UK Visa Requirements

Mobility in the United Kingdom – Q&A on visa requirements and other related matters

Please read this guidance very carefully and contact your sending organisation or National Agency if you have any queries. DO NOT assume that you do not need a Visa. Visa requirements to work or study in the UK are very different now that the UK has left the EU. DO NOT travel without reading this guidance carefully, because if you need a visa and do not have one, then you may be denied travel at your departure, or denied entry to the UK on your arrival.

Please remember that the British Council and Ecorys UK, in their capacity of UK National Agency, manage T5 Government Authorised Exchange Certificates for the Erasmus+ Programme and the European Solidarity Corps programmes only. They do not manage the Visa process.

The information below is accurate as of today and may change. Beneficiaries are strongly advised to check https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/t5-visa-how-to-apply-for-a-certificate-of-sponsorship to keep up to date with all changes relating to the Certificate process and https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk to keep up to date with all changes relating to the Visa process.

Do Erasmus+ higher education students need a visa for studying in the UK?
Higher education students can study in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa. They must provide a passport or travel document valid for the whole of their stay in the UK. See evidence to be provided here. If the student stays longer than 6 months, a student visa is needed.

Are there specific visa waivers for participants in Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps?
No.

Do higher education students, VET learners, adult learners and volunteers doing a placement in the UK need a visa? If so under which visa category are they falling? What are the requirements?
Most Erasmus+ HE, VET and Youth participants, as well as participants in the European Solidarity Corps, will require a T5 GAE (Government Authorised Exchange) Visa, regardless of whether the placement is less than 6 months or not. More information is available on the UK National Agency’s website and sector handbooks which confirm who requires a T5 GAE Visa. This varies based on a number of different factors including Key Action, Field, Participant Category (Learner, Staff, Volunteer), Activity Type and Duration. Please note that a Youth Handbook is still being developed and will be uploaded onto the website in due course.
The requirements for the T5 GAE Certificates of Sponsorship are available on the UK Erasmus+ National Agency web page linked above, and the requirements for the T5 GAE Visa are available on the UK Government website. Note: The Certificate of Sponsorship is valid for 3 months. This means that when assigned the Certificate, the participant
must apply for their Visa within 3 months whilst the Certificate is still valid.

Are students, VET learners and volunteers able/eligible to undertake an unpaid internship?
Students, VET learners and volunteers are able/eligible to undertake an unpaid internship under Erasmus+ T5 GAE.
Please refer to the UK National Agency’s T5 web page, which confirms what type of Visa Students, Learners and Volunteers require, dependent on the Key Action, Field, Duration and their Activity Type.

Do Erasmus+ participants applying to T5 GAE visa (working experience) have to pay a fee of £244 to apply for a visa?
Yes, Erasmus+ participants have to pay the fee of £244, subject to the reduction below. This fee is set by the UK Government.
Visa costs may be covered by the Erasmus+ funds, subject to the agreement of the relevant National Agency.

Do higher education students, VET learners, adult learners and volunteers doing a placement in the UK have to show evidence of having £1000,00+ in their personal bank account?
If approved for a T5 GAE Certificate of Sponsorship, the UK National Agency will provide them with a letter of Certified Maintenance as part of their Certificate, which will confirm the value of the participant’s grant. No further evidence should be required. However, the UK National Agency can only advise in relation to issuing Certificates of Sponsorship for T5 GAE. They do not issue Visas. It is advised that all applicants should familiarise with and re-check all guidance in relation to their Visa on https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration or check if they need one on the UK Government’s website.

Will the Healthcare surcharge apply to Erasmus+ participants?
Each Erasmus+ participant should complete the questionnaire below to establish whether they need to pay the Healthcare surcharge https://www.immigration-health-surcharge.service.gov.uk/checker/type

When should you apply for a Certificate and when can you expect to get your Visa?
Higher Education, Strategic partnerships for Youth (KA205), Dialogue between young people and policy makers (KA347) and European Solidarity Corps (managed by the British Council in their capacity of National Agency): It can take up to 5 weeks to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship, after which the participant has to apply for the visa. The Home Office advises a Visa turnaround of 3 weeks. Provided all information submitted to the British Council and Home Office is timely and correct, you can expect the total turnaround time from Certificate application to Visa approval to be 8 weeks. Vocational Education and Training, Youth mobility (KA105) and Adult Education (managed by Ecorys in their capacity of National Agency): Certificate applications must be submitted 8 weeks before the placement start date. The Home Office advises a Visa turnaround of 3 weeks. Provided all information submitted to Ecorys and Home Office is timely and correct, you can expect the total turnaround time from Certificate application to Visa approval to be 11 weeks.