Applying for UK interns, do I need work permit first?


I am a Canadian recent grad and I really want to work in Europe for a while. Now I am considering to apply for internships with some UK companies. Do I need to get a work permit before applying? Can I get the permit AFTER I get an offer? So if I get no offers I do not need to spend the money.

I have applied for US interns before but they asked for work permit, and I did not have it :frowning:

I’m not sure of the specifics for Canadian citizens but the Commonwealth countries seem to have a youth mobility visa from other commonwealth countries. For example, as an Australian under 31 (or 35 maybe I’m not sure) I can get a two year working visa to the UK. I can also get a working visa to Canada (in two year lots) until I reach the age limit.

Check the immigration sites of Canada and the UK for specifics; it’s all there. The UK one is called the Youth Mobility Scheme and the others would probably have similar names.

As far as I know you can get a 2 year work visa for the UK under the Tier 1 scheme if you are considered a Highly skilled worker. To be considered as a highly skilled worker I think you need a master’s degree from a University of any country or a bachelor’s degree from an English University. I think you can also apply if you have adequate amount of work experience and an income over a certain amount (if you are looking for an internship I assume this doesn’t apply to you).

If you want to apply straight to companies without a work permit, you can, and if they find you suitable you can get sponsored by them and they will get you a work permit. But, as far as I know this happens rarely if you have not stayed in the UK for a while, either as a student or from a previous sponsored job.

Hope this helps.

Not to threadjack you, I am a US Citizen who use to live and study in England, could I more easily get a visa then?

I think so… Everything is pretty well explained on the UK border agency website:

I’m not sure how easy it is to get into this country (UK), but I gather its way easier to get here than for us to go elsewhere, unfortunately for me! Having said that, I may be talking about minimum wage jobs and not specifically a professional field such as design. I think the same rule probably applies of being sponsored visa wise by the company. I did see some UK design company the other day on a job advertisement stating only to apply if you have a UK visa. However that was the first I’d seen that.

I managed to get a working visa for the US for the summer of last year, but it wasnt free and it was more for an experience in a different country, travelling and working. I wish i could do it again working in design.

Another suggestion, maybe find a company in Canada which has offices in Europe, and you never know after a year or so you may be able to get transfered accross the sea

Good luck!

We lived in Sweden due to my father working for a Swedish company that had offices in the US. He got hired here then like six months later he got transfered to the main office in Sweden. It was nice.