Intern in Britain FAQs

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The questions answered here cover a wide range of topics, however if you have any queries not addressed below we encourage you to contact us.

What is an EEA country?

The following countries are members of the EEA and citizens of these countries can not apply to the Intern in Britain programme: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Does BUNAC find me an internship?

BUNAC have two types of Intern in Britain programs - Intern in Britain, whereby BUNAC provide visa sponsorship for your pre-arranged internship and Intern in Britain Ultimate, whereby BUNAC organise your placement as well as provide your visa sponsorship. Many students find placements through their university careers office, study abroad departments, family contacts or through previous US employers etc. BUNAC also partner with organizations who can help find you a placement as well as provide in-country support. 

Can I do an unpaid internship on this program?

An internship may be unpaid on this program as long as it is a voluntary arrangement between the employer and intern. Your status would then be that of a "volunteer".  However being a volunteer does not simply mean that you are willing to work for no pay. Specifically, you and your employer must agree that you have no contract or formal arrangements and that you are under no obligation to perform any specific work or carry out instructions. You are able to come and go to work as you please and will have no expectation of, and will not receive, any payment or tangible benefit (including accommodation) for the work you do. BUNAC will verify this with your employer before issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship. 

BUNAC will consider the training plan and contact the employer to discuss the nature of the internship. We will look for good rotation around various departments/areas of an organization and strong objectives for each period. BUNAC are happy to consider a training plan before you apply to the Intern in Britain program.

What is National Minimum Wage?

National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation is the equivalent of Federal Minimum Wage laws in the USA. It establishes the rules under which employees in the UK must be paid, and also covers situations where unpaid employment is permitted. 

You can see the currrent National Minimum Wage on the UK Government's website

The internship must be a supernumerary, career-enhancing, limited duration opportunity. The level of remuneration, if any, must be agreed in advance between the intern and the employer. 

What does “'supernumerary' mean?

'Supernumerary' means that presence of an intern must not harm the resident labor market. Interns must not fill vacancies in the UK workforce and must undertake projetcs that are additional to the employer's normal staffing requirements.

If I don't like my internship, can I complete an internship with a different employer?

No. Your visa only applies to the company and internship specified on your Certificate of Sponsorship.  You can not undertake another internship at a different employer under any circumstances. If there is a problem at your internship you should contact BUNAC for assistance.

What if I change my address or contact information?

It is your responsibility to keep BUNAC informed at all times of your residential and work address, e-mail and contact phone number.

Can I stay in the UK after my visa?

Interns cannot overstay their visas but they are typically granted 7 days before the start of their internship and 7 days at the end of the internship. The date by which you must leave the UK will be stated on your visa. If you wish, you may then leave the UK and re-apply to enter under a different status (e.g. as a tourist). Permission to enter and stay is granted at the discretion of the immigration official at port of entry.

Is there an application deadline?

Applications are accepted by BUNAC year-round. However you must allow sufficient time (minimum of 10 weeks) for your application to be processed and to apply for a UK visa before you leave the US to start your internship. We recommend you apply as early as possible. However, you cannot apply for your visa more than three months before the start date of your internship.

 
What should be included in a training plan?

The structure of a training plan is entirely at the discretion of the employer and will depend on the nature of the internship. However, as a guide it may be split into weeks/months/projects, detailing what the intern will be involved with, the objectives for that period and who will be supervising the intern during each period. BUNAC require a full understanding of what the intern will be involved with in order to ascertain that the internship is at the required level for sponsorship.

What do I need to provide for proof of insurance?

BUNAC needs to see explicitly in your summary of benefits that you are covered with a payout benefit of at least $500,000 as well as repatriation of remains. Without a document that states repatriation of remains coverage exactly BUNAC will be unable to accept the proof. You can purchase our policy that meets all requirements for this visa.

What do I need to show for proof of support funds?

BUNAC needs to see a document that shows: the letterhead of your bank, account holder's name, type of account, date the document was generated and the present available balance. All documents submitted must reflect an account that has funds available for immediate withdrawal; CD's or other investment accounts may not be accepted. All documents should be generated in the last 30 days. Participants may submit proof of support funds from an account that is not in their name as long as it is accompanied by a letter of support from that account holder. Letters of support may be uploaded to your BUNAC account.

You will need to show proof of $1,200 USD / £945.

Can you provide a letter of recommendation instead of BUNACs reference form?

Yes. BUNAC requires a general character reference for the Intern in Britain application. This may be a letter of recommendation or our reference form filled out by a previous professor or employer.

Who requires an IELTS?

If English is not your first language you need to provide proof of English Language skill with an IELTS score of 6.0+.

You will need to book your test through the official IELTS website and select an appointment date. Appointments are twice weekly, and there are over 1000 centers worldwide to choose from with 60 within the United States. The test costs around £145 and the results will be available 13 days from the date of your test. If you are from an English speaking country you will not be required to provide this, for example America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. Our team will contact you for an IELTs if they determine that you need one

Will my company require a pre-site visit?
BUNAC will conduct a site visit prior to approving your internship for any company if any of the below statements apply:
  • Have fewer than 20 full-time employees
  • Have less than £3 million turnover
  • Have been trading as a UK company for less than 2 years.

 

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