Start early, and get your Tier 2 sponsorship before your student visa expires.Last December, many UK students graduated from university, and while some will choose to pursue further studies, most will be entering the UK labour market. According to the Office of National Statistics, graduates were more likely to be employed than non-graduates in 2017, which should make it easier for graduates to find employment.
The reality is much different for International students
According to the Higher Education Statistics Authority, international students make up a fifth of those in higher education in the UK. While many choose to return to their home country after completing their studies, a good number are seeking employment in the UK, aiming to switch from a Tier 4 Student Visa to a Tier 2 Work Visa. While these students are highly skilled and well qualified, visa restrictions make it difficult for them to secure employment under Tier 2 sponsorship. As if the odds aren’t difficult enough, non-EU international students only have four months after the end of their course to find a job until their residency expires.
In 2014, only 5,639 students were granted leave to stay in the UK under a Tier 2 visa, according to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
However great the obstacle, there’s always hope! Here are some tips from IANS on how international students hunt can boost their chances of Tier 2 sponsorship!
1. Apply early - Many companies have long recruitment processes, so use this time wisely! Improve your CV, get advice from your university's career centre, and make sure you apply for your work visa before your student visa expires.
2. Do your research - Not all companies are licensed to sponsor Tier 2 Visas, and even if they are, they might still be reluctant to hire an international student. Do your research, learn about the company, and make your application unique. Make it clear to them that because you're an international student, they don't need to undergo the Resident Labour Market Test. For a list of companies with Tier 2 sponsor licenses, click here.
3. Use your international background to your advantage - What makes you unique as an international student? What languages do you speak? Your resilience in moving to a different country and completing a degree there as well should not go unnoticed and will definitely translate to excellent work ethic.
4. Be flexible - Make use of your transferable skills and don't get locked in to one industry. Explore, research, and put yourself out there. Once you have a Tier 2 visa, you open yourself up to more possibilities! What's important is you get your foot in the door.
Are you an international student seeking Tier 2 employment after your course ends? IANS offers an internship program that bridges the gap between student and employer! We provide training with our specialists to give you the skills you need to make your application unique, and we will arrange work placement for you with our network of employers that have sponsor licenses, guaranteeing you an opportunity for Tier 2 sponsorship. Find out more about our internship program here and register your interest today.
For the complete policy guidance of the UKVI for Tier 2 sponsorship, click here
Source: Andre Rhoden-Paul, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jul/02/get-a-job-or-get-out-the-tough-reality-for-international-students