I am a student and I want to do an internship in the UK, can I still come?

We understand the situation might seem complicated for students to come do an internship in the United Kingdom, after Brexit. 

This has been quite a journey for us all to learn, especially after the disappointing news of the UK not partaking in the new round of Erasmus+ funding for the period of 2021 – 2027. 

Fortunately, after a lot of contradicting messages and a lot of changes in regulations, we can positively answer: 

YES, students can still come to the UK to do an internship 

YES, they can do so with an Erasmus grant. 

And YES, at ESPA, we are continuing to help students finding a meaningful internship to kickstart their career! 

Erasmus+ funding

The Erasmus grant has been a major support, over the years, for millions of students to perform an internship abroad. 

It came as very disappointing news, for many, to hear the UK was pulling out of the new Erasmus programme and many thought that this would mean the end for thousands of students having the possibility to either study or do an internship in the United Kingdom. 

Every year, thousands of students came to the UK for an internship with an Erasmus+ grant! 

Thanks to the evolution of the new programme, it means the door is still open to students to come and have a valuable experience to start their career here! 

In the 2021 – 2027 Erasmus+ programme, *20% of the allocated money can be spent in international countries. 

Guess who is on that list of international countries? Yes, the United Kingdom is! 

Let’s imagine a University receives a pot of money, for a year, for £2,000,000 to allocate to students to do an internship. 

This University currently has 1,800 students, of which 500 students want to go abroad for an internship. 

With the *20% rule, this means that 100 students from this University will be able to get an Erasmus grant and come to the UK for their internship. 

Visa to come to the UK and do an internship.

You’ve got an internship sorted? Great! Now let’s talk about what you need to do to get your visa! 

The visa for students to do a work placement in the UK is called: Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa. 

Now that the UK is not part of the European Union, it is not possible to come to the UK as freely as before. 

Is it possible? Absolutely 100%! 

With the right information, it is not complicated to get your VISA approved! And as always, we at ESPA, will do everything we can to help! 

Let’s talk about sponsor!

To apply for a visa, you will need to get a certificate of sponsorship. 

What is a sponsor and what is its role? 

There are only a few sponsors that can grant a certificate of sponsorship for a student to come to the UK for an internship. At ESPA, we work closely with one sponsor, and we manage all the sponsorship paperwork for you. 

What documents do I need to get my certificate of sponsorship?
You will need: 

a) a confirmation letter that you are enrolled on a University degree course

b) a valid passport for the entire length of your internship

c) your internship agreement

d) a copy of your CV

We will complete the application for you, so you don’t have to worry about your certificate of sponsorship. 

How much does a certificate of sponsorship cost?
We are trying to minimise the cost for students as much as we can. There is a fee, which is payable to the sponsor, and this is a fixed price. We ask that you contribute €500 towards the certificate, and the balance will be paid by your host company! 

Apply for your visa!

Your certificate of sponsorship has arrived, hooray! Almost done! 

You now need to apply for your VISA. 

You have a biometric passport? Great!  

This will speed the process up as you can apply for your visa online. Once you have applied, it will take up to 3 weeks for your visa to be delivered. 

You don’t have a biometric passport?  

You will need use the TLS system and get an appointment at your closest TLS office. The process will take longer than with a biometric passport. 

How much does the visa cost?  

The visa cost is €314. You will need to apply for this yourself on the UK government website and pay them directly. Of course, ESPA will help you if you have any difficulties, or questions. 

You do not need to pay the healthcare surcharge if your internship is for 6 months or less.
If your internship is for more than 6 months, you will need to pay the healthcare surcharge, which is £624. 

How long does this process takes from start to finish? 

Once you have secured your internship, we suggest allowing 2 months, before you can start your internship, to complete the sponsorship and visa process if you have a biometric passport.