Any Erasmus+ student wishing to do an internship in the UK will need a T5 GAE Visa

Here is a guide for obtaining the right immigration documents.


Entry requirements have changed for European students coming to the UK and visas are now required for all students participating in the Erasmus+ traineeships (internships). The Tier 5 Visa – Temporary Worker, Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) scheme is the most suitable visa to apply for. Here at ESPA, we offer support both to the student and their university coordinator throughout the VISA application process.  

Before applying for a Tier 5 visa, applicants must first obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).  The CoS is obtained through your university coordinator, who makes the application to The British Council on your behalf. The only involvement from the host company is to sign the students’ internship agreement. The company hosting you does not need to be listed as a sponsor. 

You will not need £1,270 in savings because The British Council, as a fully approved category A-rated sponsor and will certify maintenance on your behalf and confirm that you will not claim benefits during your stay in the UK.  

Please note that applying for a CoS and applying for a visa are two separate processes. 


Applying for – Certificate of Sponsorship

You can apply for the CoS 3 months before the start of the internship, and it will take about 4 weeks to be approved. 

The British Council requires all incoming higher education (HE) applicants (students) to go through their home university Erasmus+ coordinator to get their CoS. 

It is the responsibility of Erasmus+ coordinators to:

  1. ensure that all documents are completed correctly.
  2. email the CoS applications in PDF format to Tier5erasmus@britishcouncil.org.

Documents to send to the British Council:

  1.  Tier 5 CoS Application Form 
    Here remember to:

    • State the same internship start and end dates that are written in the official offer letter from the host company. 
    • Fill in the “Project Reference Number”.  It is the Erasmus contract number that the university has with the European Commission.  This is compulsory, if it is not completed the application will be rejected.  
    • State the grant amount you expect to receive each month.
    • Sign it, and have your Erasmus/Internship coordinator sign it as well.
  2. Copies of the relevant pages of your passport 
    • In a PDF format including external cover and all personal ID details e.g. biometric page, leave stamps, etc.
  3. Confirmation Letter from Sending University

    • The letter from the sending university needs to be on headed paper with an official stamp, signed and dated by the appropriate signatory. 
    • Confirmation of the faculty you belong to and the degree being studied. 
    • Include the name of the host organisation. 
    • Add the start and end dates of the placement, ensuring they are the same as those stated on the CoS application form. 
    • Include expected graduation date. 
    • Include the grant amount in euros allocated per month to the student and match the amount listed on the CoS application.
  4. Acceptance Letter from Host Organisation
    •  It’s the internship offer letter from the host company in the UK
  5. Erasmus+ Learning Agreement for Traineeships
    • Filled in by the student, university, and host company. Just the “before the arrival” part is required. But remember to fill in all the spaces, tick all the appropriate boxes and sign it, all three parties.
  6. Student Transcript
    • A full transcript of your university grades translated into English, signed & stamped.
  7. If required, a copy of your criminal record/police check 
    • Please note that criminal record checks for overseas participants are only required for certain roles, e.g., working with children or in healthcare. We would urge you to read Home Office guidance and consult with your receiving host organisation to confirm if one is required. Examples of job roles which would require evidence of a police check would be a teacher or unsupervised volunteer. 

Please send a copy of your documents to ESPA to review before submitting 

All documents submitted must be merged in a single PDF file attachment, no .Zip folder will be accepted.

The file must be less than 10MB, otherwise, the application will be rejected.

Further information on How to apply.
Guide for Coordinators.

Applying for – VISA for Erasmus+ internship

  1. After receiving the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), check if you are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) prior to submitting your visa application. Please click here to see if this is applicable to you.
    • For internships less than 6 months, you do not need to pay this.

  2. Download the guide for Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Scheme Visa for Erasmus+ Internships
  3. Fill in an online application form and pay the fee.
    • If you have a biometric passport your visa will be added to your passport electronically once you have verified your identity.   
    • If you do not have a biometric passport, you will be directed to https://www.tlscontact.com/ where you can book an interview to submit required documents and have your fingerprints taken. 

Once you have verified your identity using one of the methods above, you will receive your visa within 3-4 weeks. 


There is a step-by-step VISA for Erasmus+ guide and a checklist linked here.