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Britain is open for business

Britain is open for business

While the summer holidays (Jun-Sep) are a popular time to visit the UK, you can apply and do an internship in Britain year-round. We advise starting your Intern UK application 4-6 weeks before your internship start date. Our UK-based team will always work as quickly as they can on your application – with additional options for priority processing along the way. However, each application is different – so please allow yourself as much time as possible to get through the process. 
Own Placement (If you have an internship offer) 
Standard – allow at least 6 weeks 
Priority – allow at least 4 weeks 
Placement Support (If finding a position on our Job Hub) 
If find a position on our Job Hub, please add 1-2 weeks to the above timeframes. If you are using a placement partner, your application will be subject to their timeframes. 

Intern in Britain FAQs

What’s the Temporary Work GAE visa?

Previously known as the Tier 5 visa, the Temporary Work GAE (Government Authorised Exchange) visa allows international students and graduates to come to the UK for a temporary period to do short-term work experience.

How long does the visa last?

BUNAC can sponsor internships for up to twelve months in duration. Your visa is only valid for the duration of your internship.

Can I request a visa extension?

It’s not possible to extend your visa. You’ll need to return to your home country and complete the process a second time with BUNAC for a different internship.

Which nationalities can apply?

The Intern in Britain program is open to all nationalities outside the UK.

Do I have to be a student?

Yes, you must be a full-time degree level student or have graduated within the last 24 months at the start of your internship. For more eligibility information, please check here.

Who issues the Temporary Work GAE visa?

The visas are issued by, and at the discretion of, UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).

Can I leave the UK during my visa?

Yes, the Temporary Work GAE visa is a multi-entry visa, so you can travel during your internship. Many BUNAC interns use the opportunity of being in the UK to travel to Europe.

Do BUNAC find me an internship?

BUNAC provide the sponsorship that allows you to apply for your visa to undertake an internship in Britain. Many students find placements through their university careers office, study abroad departments or family contacts etc. If you don't have an internship lined up, you can access vetted UK employers actively searching for international interns on our Job Hub. Our team can also help recommend placement partners to support your search. 

Can I change my internship?

Unfortunately not. Your visa and sponsorship are granted based on your application to complete a specific internship. If there is a problem at your internship, you should contact BUNAC for assistance.

Do I need travel insurance to intern in Britain?

Yes, it’s a visa and program requirement to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers for medical expenses and repatriation of at least USD $100,000. You can find your own travel insurance or get an online quote from our partners at eSecutive here.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage legislation establishes the rules under which employees in the UK must be paid, and covers situations where unpaid employment is permitted. The current UK minimum wage depends on your age, find out more here. Your internship must be a supernumerary, career-enhancing and a limited duration opportunity. The level of remuneration, if any, will be agreed in advance between yourself and your employer.

Can I do an unpaid internship?

Yes, 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're 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 organisation and strong objectives for each period. BUNAC are happy to consider a training plan before you apply to the Intern in Britain program.

Do I have to send off my actual passport when I apply for my visa?

If applying from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, you will need to send your passport to the visa application centre in your country as part of your visa application. You will then receive the visa back with the visa vignette stuck in your passport. If applying in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and have a biometric chip passport, you will receive an eVisa via email.

When can I start my application?

You cannot start the visa application process until you have your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), which will be issued to you by BUNAC once your internship has been approved. Find out more about the application process at the top of this page.

Is there an application deadline?

Applications are accepted by BUNAC year-round. However, you must allow sufficient time (minimum of 10 weeks) for your visa application to be processed. You cannot apply for your visa more than three months before the start date of your internship.

Will I need to go anywhere in person to complete the visa application process?

If applying from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, you will need to attend a biometrics appointment in person at a visa application centre. If applying in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and have a biometric chip passport, you will submit biometrics via the UK Immigration ID App. 

Do I need to be in a specific country to apply for the visa?

You must apply for your visa from the country that matches the nationality of your passport. If you are looking to apply from a country that differs to your passport nationality, you must provide a valid visa proving your residential status in that country.

Can I switch from a Tier 4 to a Temporary Worker GAE visa?

Yes, but you will need to meet the following criteria to switch your visa:

  • You must have completed a UK recognised bachelor's or master's degree during your Tier 4 visa.
  • You must be sponsored for the professional training or work experience which is required to gain a professional qualification or registration in the same field as your degree.


  • The internship is related directly to your degree.

You must apply for and have the Temporary Work GAE visa before your Tier 4 visa expires. We recommend applying a minimum of 12 weeks before the expiry of the Tier 4 visa. If applying to switch in the UK, there is a £19.20 biometrics fee payable. You will also be charged the immigration health surcharge fee (£624), even if you have already paid this for your Tier 4 visa. BUNAC must be satisfied that any student switching from a Tier 4 to a Temporary Work GAE visa does not intend to remain in the UK beyond the end of their internship.

Will the company I work for 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
Can I bring a dependent with me?

No, you cannot take a dependent (spouse, children) with you on this visa.

Can I work somewhere else while carrying out my internship?

Interns must not undertake any other work whilst being sponsored by BUNAC on their Temporary Work GAE visa.

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