2011 Interns to be exempted from Tier 2 cooling off period

The UKBA has announced that students who worked as interns in the UK last summer, and who now wish to return to the UK to take a graduate job with the same company, will be exempt from the “cooling off” rule.

The rule was introduced to Tier 2 General applicants in February this year.  The rule was introduced to Tier 2 General applications in February this year.  It means that Tier 2 workers whose visas have expired will have to wait a year from the expiration date of their previous visa before they can make a fresh application under Tier 2.

Interns who were in danger of being caught out by the cooling off period will now qualify for the exemption as long as they:

• have previously been granted permission under Tier 2 (General) with that company for a temporary job lasting a maximum 4 months as an intern or summer associate;
• are sponsored by the same company that they were interning for during the summer of 2011;
• have completed a degree course within 18 months of their application; and
• are making a Tier 2 (General) application with a start date on the certificate of sponsorship of 31 October 2012 or before.

Those wishing to qualify for the exemption should note that it is a temporary measure and is only available until 31 October.

The UKBA has also advised employers wishing to hire foreign interns in future to use the Tier 5 category for temporary workers in order that their interns are not adversely affected by the cooling off period.

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