Tier 5 visa sponsorship for UK employers offering work experience to non-EEA nationals

For employers

Is the scheme open to all employers?

The scheme is open to all UK employers other than as outlined below:

1. Hospitality sector or Care sector: Employers seeking to bring interns into a business operating in the Hospitality sector or the Care sector can apply to use the Scheme provided that they themselves hold an A-rated Tier 2 sponsor licence.

2. Agriculture sector: The UK Border Agency has ruled that this sector cannot participate in the Scheme. Employers in the Agriculture sector who require interns should contact the UK Border Agency.

Do Employers need to hold a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence?

No, not all Employers are required to hold a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence in order to use the Tier 5 Intern scheme. Except for employers in the Hospitality & Care Sectors who are required to hold a Tier 2, A Rated Sponsor Licence.

How much does it cost?

The cost of registering as an Employer under the Tier 5 Intern scheme is £750 + VAT which includes the cost of the first Certificate of Sponsorship that we issue on the Employer’s behalf. Thereafter, each Certificate of Sponsorship issued is charged at £750 +VAT. More details

What information do you need to be able to register?

The Employer registration checklist provides a summary of the information that an Employer will need in order to complete the Employer registration application form.

Can an Immigration Advisor register on behalf of their client?

Yes – a registered Immigration Advisor can complete the Employer registration application form on behalf of their clients. However, we would require the Employer themselves to accept the Terms & Conditions and attend the pre-approval meeting.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a 'virtual document' assigned by a licensed Sponsor to a migrant who wishes to work for them in the UK. The migrant must quote the Certificate of Sponsorship reference number when applying for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the points-based system.

What does ‘supernumerary’ mean?

A supernumerary role is a role which is not part of an Employer’s manpower complement, or headcount and where the work that a supernumerary worker is doing is additional to the employer's normal staffing requirements. In other words, if the worker was not there, the role would not need to be filled by anyone else.

A good ‘test’ to judge whether your role is ‘supernumerary’ is to ask: “If the intern could not do the role for any reason, would you need to recruit someone to do the work that the intern is doing” If the answer is “No”, then the role can be deemed to be “supernumerary”.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

Current UK National Minimum Wage Rates are published here

How do you assess whether a role requires a minimum skill level of NVQ Level 3, or above?

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) level 3 is a qualification that shows competence that involves the application of knowledge in a broad range of varied work activities performed in a wide variety of contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine. There is considerable responsibility and autonomy and control or guidance of others is often required.

How do you assess whether a degree is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree?

NARIC is the organization in the UK that is responsible for comparing international qualifications to the UK Qualification Framework.

If you are in doubt regarding whether a qualification is comparable to a UK bachelor’s degree, then you can contact NARIC directly to request an official assessment and “Statement of Comparability”.

Is there any age limit?

Interns must be at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit.

How does a registered Employer request a Certificate of Sponsorship under the scheme?

Registered Employers who have been approved to join the scheme will be able to request a Certificate of Sponsorship by returning a completed CoS Request Form template with required supporting documentation (see form for details) to the scheme administrators by email.

Employers who are not yet registered and approved to join the Tier 5 Intern scheme should first apply to register.

How long can the intern stay in the UK?

We can sponsor internships for any period up to a maximum of 12 months.

An intern will be able to remain in the UK provided that they hold a valid visa. The visa ‘valid from’ and ‘expiry’ dates are clearly printed on the visa when it is issued.

If the intern is given permission to stay under the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker: Government Authorised Exchange) category, the intern will be able to live and work in the UK for the period that their visa is valid for which should either be for the period of employment listed on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 28 days, or up to a maximum time of 12 months, whichever is shorter.

Is it possible to extend a Tier 5 visa?

The maximum period of time that an individual can remain in the UK on a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker: Government Authorised Exchange) visa is 12 months.

If your intern has a Tier 5 visa for less than 12 months, then they may be able to apply for a visa extension, provided that all eligibility criteria are met. Please contact us directly to discuss this further.

A Tier 5 (Temporary Worker: Government Authorised Exchange) visa cannot be extended beyond 12 months.

More details regarding how to make an application to extend a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker: Government Authorised Exchange) visa, are available on the UK Border Agency website.

Can an intern travel in and out of the UK once they have their Tier 5 visa?

An intern will be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship which requests a ‘multiple entry’ visa. If they are successfully awarded ‘UK Visa Entry Clearance’, this would allow them to enter and exit the UK, for the period that the visa is valid subject to approval by immigration officers at the UK Border.

Further guidelines regarding freedom to travel abroad are available from the UK Border Agency website.

Before the intern travels abroad, they should contact the embassy of the country they want to visit, to check whether a person with their immigration status will be allowed to enter that country.

Can an intern bring their dependants?

We are not able to sponsor dependants under the Tier 5 Intern scheme. The intern will be responsible for making any applications to bring their dependants themselves.

For information about bringing dependants to the UK please refer to the guidelines on the UK Border Agency website.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us directly.