Category Archives: Study Visas

Information for Students on visas available for them to study and work on the side or extend their stay after graduating.

EU Immigration Authorities Can Only Refuse a Student Visa if a Person is a Risk to National Security

International students wishing to study in the European Union should not be denied a student visa by local authorities if they satisfy European entry requirements says the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This ruling comes with major implications for foreign students hoping to study at European universities.

The ruling
The ruling, published in September 2014 by the ECJ, concerns Mohamed Ali Ben Alaya, a Tunisian student who had been accepted to study mathematics at the Technical University of Dortmund and applied to the German authorities for a student visa.

The German immigration authorities refused his visa, saying that his grades weren’t high enough and he wouldn’t have time to learn German to an adequate standard before the course began.

Ben Alaya brought his case to the administrative court in Berlin, which in turn consulted the ECJ on the validity of the refusal. The Berlin court wanted to know if the German Immigration authorities were allowed to refuse his visa even though Mohamed Ali Ben Alaya fulfilled all the minimum requirements laid out by a 2004 European Commission directive on students from outside the EU.

Basically, the Berlin Court wanted to know if the Directive set up an exhaustive list of minimum requirements to meet or if national governments could add more requirements on top.

The applicant claimed to have proven that he met all the requirements, including the availability of financial resources; as for his proficiency in German, he claimed that he had mastered the language well enough to study mathematics, and that the entry level course was sufficient to bridge any gaps.

The ECJ concluded that the German authorities should have accepted the student visa, since the applicant appeared to meet the requirements of the EU’s current directive on non-EU students and did not pose a threat to public policy, security or health.

The Directive
The Directive was set out to promote the European Union as a “world centre of excellence for studies and vocational training.”

Requirements for non-EU students set out by the Directive are:

  • holding a valid passport or ID;
  • subscribing to an EU recognised health insurance programme;
  • to not be regarded as a threat to public policy, public security or public health;
  • have been accepted by an establishment of higher education to follow a course of study;
  • provide the evidence that during his/her stay he/she will have sufficient resources to cover his/her subsistence (amount determined by each country), study and return travel costs (i.e a paid flight/train ticket back to the country of origin);

and if the member state requires, provide evidence of

  • sufficient knowledge of the language of the course to be followed by him/her;
  • the applicant has paid the fee for processing the application;
  • the applicant has paid the fees charged by the establishment.

Implications for future foreign students
The ruling has significant implications for non-EU students looking to study in Europe.

First, it states that requirements to apply to study in Europe have been established exhaustively by the Directive, so that national government cannot add further requirements. Indeed, the aim of the directive was to harmonise access to EU Universities for non-EU students.

Secondly, the EU court confirms national authorities can only refuse a student visa if a person is a risk or a threat to public security and the rest falls into the hands of higher education establishments. So when it comes to a student’s language skills, which under the directive must be adequate before admission can be granted, it is the university’s opinion that counts.

While the right to come study in Europe is not too controversial, it is possible that EU countries will try regain more control by setting up quotas of student visa or restrain access to the local labour market. The UK, Ireland and Denmark are not concerned by the Directive.


UK Visa Changes Affecting International Students

A lot of misleading information is being shared on the internet about the new UK immigration rules and how they affect the rights of international students.

At Migreat, as much as we want to keep up to date with the news, we also want to ensure we provide the most reliable and clearest information. Hence, we cannot publish immigration news as it is shared. We wait to hear from several trusted sources to confirm any new information. If Migreat isn’t the fastest to react and write about changes to student visa rules – rest assured that it is because the news hasn’t been verified yet.

Migreat will update our readers with the most up-to-date information and connect you with experts who are abreast of the latest changes and can answer your visa questions.

We recently received a surge of questions from students about the proposed changes and we wanted to take the chance to reply to the most common questions. For each question, we will link to a trusted source for more detailed information The rules are changing only for some international students. It depends on where you are studying. Hence, this is why we are splitting this article into two parts: those at UK universities and those at UK Colleges.

