Obtaining a visa
All offers are conditional upon ability to satisfy immigration requirements. If your visa application is declined, there is little that the IBA can do to help and you would be unable to take up your position.
Eligibility to intern in the UK
The IBA operates an equal opportunities policy and as such we welcome applications from everyone regardless of nationality or immigration status. However, it will be a condition of any internship offer that prior to commencing the internship placement, you are able to present evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK as at the commencement date.
The IBA therefore strongly advises all intern applicants to contact UK Visas and Immigration and/or the British mission in their home country to get the latest updated information on what they will require to be able to enter the United Kingdom in order to undertake an IBA internship.
Please note that if you hold a Tier 4 Student Visa which will expire either before the internship is due to start or during the dates of the internship placement, this will not allow you to be able to commence the internship. If your Tier 4 Student Visa has expired or will expire during the dates of the internship placement or you do not have an alternative valid UK Visa allowing you to work in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa. This may be possible via your home country or through BUNAC (more information below). Any such applications may require a return to your home country before re-entering the UK if you are currently working or studying in the UK.
If you hold a Tier 4 Student Visa that is valid for the dates of your internship, you may be restricted on your ability to work for only 20 hours per week during term time (full-time outside of term time). Unfortunately, as the IBA is only able to offer intern placements on a full-time basis (eg, 35 hours per week), we would therefore require written confirmation of your term dates and holidays from your educational institution/university before considering your application further.
Finally, please note that the IBA cannot itself provide Certificates of Sponsorship for intern placements.
BUNAC is an organisation which can facilitate volunteering and work opportunities in the UK. They are currently authorised by the UK Border Agency to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to successful applicants who can then apply for a Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa before entering Britain. BUNAC accepts applications all year round from students or recent graduates of any nationality in need of sponsorship. To be eligible you must be:
- Aged 18 or over;
- Currently a full-time student in an Associate’s Degree or above, or recent graduate within the past 12 months;
- Hold a current valid passport from outside the EEA;
- Hold an acceptable internship offer in the UK for up to 6 months;
- Have sufficient support funds;
- Hold an IELTs score of 6.0+ if from a non-English speaking country;
For further information, visit the BUNAC website. All interns are responsible for paying BUNAC for their service.
The above-mentioned immigration categories are available at date of writing. UK immigration rules are subject to change. We, therefore strongly suggest that you revert to the Government website for up to date guidance on the options open to you.
Visa for the USA
All applicants must ensure that they are legally permitted to work in the United States. Applicants from outside the U.S. must be able to comply with and obtain their own J-1 visas. Please consult the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor website for a list of Designated Sponsor Organisations.