Clarification on the UK Visa Situation for International Students & Graduates and a Look at Plan B

There has been a lot of reference to visa caps in the news recently and this has put recent graduates and students on edge. The caps that are being referred to relate to applications from outside the UK from applicants. The graduates in the UK on tier 4 visas are not affected by this cap. All applications from within the UK for example if you are moving from a tier 4 visa to a tier 2 visa, or extensions on tier 2 visas are considered unrestricted and therefore have no limits ( as not adding to net migration). If you are applying from outside of the UK (your visa expired and you have gone home) you are subject to the visa cap and a labour market test. The more information you know about the visa system in the UK the more you can educate others including employers increasing your chances of sponsorship.

To ensure you are complying with visa regulations if you have any questions make sure you consult an immigration lawyer. 

It is important however to have a Plan B! What does this really mean? This means that although you may be motivated to work in the UK and feel that this will add to your career experience you need to have at least one alternative plan. The immigration laws are strict in the UK and it is difficult for international graduates to get roles in the UK so think about your home market.

Is an international career experience in the UK at the start of of your career essential? For most of you NO!

Would going home getting a job in your field of interest, building your experience, knowledge, skills and brand make you more attractive to employers later in your career? YES it would.

Keeping up to date on the labour market in your home country as well as other countries you are interested in working in is essential so that you have the most up to date information. Be prepared if your job applications in the UK don’t work out and have applications ready for employers back home. Having a plan B, C, D, E etc is not failure it is preparedness. It shows that you are a passionate, determined and informed graduate.

Top Tips for International Graduates:

  1. Do your research!
  2. Be prepared!
  3. Know your home market as well as the UK market.
  4. Make connections with alumni in the businesses you want to work for.
  5. Build your commercial awareness.
  6. Apply to jobs back home at the same time you are applying in the UK – Don’t wait until your visa expires and go home you could miss out on great opportunities.
  7. All else fails be the best you can be wherever you are in the world – build your reputation, brand, knowledge and skills and look at an international career later in life when you have more to offer an employer!!!!!!!!

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