Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that you might have many questions about the process and unfortunately we can’t always answer your question right away, so please see below a list of our most frequently asked questions, as we’re sure you’ll find an answer to your question here. If not, then just give us a call!
+ WHAT IS A COS?
The Certificate of Sponsorship is a unique reference number that allows migrants to apply for and obtain Entry Clearance (Visa) to enter the UK.
+ HOW DO I KNOW IF MY EMPLOYER IS A TIER 2 SPONSOR?
You can always view an up-to-date list of licensed sponsors on the GOV.UK website here. Open the list, and search it for the legal name of your organisation. If your organisation is not on the list, they are not a licensed Tier 2 sponsor. If they are on the list, you can see a few details about their license and license rating on the right side of the page.
+ CAN I SWITCH TO THE TIER 5 VISA IN THE UK?
Only if you are on a Tier 4 visa and have / will graduate before making the application. The application has to be made before the expiry of your Tier 4 visa.
+ CAN I OR MY CANDIDATE APPLY FOR THE TIER 5 GAE VISA FROM OUTSIDE THE UK?
Yes, you can apply for this visa from anywhere in the world. We’d prefer you to apply from somewhere you have the right to reside and also a reliable residential address, at which you can receive mail.
+ I JUST GRADUATED. DO I NEED MY DEGREE CERTIFICATE TO APPLY FOR SPONSORSHIP OR THE VISA?
While the Degree Certificate is preferred, any official university document (transcript, degree certificate or letter) which contains the following will work:
- full legal name
- course title/award
- course duration (# of years, start and end date of the course)
- date of course completion (not graduation date, date course was considered final and complete).
+ DOES MY EMPLOYER HAVE TO HAVE A TIER 2 OR TIER 5 LICENSE FOR AIESEC UK TO SPONSOR ME?
No, because AIESEC UK LTD would be your sponsor as an “overarching body,” your employer would not need to have a sponsorship license.
+ CAN I EXTEND MY CURRENT TIER 5 GAE VISA?
If your Tier 5 GAE visa was granted for less than 12 months, you can extend your visa inside the UK (up to 12 months total). If you were granted the Tier 5 GAE visa for 12 months, then you will have to apply for an extension from your home country as long as you do not exceed the maximum of time allowed on this visa (24 months total).
+ WHEN WILL AIESEC UK GIVE ME MY VISA?
AIESEC UK LTD doesn’t actually provide the visa, we provide the sponsorship you need to apply for the visa. That’s why you make one application to us (for sponsorship) and another to UKVI (for the visa) and pay two sets of fees - one to us (for sponsorship) and one to UKVI (for the visa).
+ HOW LONG CAN I BE ON THIS VISA?
12 months (- 1 day) and a time for a total of 24 months.
+ HOW LONG IS THE PROCESSING TIME FOR THE VISA?
Please note that the visa is administered by UKVI and AIESEC UK can not assist or be held responsible for UKVI processing times. In our experience, the normal processing time for the visa is 8 weeks for in-country applications and 3 weeks for out-of-country applications (depending on the country you apply from). Some countries offer premium services, which cost more and can expedite the process.
+ HOW LONG IS THE PROCESSING TIME FOR THE SPONSORSHIP?
We recommend you submit your official eligibility assessment application to AIESEC a minimum of two weeks before your or your candidate’s Tier 4 visa expires, as we may need additional information specific to your application, and payment may take your bank a couple of days to process.
From the point at which an application is submitted complete, we can do the assessment in two - five business days. However, most applications are submitted incorrectly or incompletely and need additional clarification. We recommend budgeting 5 business days for the assessment process from start to finish.
Once the assessment is complete and the Registration and Sponsorship fees are paid the Certificate of Sponsorship is issued in as little as two business days or as many as five, depending on the urgency of the case and the priority of the processing timeline to the employer, which is demonstrated by the Sponsorship Route the employer chooses. We do not consider visa appointments or booked return flights as making the case for an urgent application, as we do not recommend booking either of these until after sponsorship has been administered.
+ WHAT IS NVQ/NQF LEVEL 3?
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are work based awards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that are achieved through assessment and training. To be eligible on to our programme, the role offered to interns must be NVQ Level 3 and above.
+ WHAT IS SUPERNUMERARY?
Supernumerary position is one that is in excess of or outside of the regular staffing requirements of the employer. This means that the position would cease to exit if the intern was not there.
+ DO I NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER OR IMMIGRATION FIRM TO HELP WITH THE VISA APPLICATION?
