Employers and work visas – what are you really thinking?

It was the Graduate Fairs last week, with over 100 employers on our campus looking to hire graduate talent. To reflect our international profile of students, over the two days we made a point of exploring with a number of the exhibitors whether they were able and / or willing to hire international applicants. There were mixed responses as you would expect. These ranged from “I am not on the Register” or ” our starting salaries are too low” (which is expected)  to “Yes, we are happy to sponsor if we meet the right applicant” (good news!)

However, there was also a mix of employers who were not necessarily familiar with the latest legislation and felt they could not sponsor, or simply did not sponosr “as company policy”. My colleague and I did our best to help some of the organisations get a better sense of the latest regulations (no-one tells employers) , and put them in touch with immigration support where needed – so let’s hope that it has enabled some of our international students to progress UK opportunities and offer their talent.

However, it also got us thinking about how employers come across online and how that can be confusing and is interpreted by our international students. Employers often have a statement on their website about diversity and welcoming talent, but often there is a lack of clarity about whether they are willing to sponsor. Some statements are interpreted in different ways too. To help us to guide employers better, therefore, we have decided to ask you what you think (and interpret) from employers’ standpoints.

If you could spare 2 minutes to complete our poll, we will share our findings with you on this blog. We will also include a summary of the employer perspectives we gained at the fair. We will also be sharing this with recruiters.


5 responses to “Employers and work visas – what are you really thinking?”

  1. In my opinion, International students must be given an equal opportunity to prove their job worthiness. Shunning applications on the basis of not holding a work permit is extremely unfair as they do NOT provide post study work permits to Immigrants in the first place. So it is ridiculous to expect students to already possess a permit before the application. International students are equally good candidates as the home students.They undergo similar education and training at the universities they attend, How is it fair to just shoot them down merely for not holding a work permit? The applications must be fairly assessed on the basis of qualifications, experience and skill in an unprejudiced manner in the absence of a work permit.Every applicant deserves a fair chance at any job offered.As it is seriously discouraging for a student to be shot down -solely due to not holding a work permit; After investing a whole lot of time and money in receiving good quality education at the best universities.

    It is understandable that the job market is rigid.And employers would rather not spend on sponsoring a prospective employee. But if the applicant proves suitable for the job it is only fair that he or she be given an opportunity..As it is impossible for international students these days to obtain work permit without being sponsored- Due to the visa regulations in the UK. It is beyond my understanding how the employers expect International students fresh out of Uni to hold a work permit as they have stopped giving out such visas. I would like some clarity on this please

  2. I actually disagree with the blogger here.

    In a time when jobs are hard to find, it is essential to put British applicants first in Britain.

    Afterall, it is near impossible for us to find work in the countries where many other students come from. Hence, it is unfair to allow applicants from those countries to take British jobs.

    Equal opportunities should not be a one-way street!

    1. Ofcourse It’s not a one way street !

      Most countries other than UK do not have such rigid policies on hiring outsiders.

      UK is one of the most desirable study destinations all the over the world due to the variety of courses it has to offer and the quality of education (Hence the huge number of international students) So students after having graduated there, naturally expect to find a job right away ;And not to mention, work really really hard for it.

      I don’t think it is fair to term them as ”British” jobs,As I firmly believe that people should be hired based on their skills and competency,not nationality. If the home applicant proves to be better in comparison to the rest of the applicants (be it international) then it is a no-brainer that he or she should be hired for the job. Also UK boasts to be such a cosmopolitan country, there is no denying that it is;I just do not understand the need for such discrimination when it comes to employment

    2. I quite agree with Jon for identifying the fact that it’s near impossible for any foreigner to secure a job in another country. But it will be fair/considerate for him to also recognize the fact that if some of us (the international students), unlike in most of our countries’ universities where there are no varying tuition rates, could invest/contribute heavily into the UK economy by paying three to four times what the UK/EU citizen are paying on tuition, then we deserve some fair treatment/concession in form of equal play ground for jobs. After all, accepting and recruiting talented people across the globe irrespective of the nationality will foster a more competitive and productive UK whose results will trickle down and boost continuously the standard of living of its citizens, one way or the other. There is formidable strength in diversity!

      1. Ugo:

        Whilst I appreciate your argument, it is based on sentiment rather than facts. The only way to solve Britain’s current economic and social problems is by using fact and logic, not misplaced emotion. It’s the numbers that matter, not keeping a few special interest groups happy.

        The facts are that (1) The UK government and its policies should always put the UK and British people first. Otherwise it would be a lousy government and not fit to govern. (2) The whole myth about ‘skills shortages’ simply does not stack up- there are no skills shortages. (3) Unemployment is massive in Britain with millions of people chasing only hundreds of thousands of jobs. (4) It hence makes absolutely no sense to allow a foreign worker to take a job that a British person wants and is qualified to do.

        It is also unfair, and if one is a cynic, corrupt, that foreign students can ‘buy’ a work visa here. The relatively small money paid in tuition fees does nothing to help unemployed British graduates who are directly disadvantaged by this. How I wish I could buy a work visa so cheaply in any country of my choice! However, other countries aren’t so soft and prefer to put their own citizens first, unlike in the UK.

        I really don’t see how maintaining a high percentage of unemployed British people Is going to “foster a more competitive and productive UK whose results will trickle down and boost continuously the standard of living of its citizens, one way or the other”. If anything, it will do the opposite. Also, if “There is formidable strength in diversity!”, are you trying to say that hiring anyone but British is a good thing? I’m not very comfortable with that message, I’m afraid.


        See above also. If you think employers should be able to hire whom they want irrespective of nationality, then this can ONLY be fair if I have the same opportunity to work in overseas students’ home countries too. We both know this is not the case, therefore, it is extremely unfair on British people who already have paid far more into the education system through general taxation all of their lives.

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