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Employers: Summer 2011 interns exempt from Tier 2 cooling off period

24 May 2012

Students who worked as interns in the UK last summer and want to return to a graduate job with the same company are now temporarily exempt from cooling off rules.

Cooling off rules, introduced to Tier 2 (General) in February this year, mean those who have left Tier 2 need to wait a year from the end of their last application before they can apply again through that route. This is similar to the arrangements we put in place for intra-company transfers last year.

To qualify for the temporary exemption, which is available until 31 Oct... ober, 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.

Tier 5 is the most appropriate route for internships and a number of Tier 5 (Government authorised exchange) schemes are available. Employers should use these in future if they are concerned about the impact of the cooling off period on their interns.

The Tier 2 policy guidance and sponsor guidance will be updated by 14 June. As this exemption is temporary, it will not be included in the Immigration Rules.