International students at UK universities

How much savings do I need to prove to apply for a student visa? [Starting 12th November 2015]
Starting in November, first time international students and students extending their time will have to prove they have access to significantly more savings than before.

Depending on the length of your course and the location of your university the amount will vary. International students studying in London will have to prove that they have more savings than international students studying outside London. Students will also need to show that they can financially support themselves for up to nine months or the full length of the course, whichever is shorter.

Example: A student studying in London that needs to stay for a nine month course will have to demonstrate that they have at least £11,385 in the bank (that is £1,265 per month). For a student outside of London to study for nine months, the amount needed in the bank is £9,135 (£1,015 per month).


Can I extend my stay on my student visa at the same level? [Starting 3rd August 2015]
If you are extending your stay on a student visa, the new rules state that you will have to show you are moving up a level on the National Qualifications Framework. If you want to extend your studies at the same level you will only be able to do so if the proposed course is linked to the previous one or if it supports your career aspirations (the later if approved and validated by your university).

Can I work after graduation?

Yes, and there are a few work/business long term visas that you can apply for depending on the type of work and the role you have been offered and/or salary you will be paid. You should know that the government is reviewing tier 2 visa minimum salary requirements – and is likely to raise them by at least £10,000.

If you are looking to stay after graduation to work on a tier 2 general visa, it is likely that your company will have to pay more than the current £20,800 minimum annually in order to sponsor you. Verify if you may be eligible for one of the visas via Migreat’s UK visa assistant.

I am the spouse or dependent of an International Student here. Can I work? [Date yet to be confirmed]
A proposal yet to be finalized suggests that spouse and dependants of student visa holders will only be allowed to work in skilled/Highly-skilled full time jobs . This has yet to be confirmed and implemented.

International students at Further Education Colleges

Am I allowed to work part-time while studying? [Starting 3rd August 2015]
No. Students at publicly funded colleges will no longer be allowed to work 10 hours a week after August 2015. Note that this new rule will apply to international students who apply for their tier 4 visa on or after 3 August, but won’t apply retrospectively to students already here.

Can I extend my student visa or switch to a Work visa from within the UK? [Starting November 2015]
No, you will have to apply from outside the UK to make an extension or to apply for a work visa.

Can I extend my studies with any education provider? [Starting 12th November 2015]
You will not be able to extend your studies in the UK unless they are registered at an institution with a formal link to a university.

How Many years maximum can I be granted if I apply for a student visa for a FE college? [Starting 12th November 2015]
Study visas at Further Education level will be cut from three years to two.

Do you have questions about your UK student visa applications and you rights as an international student in the UK? Ask @migreat for answers.

Where International Students to Europe are From

How many migrants come to Europe to study each year? Migreat dug into the data about Europe’s five major education markets and has summed it up in what we think is a beautiful infographic.

Infographic Students to Europe v2-01-01-01

Main circles – Top 10 country of origin
The above infographic depicts the top 10 countries of origin for international students for each of the five major study abroad destinations in Europe.

Each circle represents a country, from the least popular of the five European countries (Spain attracts just 1.5% o international students globally) to the most attractive (the UK attracts 11% of all international students).

The bars on the edge of a circle represent the international student country of origin. The size of the bar is proportional to the volume of international students from that country compared to other nationalities for that single education hub.

You can spot a few countries like China, Morocco, Germany and  Italy – which are major sources of international students to Europe.

Bottom bars – Absolute volumes of International Students to Europe
The bars at the bottom put these proportions in perspective by their absolute values. For example, there are almost 8 times more international students in the UK than in Spain.

Comparing volumes of international students from one country to another instead of nationalities enables everything to be put into perspective.

For example, Indian students are only in the top 10 for the UK. Indians do not appear to be moving to other European hubs in significant numbers to study.

Still, from an absolute numbers perspective, there are more Indians studying abroad in the UK (almost 30,000) than Moroccans (first country of origin of international students to France) studying abroad in France (28,000 approx).

