According to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) in its international student statistics published on 11 January 2018, University College London (UCL) has 15,735 total number of international students enrolled between 2016 and 2017. The immigration and visas section of UCL, like most UK universities, provides a wealth of information about eligibility to work in the UK during and after studies. There are also career, professional development and work experience programmes available to support international students in getting all the help they need to extend their stay in the UK under Tier 2 (work visa) category and yet there remains significant difficulties in finding employment and Tier 2 Sponsorship in the UK.
..."right qualifications will get you job interviews but very difficult if not impossible to get job offers especially a Tier 2 sponsorship if you you are on a student visa"...
In our experience, there are three reasons international students are not getting Tier 2 sponsorship.
1. There is a salary requirement of £20,800 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher. For example, a civil engineering graduate should be looking for a £25,700 job offer to meet this requirement and for this level of salary employers are looking for applicants who have a minimum one years relevant experience which most international students do not have due to the intense nature of their studies and restriction to only 20 hours work per week.
2. International students are only given additional four months visaafter the end of their course. This time is not sufficient to search for jobs, write applications and gain enough relevant experience to be marketable to prospective employers. Liberty, completed international nursing at University of Hertfordshire and recalls her experience in finding Tier 2 sponsorship:
3. The switching application process from Tier 4 to Tier 2 is complex and can act as a barrier to prospective sponsors. For instance, a sponsor must meet the 'genuine vacancy' test requirement before assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) whilst the applicant must demonstrate he is capable of undertaking the role for which the CoS is assigned. Because of this, many employers are missing out on the positive contribution of international students on UK skills. The new poll conducted by ComRes for Universities UK reveals that 73% of the British public believe they should be allowed to work in the UK for a fixed period after they have graduated, rather than returning immediately to their home country.
At IANS, we share the same view and have a proven track record of helping international students overcome all the above difficulties and secure Tier 2 sponsorships. There is no one-size-fits all approach but we are creative project managers and always strategise, execute and evaluate our projects. We do not stop until we achieve our goals and we do not offer what we have not tested.
If you are an international student in the UK and wish to remain in the UK on work visa, you may contact us to know what options are available to you.