos in an organization?


we are using Github Teams in our organization and I wanted to add a user as an outside collaborator to a team. However, whenever I add the user to a team, he will become a member of the organisation.

And If I change the user to outside collaborators he will be removed from the team.

Is it possible to create a team of outside collaborators or do I have to manually add the users for the repos?

I want to have the following hierachy


      |                 |

  Private Project Repo 1     Private  Project Repo 2 

I want to create a team together with outside collaborators (e.g. external developers) which only has access to Repo 2 and does not see the other repositories.

Is this somehow possible? I did not find a way.



Teams are explicitly for members of an organization. Outside collaborators cannot be on organization teams and must be added to each repository manually.

I hope that helps.


Why the limitation of not being part of a team. Outside collaborators are charged for if they have access to a private repo. So why limit their ability to be on a team?


I’m wondering the same thing. I have 11 repos that I want to make available to a team of 10 outside collaborators. That’s 110 individual invites I have to setup and then manage. At some point this team will no longer need access to the repo and I want remove one team, not 110 individual members.


Exactly same requirement as above mentioned. 

I need to add around 15 collaborators to 6 different teams. At the same time I dont want them to be a part of my organization as my default access to organization has been set to “read”. I just want to grant them read/write access to only those repositories on which they would be working on. 

Now in order to grant them the access I need to send individual invite for each of them for 6 different repositories. Instead of that having a team capability for outside collaborator would help. So that I can group them together in a team and can add that team with read/write access to 6 repos and at the same time I wont be granting them default access to my organization.

Any clue if this exists or in case if it can be achieved by some means with GitHub?



Any plans to enhance this? Like others this seems an unnecessary limitation.

Bunch of opensource projects grouped together that we want outside collaborators to contribute to. Don’t want to give them access to private ones. Don’t want to manage this at a granular level.


The need to manage access for collaborators at  the repo level seems unnecessarily restrictive. To what end? I could understand if there was product revenue at stake. As it stands, it just make-work for your customers.

Is there a way to get a change request into the pipeline?


Identical use case. I had to add a collaborator to two repos individually, instead of being able to create a team (which could expand) and assiging the repos to the team. Please allow collaborators on teams. If you want to designate a team as collaborator or organisational, fine. In the age of cross-organisational collaboration facilitated by finer-grained (but still role based) access control, teams of collaborators are natural.

This would really help us as well, but for a different use case - allowing a build user access to multiple repositories without having to go in and accept the invite for each one individually (logout/login, accept, logout/login for each invite). Having a “collaborators only” team would allow us to add a build user to the team and then add/remove access to repositories from that team as needed without having to invite each time and log out and back in.

Would love to hear from GitHub on whether this is going to be something they will consider doing in the short/medium term as it will help us decide how to proceed with standardizing our build process!

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Totally agree.  Just make-work with no rationale.  There is also the ‘Discussions’ that is in beta but they’ll only give it to open repositories.  I want to invite external collaborators to a repo but the only way they can participate in Discussions is if they are in a Team.  But this isn’t possible . . . . ugh.

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This is punishing for us as well. We really don’t want to manage a revolving door of outside collaborators to be part of our org itself, and we don’t want to manage individual repo access - that’s an insane amount of manual labor for us.

For us, a viable alternative would be to invite a team from a different org. For our use case, it’s OK for them to manage their own team, we just want to reduce the manual labor involved in managing individual repo invites on our side.

Same issue here. Just dropping in as a +1

A workaround here is;

  • Add the members to the team.
  • Add the repos to which they need access.
  • Assign roles.
  • The user has to accept the invite before we proceed to next step.
  • Goto People, search the name, select and “Convert to Outside Collaborator”.

This will give them access to the repos listed in the Team and remove the base permission. We can find them listed as Outside Collaborator in the Repo Name -> Settings -> Manage access section too.

Hi there. I appreciate that you’re trying to help, but this isn’t a workaround. You could accomplish the same thing just by adding an individual to a repo, which is what we’re all trying to avoid doing in this thread.

This seems like such an oversight that outside collaborators can’t be added as team members. Dropping by to +1 the request to change that.

Also dropping a +1 on a request for this. This would make it so much easier to integrate outside developers or even bot users that don’t have a backing user for SAML in the case for Organizations…

Hey there :wave:t2:

While waiting for GitHub to provide an official solution to this issue, I’d like to share with the community the automated workflow we put in place that allows us to handle outside collaborators neatly organization-wise.

The automation is documented and available at

Hope you’ll find it useful!

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+1 here.
Add external collaborators to teams would be very useful.

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Just here to +1 as well and add a recent comment to point out it’s still an active issue.

+1 here
we have a new case for such need, trying to create customer team (members not in organization) so that we can grant read access for Github Container registry.