Visas and Eligibility

About the Tier 5 Visa

In order to take part in an internship in the UK, paid or unpaid, you must obtain a visa. This is an authorization issued by the UK Government permitting you to enter the UK. One of the primary requirements of that visa is that you have a sponsor and so, you must first apply to BUNAC, an A-rated sponsor in order to obtain sponsorship to be successful in obtaining the Tier 5 visa.

You may only begin the visa application process once you have successfully obtained a Certificate of Sponsorship from BUNAC. Upon issuing your Certificate of Sponsorship BUNAC will send you an email containing the Certificate and detailed instructions on the visa application process.

Eligibility Checklist

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Currently a full-time student in an Associates Degree or above, or recent graduate within the past 12 months.
  • Hold a current valid passport from outside the EEA
  • Hold an acceptable internship offer in the UK for up to 6 months
  • Have sufficient support funds
  • Hold an IELTs score of 6.0+ if from a non-English speaking country

Visa application process

1.     Create an account with the UK Border Agency to electronically fill out your visa application

2.     Complete visa application, schedule Biometrics appointment and submit visa fee (£225)

3.     Visit Biometrics appointment (this appointment is to enroll your fingerprints)

4.     Gather all necessary documents and send all necessary documents along with your passport to the UK Consulate General for processing

Visa regulations

  • BUNAC doesn’t find a placement for you, but we can offer some advice to help in your search
  • This visa is valid only for the internship and employer described in the Employer Application and Agreement - you cannot change your internship
  • You must enter the UK on or after the start date of your visa to have it stamped properly
  • You must leave the UK on the visa expiry date but you may then be able to re-enter the UK as a tourist (not to work)
  • This is a multiple entry visa so you can leave and re-enter the UK to travel during your internship as many times as you like
  • Participants cannot take dependents (spouse, children) with them on this visa
  • The whole visa application process including having your fingerprints taken will take a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • You will be without your passport for approximately 15 business days during this process
  • Visas are issued at the discretion of the British Government

  • You can not switch from the Tier-4 to Tier-5
  • You can not request a visa extension of the Tier-5. You must return to the US and complete the process a second time.

  • You may only apply for the Tier-5 visa from a country other than your own, if you are on a visa for that country that is affixed to your passport and for at least 6 months’ duration. You cannot apply for the Tier-5 visa from inside the UK.

  • BUNAC is not responsible for any delayed applications or visa refusals
  • BUNAC reserves the right to reject an application at any stage.