Participants of the Grundtvig Programme who are nationals from outside the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland, require a visa to undertake work placements in the UK.
Before applying for a UK visa, you must apply for a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship from Ecorys.
What is Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship?
A Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship, allows you to apply for a UK visa to undertake work placements in the UK.
Participants in the Grundtvig Programme who undertake a work placement in the UK will do so under Tier 5, Temporary Workers under the sub-category Government Authorised Exchanges.
A Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship is not an actual certificate or paper document but is a virtual document, similar to a database record. Participants who successfully apply for Tier 5 sponsorship will receive a unique Certificate of Sponsorship reference number (in a letter) from Ecorys, a licensed sponsor.
Who needs a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship?
Grundtvig Programme participants who are nationals from outside the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland, should apply for a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship if you are taking part in the following Grundtvig activities:
- Grundtvig Senior Volunteering
- Grundtvig Assistantships
Accompanying people from the sending organisation do not need a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship. They will be able to get a 'business visitor' visa without a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship.
How do I apply?
To apply for a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship you will need to follow the instructions outlined in the how to apply section.
When should I apply for a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship and UK visa?
You should apply to Ecorys for a Tier 5 Certificate at least 3 months prior to your intended date of travel to the UK, allowing one month for your Tier 5 Certificate to be processed and issued.
You will then need to fill in an application form for a UK visa and apply to the UK Border Agency, who will process your UK visa application. Visa processing times vary: usually 5-30 days, but you should allow up to two months.
Is there a cost for a Tier 5 Certificate?
There is no fee for the applicant as the cost of processing and issuing the Tier 5 Certificates is paid by the UK government.
Please note: Obtaining a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee that a UK visa will be granted.
Ecorys manages and issues Certificate of Sponsorships only. They do not issue UK visas and is independent from the UK Border Agency.
Who needs a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship
Participants of Grundtvig Senior Volunteering and Assistantships activities who are not nationals of one of the following EU and EEA countries or Switzerland will require a Certificate of Sponsorship to apply for a UK visa:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Ireland
- The Netherlands