The UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced on May 24 2012 that students who worked as interns in the United Kingdom in Summer 2012 and wish to return to a graduate job with the same company are temporarily exempt from the cooling-off rules.

The cooling-off rules, introduced for Tier 2 (General) migrants in April 2012, require those who have left Tier 2 to wait one year from the end of their last application before reapplying through that route. To qualify for the temporary exemption, which is available until October 31 2012, the student must:

  • be sponsored by the same company at which he or she worked as an intern in Summer 2011;
  • have previously been granted permission under Tier 2 (General) with the company for a temporary job lasting no more than four months, as an intern or a summer associate;
  • have completed a degree course within 18 months of the visa application;
  • be returning to the United Kingdom on a graduate trainee scheme; and
  • be making a Tier 2 (General) application with a start date on the certificate of sponsorship of October 31 2012 or before.

The UKBA has confirmed that Tier 5 is the most appropriate route for internships, and a number of Tier 5 (Government authorised exchange) schemes are available for use by employers that 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 June 14 2012 and as this exemption is temporary, it will not be included in the Immigration Rules.

For further information on this topic please contact Ilda De Sousa at Kingsley Napley by telephone (+44 20 7814 1200), fax (+44 20 7490 2288) or email ([email protected]). The Kingsley Napley website can be accessed at