Amanda, our International careers guru, recently alerted me to a speech by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, in December which explicitly states :
“In future, all PhD students who have completed their studies will be allowed to stay here for longer to find skilled work or set up as an entrepreneur within the rules. From April, all such students will be allowed to stay in Britain for twelve months after they have completed their PhD before having to find a job or start a business.”
This suggests that after April, if you’re an international PhD and you leave your job searching until after your viva (not that I recommend this!), you’ve still got some time to try and find yourself a job in the UK. We think it means, however, that you will still have to find an employer who will sponsor you for a Tier 2 visa if you do find work. There’s no hint that it’s a return to the old Post-Study Work Visa where you could do any job without being sponsored by a specific employer.
More updates when we hear them.