After you or your candidate has gotten sponsorship for the Tier 5 GAE visa from AIESEC UK, we can be available to answer questions about the UKVI Tier 5 GAE online visa application. 50% of the candidates we sponsor have no questions about the online UKVI Visa application. About 25% have questions for us, and about 25% hire someone to help them with their UKVI Visa application just because they’d like a little more hands on assistance to avoid any errors or delays.
Please note that we are only available to advise on UKVI Tier 5 GAE Visa applications during working hours on business days.
+ DO EMPLOYERS NEED TO HOLD A TIER 2 SPONSOR LICENSE?
No, it is not mandatory for employers to hold a Tier 2 Sponsor License, however, should we decide to sponsor the candidate, we would require three documents from this page.
+ WHAT IF I OR MY COMPANY CAN’T FURNISH THREE DOCUMENTS FROM THE LIST OF ACCEPTABLE VERIFICATION DOCUMENTS?
Then we can not be your sponsor. Being able to provide three of the verification documents listed on this page is a hard requirement.
+ CAN STARTUPS QUALIFY TO HOST SOMEONE UNDER YOUR TIER 5 SCHEME?
Yes, they can! Assuming they meet all the other eligibility criteria, of course. For organisations which are less than two years old, we can only provide a maximum of sponsorship for 1 intern for every 3 full time employees, and we need to see business bank statements for the three months prior to their Initial Assessment Application.
+ IF YOU’RE A NON-PROFIT, WHY DO YOU CHARGE FEES?
Non-profits have expenses too, silly! All of the revenue we collect gets invested back into the organization. That’s what non-profit means. We still pay the employees who assist you salaries, we pay for the phone number you can call for help, and the desks and working equipment those employees work on. We also have to pay fees to maintain our various licenses so that we can even provide sponsorship services for you.
+ CAN I UNDERTAKE A VOLUNTEER POSITION OR AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP?
No, our program does not allow for volunteer or unpaid positions. We can only sponsor candidates who have a full time, paid internship offer.
+ CAN AN IMMIGRATION ADVISOR REGISTER ON BEHALF OF THEIR CLIENT?
We are happy for registered Immigration Advisors to complete the Initial Assessment application form on behalf of their clients. However, we would require the Employer themselves to sign and accept the Client Care Letter.
+ CAN I TRAVEL IN AND OUT OF THE UK ONCE I HAVE MY TIER 5 VISA?
An intern will be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship which requests a ‘multiple entry’ visa. If they are successfully awarded ‘UK Visa Entry Clearance’, this would allow them to enter and exit the UK, for the period that the visa is valid subject to approval by immigration officers at the UK Border.
+ WHAT HAPPENS IF THE CANDIDATE’S ADDRESS OR CONTACT DETAILS CHANGE?
It is the responsibility of both the Employer and the Intern to keep AIESEC UK Ltd. informed at all times of any changes to their residential and work address, e-mail and contact phone number.
+ CAN I EXTEND MY TIER 5 VISA POST THE INITIAL 12 MONTHS?
The maximum period of time that an individual can remain in the UK on a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker: Government Authorised Exchange) visa is 12 months. If you have a Tier 5 visa for less than 12 months, then you may be able to apply for a visa extension, provided that all eligibility criteria is met. In some limited cases only, it is possible to extend the internship to another 12 months, please speak to your case consultant for more information.
+ CAN I WORK WITH ANY UK EMPLOYER ONCE I GET MY TIER 5 VISA?
No, the intern can only work the UK employer whose name is originally on the Certificate of Sponsorship. The Tier 5 Visa issued to the candidate only applies to the company and internship specified on the Initial Assessment Application Form, Care Letters, and the Certificate of Sponsorship. The candidate cannot undertake another internship at a different employer under any circumstances.
+ DOES THE SCHEME APPLY TO ALL EMPLOYERS?
The Employer must be a UK Registered Company, Charity, and Government Department. Our program is open to all U.K employers except employers in Hospitality, Agriculture and Care Sector. For sponsorships within the land based or agriculture sector, please get in touch with Vanessa Peach at IEPUK Ltd. on 01572 823 934.
+ WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE INTERN?
Should there be any concerns about the intern, please contact your Consultant at Access Tier 5 and we can withdraw the Certificate of Sponsorship.
+ ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS PLACED ON THE INTERN?
The intern cannot do any work for any other U.K. business and cannot establish a business of their own.
+ WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Registration Fee is Non-Refundable should the Initial Assessment be successful.
50% of the CoS Fee would be refunded should a COS be cancelled more than 30 days prior to start of internship.
25% of the CoS Fee would be refunded should a COS be cancelled less than 30 days prior to start of internship.