Why should I consider an internship in the UK after graduation?

In 2013, the OECD’s Better Life Index described the UK as one of the best countries to live and work in. The UK’s rich history, vibrant culture and worldwide reputation for academic and professional excellence are why many international students from all over the world want to live and work here.

However, with the lack of post-study work opportunities and the current restrictions around work visas, how does one gain this valuable work experience?

The simple answer is to use the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Visa scheme to stay in the UK for a year or two.

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The internship visa

The Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa scheme offers a smart alternative for trainee professionals who wish to come to the UK to share knowledge, best practice, and to experience the social and cultural life – without the bureaucracy and tight rules of Tier 2 work visas.

It allows UK employers to offer work experience programmes to skilled non-EEA graduate recruits who wish to undertake practical work experiences in the UK. It provides an excellent opportunity for both employers and migrant workers to assess their compatibility before both sides commit to a permanent position under alternative visa routes.

Helping international talent stay and gain work experience in the UK: Case study

Kate Andrews, Communications Manager and American Correspondent for Adam Smith Institute, is staying in the UK on this visa scheme.

When I finished my studies at University of St. Andrews, I took some time to figure out what my real interests were, where my skill-set lay, and what I would be most happy doing. The easy part was knowing that I wanted to work in the UK for a think tank in a role that I care deeply about, but the hard part was finding a think tank that had a Tier 2 sponsorship license and would also be willing to sponsor me for a work visa.

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Working abroad in a job I was really passionate about wasn’t going to be an option, if it hadn’t been for the Tier 5 GAE Visa scheme. It seemed too simple.

How it works

The Tier 5 sponsor organisation, Access Tier 5 promised to:

  1. a) Fully sponsor me for a 12 months visa;
  2. b) Offer their services for a fraction of what it would cost a company or organization to get a Tier 2 license;
  3. c) Support me every step of the way, from securing my visa to any work or visa related issues that came up throughout the year.

Once I had an official offer from my employer, Access Tier 5 conducted an assessment to ensure that I was eligible for the Tier 5 visa. Once my eligibility was confirmed, every worry was taken off my hands and it was simply a matter of filling in the visa application form, sending my documents to UK Home Office and waiting for the visa to arrive; the whole process took less than 3 weeks.

What you get from it

Tier 5 GAE visa helped me realise my dream placement with the Adam Smith Institute, which has now opened more doors for me than I ever had back over in the States.

Not only can I now say I worked abroad (all employers love to hear that), but I’ve had the opportunity to plan events in Westminster, get quoted in daily newspapers, do TV and radio appearances to advocate for the Institute’s policies, and speak at national conferences as a spokesperson for the Institute.

Every recent graduate has ambitions and skills to offer. New graduates, especially, need to be able to move freely and access all kinds of experiences and resources, and it’s organisations like Access Tier 5 that make all doors open and all opportunities possible.”

Two indian professionals

You never know where an internship might take you. If you want to work in the UK but believe the immigration rules are against you, don’t despair. Although it may appear daunting, Tier 5 GAE visa provides a perfect solution for genuine skilled candidates like Kate who want to stay in the UK to gain work experience.

So, if you are an international student and in a similar case to Kate, get in touch with migreat.com to find out your visa options to stay work in the UK, or if you already have an internship offer, get in touch with member of our team at Access Tier 5 via migreat.com forum to see if we can sponsor you under this route.

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 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 Migreat.com.

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