Are you eligible for the UK Internship visa? 

In earlier posts, I wrote about the substitute to the UK Post-Study Work Visa for international graduates i.e Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) Visa and recommended the advantages of this route for start-ups.

This scheme is a great solution for recent international graduates wishing to commence placements with UK based employers this September.

Group Of Diverse International Students Celebrating Graduation

In this article, I would like to map out an exhaustive list of the eligibility criteria so as for you to understand the necessary steps to apply for this Visa.

A – The right placement

The first and foremost requirement for an international graduate is to have a potential offer of internship from a UK based employer.

1. Temporary position – the contract with your employer has to be a fixed-term placement with a maximum duration of 12 months. Upon completion of the placement, the migrant must leave the UK and return to their home country.*

* If the placement offered is less than 12 months, then the migrant may extend to the full term of 12 months while in the UK. In certain cases, the migrant may also be allowed an additional 12 months with the same employer provided the migrant can demonstrate that they would acquire fresh skills in a new role, or, if the role is similar to the original placement, then evidence of a clear progression must be demonstrated.

Qualification – The minimum qualification requirement is that of an undergraduate enrolled on a course at a NARIC-listed institution.

Supernumerary – The placement offered must be supernumerary*

* i.e should be outside of the regular staffing requirements of the employer and must not fit into a Tier 2 (General) occupation category; thereby not affecting the UK Resident Labour Market.

Full-time placement – The placement offered must be on a full time basis with the number of hours restricted between 35 – 48 hours/week.

Salary – The conditions of employment should be in line with the National Minimum Wage Act.

Age – you must be 18 years of age or above.

Employer: The Employer must be a UK Registered Company, Charity, and Government Department.

Skills Level – Any work that the migrant undertakes must be at a skill level of NVQ Level 3 or above.

B – The right sponsor

Once this offer confirmed, you must find a licensed overarching body sponsor from the Tier 5 GAE scheme list. Employers are not allowed to sponsor migrants under this route.

C – The right papers

Aside from the above, below requirements must also be met as required by UK Home Office.

  1. The applicant must obtain the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) reference number from the UK overarching body sponsor.
  2. The applicant must show evidence of funds of £945 in savings for 90 days prior to visa application or have a maintenance letter from an A rate sponsor.

As long as all the above requirements are met, you are eligible to apply for a UK internship Visa. Here is an awesome example of two foreign nationals obtaining placement with Infiniti RedBull Performance Engineering Academy through the tier 5 internship visa route, that we, Access Tier 5, Migreat Partners helped obtained by sponsoring their application.


After one of the worst recessions in recent history, Britain is booming again. Employers are competing nationally and internationally to snap up the next bright young things but sadly, not enough employers or international graduates are aware of this opportunity.

The opportunities are out there and Tier 5 GAE is a great option. There are definitely a few hoops to jump through but not as many as one might fear, so if you are an international graduate, get out there, spread the word and take advantage of a Visa program that will allow you to share knowledge, best practice and learn valuable skills you can take back to your home country.

zenia-chopraThis guest blog post is provided to you by Zenia Chopra, Head of Sales & Marketing at Access Tier 5, overarching body of the Tier 5 GAE route and partner of

3 thoughts on “Are you eligible for the UK Internship visa? ”

  1. Hi sir/madam Navjot singh here I got UK master degree in marketing management in 2011 .. I came back from uk last year .. Am I eligible for this visa ???


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