Future of International student immigration to Europe?
With immigration rules for international students in the UK changing and tightening, the volumes and the countries of origin for international students will likely be affected.

Will Indian students start studying in France after the French government confirmed to offer a Post-study work visa for Indians of two years? Or will they move to Germany where the Government is proactively looking to attract Indian workers with a job employment platform built for them to find work in Germany?

What is certain, is that continental Europe has set goals to attract more international students to its universities and for this, they have laid down attractive offers:

Need help with your student visa application? Ask online to Migreat Immigration experts.

Indian students can stay work for two years after graduation in France

Indian students in France will enjoy a special two-year residence permit after graduation to enable them to stay and look for work.

Modhi Hollande French Student VIsa

The agreement was announced by President Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this April 2015 in Paris. The post-study work visa will be available for indian students graduating from a french institution only.

This post-study work visa is likely to raise the number of Indian students applying to study in France; as it did for Germany when it announced a 18 months post study visa for all its international students.

It make Frances a more attractive destination to those International graduate students that contracted a loan to study abroad as they will have the chance to repay it by working after graduation. There are currently 2,600 Indian students in France.

Indian students usually choose the UK as their first destination for abroad study among all countries in Europe. However, the recent removal of the option for UK international students to stay after graduation (the closure of the PSW route)  has had dramatic direct impact on numbers of applicants to UK Universities. Indeed, the UK experienced a straight 49% drop of applications from Indian students a year later. 

The French Government latest decision on making it easy for Indian students to come study and look for work in France is likely to have a positive impact to raise the profile of France as a destination country instead of the UK. France’s Universities are also much cheaper on average than UK ones.

Also, France will implement expedited 48-hour visa issuance for Indian tourists.

The two-year permit visa and new fast tracked tourist visas will not have an immediate impact on students, but it may affect prospective students’ decision about where to study in the long run – and help students currently in France easily bring their family for vacations or family tourism.

Get more information on where to go study in Europe and be provided with your to-do list of documents to apply to a any european visa on

Get a guide to go study in Europe

The top European countries where International Students are welcomed in 2015

Studying abroad has become more accessible. In 2014, 4 million students chose to study abroad, 2 million more than back in 2000.

Yet, going on a study abroad program remains a risk: most international students will use of a loan or family money to pay the university fees and living costs- without a guarantee that he/she will be able to pay it off back.

Here is a list of what the top 5 European countries have to offer for international students in terms of visa, tuitions fees, work while studying and courses compared.

It is ordered from the cheapest to study at (fees + costs of living) to more expensive.

Studying in Germany by

1. Germany

Germany is actively looking to recruit International Students in the next years. Germany has lots to offer:

Germany has abolished tuition fees at public institutions: This means that will only have to pay for admin fees around €100 to €250 a semester  and living costs (this does not apply to private universities and for most Masters students expect if you have studied a bachelor in Germany before)

– A simple student visa process; and a no-visa policy for courses of less than 3 months for international students coming from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA. 

– A two years maximum visa for international students taking on a German Language course in Germany.

– The right to work part-time while studying; and stay after graduation for 18 months on a post-study work visa, that allows work too.

– A welcoming job market for international students: the government created a website to help foreigners find jobs and has created specific initiatives to recruit foreign workers from Asia. For the record, a recent statistics quoted that 68% of International students found a job after graduation in Germany.

Studying in France by

2. France

France and its world known capital Paris is an attractive destination for International students speaking French or interested in learning French. However, you should know that French universities are quite picky about who they accept and expectations are high. Nevertheless you should consider studying in France because

– Education matters in France, so you are sure to get a quality and world class education while studying there.

– France excels in the following courses: Nuclear, Space and Aviation, Engineering, Teaching, Linguistics, Art, History, and Medicine.

– Annual tuitions fees are set by the French Government for Higher Education Universities: from €200 to €700 maximum depending on the course. Fees for private institutions—particularly schools of business and management—is generally higher, fluctuating between €3,000 to €10,000 a year.

– Finding a job in France is not easy because of high rates of unemployment and strict rules over employment contracts. This said, you can work while you study or look for work for a year after graduation if related to you course.

