UK immigration to exempt student interns from cooling off period

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UK immigration has announced that students who worked as interns in the UK last summer and wish to return to a graduate job with the same company this summer are now temporarily exempt from Tier 2 cooling off rules. The cooling off rules, introduced to Tier 2 (General) this past February, required Tier 2 migrants to wait at least 12 months from the expiration of their previous visa before they may apply for a further Tier 2 visa.

The temporary exemption will apply to all those making applications until 31 October 2012. In order to qualify you must:
  • be sponsored by the same company where you worked as an intern in the summer of 2011;
  • have previously been granted permission under Tier 2 (General) with that company for a temporary job lasting no more than 4 months as an intern or a summer associate;
  • have completed a degree course within 18 months of your application;
  • be returning to the UK on a graduate trainee scheme; and
  • be making a Tier 2 (General) application with a start date on the certificate of sponsorship of 31 October 2012 or before.
Another option for interns is the Tier 5 visa where a number of Tier 5 (Government authorised exchange) schemes are available. If employers are concerned about the impact of the cooling off period on their interns, it is recommended they apply for a Tier 5 visa instead of a Tier 2 visa.

Before you apply under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange category, you must have:
  • a sponsor (the overarching body); and
  • a valid certificate of sponsorship.
You may be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 12 or 24 months under this category, depending on the scheme you are using and the length of time of your work as shown on your certificate of sponsorship.

If you would like to apply for a UK visa can help. is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.