Skip to main content

Houses of Parliament: Interns

Volume 709: debated on Tuesday 24 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have made to ensure that university students from the United States can obtain permission to work as interns during the summer of 2009, in particular in the Houses of Parliament. [HL1978]

The Government's new points-based system for managing migration provides a number of routes which could be used by students from the United States wishing to undertake internships in the UK.

Under tier 4, the rules for which were laid before Parliament on 9 March (HC 314) and which are due to take effect from 31 March, students on overseas degree courses may undertake a course-related internship placement provided they also spend some time studying in the UK and provided that the length of internship does not exceed the time spent studying in this country.

Under tier 5, temporary workers, there is a sub-category for government-authorised exchange (GAE) schemes. A GAE requires the support of a government department and would need to be compliant with all relevant UK laws, including national minimum wage legislation but one could be created to accommodate internship exchanges for those interns interested purely in taking a work placement in the UK. UKBA officials are currently discussing options for such a scheme with interested departments.

The tier 5 youth mobility scheme (YMS), which allows young participants to do most work of choice during their stay in the UK, could also be used to provide a route for US interns if the USA decides to join the scheme and is able to meet the qualifying criteria.