Masters’ and engineering students can apply for a further one year, non-renewable temporary residence permit, which allows to work in any job up to 60 percent of a normal working week.

If the work offers a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, students can change status from student to employee and work full-time.

Study in Italy by

3. Italy

Italy’s your destination of choice if you are interested in History, Arts and living a unique millenary culture. Italy’s research and higher education system has good reputation for excellent standards.

– A knowledge of Italian is highly recommended to enjoy your stay but not compulsory to get the visa.

– Italy offers incredible diversity of courses in Fine Arts, Fashion and History – especially related to the period of the Renaissance.

– The average fees at University is in between 850 euro and 1,000 euro per year.

– There are many scholarships available to International Students and an extra efforts is made by the government to help students from poorer countries.

Working while studying is allowed up to 1,024 hours a year, and international students with a masters degree or abovs can stay for up to 12 months after graduation to look for a job.

Study in Madrid by migreat

4. Spain

Spain became a hub for international students thanks to the successful Erasmus Program implementation there – European Union program to encourage EU students study abroad. Spain remains an attractive destination, especially for Latin American students who benefits from the common language and easier visa rules.

– Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, and second most spoken in the Western world. Improving your spanish early might open to you many more doors tomorrow.

– Tuition starts at €5,500 per semester and can go up to €12,000 per semester.

– You can work part-time while studying or even full-time for less than three months if it does not conflict with your studies.

– Spain Higher Education holds great reputation for its Law courses and humanities. Studying those topics can open to you other European countries where these diplomas are recognised.


5. UK

UK remains the first destination for International Students in 2014. With an excellent Higher Education reputation and offer, UK Universities have it easy to sell themselves. However the recent changes in fees and visa rules might change UK’s leadership in the sector.

– UK has a clear advantage of being the country’s where English is from and spoken everyday. The Language commonly spoken in Business and the second most spoken language after Chinese.

– University tuitions fees are the highest of all European Countries. On average, International Students University fees starts at £10,500 and can go as high as £20,000 if you are aiming at specific courses in finance and management. There are plenty of scholarships available to check.

– Student Visa for the UK are hard to get. It requires to prove a good knowledge and practice of the English Language and that you can financially support yourself, along providing the right documents. Always ask an expert for visa guidance and advice if you have doubts.

– Working while studying is restricted to 20 hours a week . UK’s job market is quite flexible and vibrant so it is not too hard for International students to find a part-time job.

– However, work after graduation is difficult to find because of strict rules over post-study work visas. International Students to work after graduation will either need to find a job that can be sponsored by an employer; or an internship that pays the minimum wage; or start your own company.


Studying abroad can prove to be a fruitful investment if well thought through.

International students may want to think of the topic of study and the language in which they wish to study the course before looking for universities and tuitions fees.

Studying abroad is expensive make sure you make the most of the many scholarship available for international students in Europe.

International Students are Immigrants too

For International Migrants Day, Migreat is celebrating migration around the world with a blog post a day.

Today, Migreat’s blog looks at a growing category of migrants with a power to influence the world we live in tomorrow: the international students.


International student numbers have doubled since 2000 to reach 4.5 million in 2012. Most international students are heading to developed countries with 75% of them studying in an OECD country.

The battle to attract talent is fierce. International students are estimated to bring net benefits to the economy: international students not only pay full university fees, they also finance a whole industry made of accommodation suppliers, banks and mobile phone providers.

The amount of money spent by Higher Education Universities in the UK to recruit those students is estimated at £57,8 million, for a return of £3,5 billion in tuition fees.

The top countries of destination for international students by numbers are

  • United States (18%)
  • United Kingdom (11%)
  • France (7%)
  • Australia (6%)
  • Germany (5%)
  • Russian Federation (4%)
  • Japan (4%)
  • Canada (3%)

It is likely to change in the next years with the growing attractiveness of Canada and Germany as a destination and cheaper option than the US or UK; and difficulties to gain short work experience after studying in the UK and southern European countries.

