BUNAC Scheme

The British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) organizes visits of students at American and British universities. Under this category, American students (i.e. citizens of the USA who are students in America, or on study abroad programmes, including those studying at Canadian universities), who come to the UK with BUNAC may, if they want, take any job of their interest for all of part of their stay. Third country nationals who are Green Card Holders in the USA (i.e. are permanent residents there) also advantage from the provisions of this scheme, but those who are visa nationals must obtain previous entry clearance, as well as a BUNAC card, before traveling to the United Kingdom for entry under the scheme. The members must be students who are at least 18 years old. BUNAC accepts (qualified) monetary responsibility for the students during their stay.

The category permits entry for a maximum of 2 separate periods of 6 months. The date of entry for a 2nd period of 6 months’ leave must be later than the expiry date of the first 6 months’ leave, and the requirements of the category must be met on each separate occasion that the participant is granted 6 months leave to enter in the category. Applicants should note that on no account can the leave in the category be extended beyond the maximum 6 month period permitted in respect of each entry to the UK under the category; an entrant who has entered for a second period of leave under the category is not eligible to have any period of leave added to their stay on the basis that they left the UK before completing the full 6 month period of leave that they were granted on their previous entry.

The scheme functions exceptionally outside the Rules. However, all candidates are required to produce a BUNAC identity card which should have:

  • A serial number
  • A photograph of the holder

Participants are normally expected to work for the whole of the six-month period. Those who do not work for all or part of the six months have no claim to remain further to complete six months employment. The scheme’s conditions must be strictly enforced in every case.

Entry clearance endorsement
Entry clearance should be endorsed D: BUNAC STUDENT. Code 4 for employment as a participant of the BUNAC scheme for six months. EC should refer to BUNAC participant not student – they are not students for UK immigration purposes.

BUNAC also sponsor Commonwealth citizens to do part-time work in the UK. There is no concession for them as there is for US citizens and they can only qualify as working holidaymakers. ECOs should satisfy themselves that they meet all the requirements of the working holidaymaker rules and bear in mind that they will be eligible for admission for two years, not six months like the BUNAC students.

The applicant is not required to register with the police.


There is no provision under the scheme for any dependants of participants to accompany them to the UK or to join them in the UK, unless they qualify for leave to enter in their own right.

(ii) Carers
There is no provision in the Immigration Rules for leave to enter or remain to be granted solely to allow a person to care for a friend or relative in the United Kingdom. Applications for entry clearance as a carer may be refused on the ground that there is no provision for this in the Immigration Rules. However, where an applicant wishes to care for a friend or relative for a short period, the application may be considered under the requirements of the Rules relating to visitors.

Key points
Whilst each case must be looked at on its individual merits, when considering whether a visit visa should be granted the following points are amongst those which should be born in mind:

the type of illness/condition (this should be supported by a doctor’s letter); and
the type of care required; and
care which is available (e.g. from the social services or other relatives/friends); and the long term prognosis.

Public funds
Under the Care in the Community arrangements some patients may qualify for an Attendance Allowance from which they can pay for a person to care for them. The allowance is paid to the patient rather than the carer and therefore the carer would not be considered to be in receipt of public funds. If the patient is claiming other benefits and is using these to support and accommodate the carer, provided that the patient is not claiming any extra benefit for the carer then again this should not be considered as recourse to public funds unless the carer was to claim benefits in his/her own right.

There is no provision under the scheme for any dependants of participants to accompany them to the UK or to join them in the UK, unless they qualify for leave to enter in their own right.

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