The British Council created an infographic out of data on international student numbers and nationality, coupled with an explanation over drops and increases in some nationalities’ numbers.

British Council International Students Widget

What’s moving those students?

The British Council infographic data highlights roughly three factors influencing the migration flows of students: financial context, the educational offer and immigration rules of the receiving country.

Fluctuation in currency values, access to scholarships or student loan opportunities and a country’s education sector financing are main financial elements that drastically impact international students flows.

It is all about the money

Just think of the drop in Indian students (-47%) since 2011 going to UK Universities. Since 2011, the Indian Rupee has decrease of value of 50% ( £1GBP buying 70 INR in 2011, now in 2014 approximately 100INR) causing many indian international students to drop their dreams of financing their studies, and looking at student loans as a solution.

Similarly, Germany has dropped its students fees for all and also international students. Since then, it has seen a surge in applications from overseas students coming from low income countries like Bangladesh (29.3%), Iran, Egypt and Pakistan.

Show me your visa

Immigration rules also have a play. It is often argued that the drop in Indian and Pakistani student numbers in the UK are not just the fact of fees, and are reinforced by stricter immigration rules; mainly tougher student visa requirements and the closure of the post-study work visa.

Migreat blog covered the topic extensively this year, and UK Higher Education Institution Representatives have repeatedly voiced their concerns.

Indeed, the possibility to work in the foreign country while studying is essential for many international students that heavily rely on private loans to pay tuitions fees.

Also, international students are taking a risk investing in education abroad. The chances of finding a work after graduating to pay back the loan and gaining meaningful work experience that can be recognised back home, is an important element influencing the decision to study abroad.

Competitive Marketing

Although not very obvious in the infographic, it can’t be ignored that universities are heavily marketing themselves abroad. Bright students are not the privilege of just some countries. Governments are embracing this idea by growing their pool of talents with international students in the aim of boosting economic competitive advantage.

Canada, Australia and Germany are perfect examples of countries where the government is actively working hard to market the education sector in order to attract more talents to come and stay. Germany expects it to reverse the damaging effect an ageing population would have on its economy. Canada is investing in international students to keep its economy attractive and innovative. Australia continues to attract international students as a mean to keep growing its influence within a globalised economy.

Love, what else?

However and finally, one aspect of studying abroad is rarely reflected in numbers but has acted as a major driver too: dating opportunities. According to a study published by the European Commission, the Erasmus program, the popular EU youth mobility scheme that enabled million of European students study in a different EU country gave birth to one million babies. The study suggests that more than a quarter of those who take part in its long-running Erasmus scheme meet their long-term partner while studying abroad – and that more than one million babies may have been produced as a result.


At Migreat, we are supporting anyone studying abroad and will help you migrate where you heart belongs. Get guidance over courses abroad, universities and visas via

Grants for International Students: Italy to provide equal access for students from poor countries

A new Italian regulation makes it easier for non-EU prospective students to access financial support.

The new regulation on grants provided to students confirms the right of non-EU students to access services and grants that support the right to study on equal footing with Italian students.
Special provisions will apply on how to establish the economic situation of the student. In particular a decree adopted each year lays down the list of poorest countries from which students are most likely to be able to prove their poor economic situation. For students coming from one of these countries, a declaration by the Diplomatic representative that they do not belong to a rich and high-ranked family.

Afganistan Angola Bangladesh Benin Bhutan Burkina Faso Burundi Cambogia Central African Rep. Chad Comoros Congo Dem. Rep. Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia Guinea Guinea Bissau Haiti Kenya Kiribati Korea, Dem. Rep. Kyrgyz Rep. Laos Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mozambique Myanmar Nepal Niger Rwanda Samoa Sao Tome & Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Solomon Islands Somalia South Sudan Sudan Tanzania Tajikistan Timor-Leste Togo Tuvalu Uganda Vanuatu Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe.

Link to the decree:

Get your visa to-do lists of documents to apply for an Italian Student visa on

German Universities now all free of tuition fees for International Students

Universities in Germany are now free of tuition fees for all including international students. Yesterday, Lower Saxony became the last of seven German states to abolish their tuition fees, which were already extremely low.

German universities had been charging for tuition since 2006. The measure proved unpopular, and German states began dropping them one by one. It is now all gone throughout the country, even for foreigners.

This means that now, both domestic and international undergraduate students at public universities in Germany are able to study in Germany for free, with just a small fee to cover administration– usually between €150 and €250 (US$170-280)  – and other living expenses costs per semester (food, transport, accommodation, entertainment, course materials and other necessities).

Germans barely had to pay for undergraduate study even before tuition fees were abolished. Semester fees averaged around €500 ($630). It is now gone.


Free education is a concept that is embraced in most of Europe with notable exceptions like the U.K., where the government voted to lift the cap on university fees in 2010, and tripled the tuition fees therefore. The measure has reportedly cost more money than it brought in. The Guardian reported last March that students are failing to pay back student loans.

Maybe for now, learning German might be the best financial choice an high school student can make.


Find out about German Universities offering English only Bachelor Degree.


This article was originally published October 2014 and last updated November 2015.

Post study work route: what’s the evidence of its impact?

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration (APPG on Migration) published a report analysing the opportunities international students have for work in the UK after they finish university since the removal of the Post-Study Work Visa in 2011.


The report found that since the closure of the post-study work visa route, there has been a decrease of 88% in the number of students securing visas to stay work in the UK after university.

Businesses especially SME’s and startups have reported difficulty finding the right skills to recruit on the local market and have voiced real concerns not being able to easily hire international talents. Competitor countries, including Germany, Canada and Australia, offer far more generous post-study & work opportunities than the UK currently does.

UK Universities, under a budget cut since 2011, have also complained of a loss of revenue. 20% of the total universities output is generated from the enrolment of non-EU students. The UK’s intake of students from overseas declined in 2012-13 for the first time in 29 years.

Overall, the APPG reports that alternative visa routes have failed to retain international students talent and tat the removal of the PSW has prevented skilled graduates from contributing to the UK jobs market.

Reasons for the closure of the post-study work route
The closure of the post-study work route was justified by Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May, who said the route was being abused by “foreign graduates staying on in the UK to work in unskilled jobs”.

Ministers have been at pains to prove with facts that foreign graduates were taking the jobs of locals. As well, it has been at rooting out the abuse of graduate students working in low-skilled occupations.

However, the Home Office’s objectives are to ‘reduce net migration’ to the 100,000 by ‘tightening and [making] strict changes to immigration rules.

The route left for international students to stay work in the UK

The government’s Tier 2 (General) visa has been seen as the only option left to international students after graduation to stay work in the UK. The visa route will only allow students to work if they can find an employer with a Home Office-sponsored license, who is willing to pay at least £20,300 a year, and only to students at Bachelor’s, Master’s or PHD degree level. Postgraduate diplomas (apart from PGCE & PGDE teaching qualifications) are disqualified from this scheme.

The government introduced the new Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa route, which reduces the capacity to freely setup a business but allows approved business idea from graduate students with a university sponsorship (only selected universities) to stay and set up a UK business.

Since its inception in 2012 (for the first 3 quarters) 129 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas had been issued to graduate entrepreneurs, a low number if reported to the 2,000 visas available. A main reason suggested to explain low numbers is the fear from universities to lose their sponsor licenses.

The government’s push for international students to move on to Tier 2 visas has not taken into account the needs of start-ups in Tech and low graduate starting salaries in sectors such as Creative Industry. It also allows a disparity in pay, non-EEA graduates have to be on base pay of £20,300 while domestic and EU graduates can be employed for much cheaper.

Thanks to Awale Olad, Public & Parliamentary Affairs Officer at MRN, and coordinating the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration – for the collaboration on this article. The APPG on Migration supports cross-party parliamentarians with their work in both the House of Commons and House of Lords, previously launched an inquiry into the impact of the closure of the family migration route.

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