Working in the UK for international students Part 4: Immigration Issues

If you have read all the post in this series you should now understand how the job market in the UK works and know how to find and apply for jobs effectively.

The final thing that you need to be clear about is how the immigration rules might impact on your job search.  One challenge you might face is employers who don’t understand the rules – so it’s important that you do. You may need to be able to explain them to to help an employer understand that it is possible for you to work for them.

Tier 4:  If your plans are to stay in the UK short term to get some work experience, your first option is to use the additional 4 month period on your Tier 4 visa after the end of your course. You don’t need any additional permission to work in this period. It may be possible to fit in a short term internship here.

Tier 5: If you would like to stay in the UK for longer term work experience related to your course, you may be able to apply for a Tier 5 Temporary Worker visa – if you can find a suitable job and employer. This is a graduate internship visa which allows you to stay and work in the UK for up to 12 months. It’s complicated  – but we have prepared an exclusive Tier 5 Toolkit which takes you through this option step-by-step.

Tier 2: For longer term graduate level work you will need to check if your employer is a Tier 2 sponsor. Only employers who are Tier 2 sponsors (or are prepared to become a sponsor) are able to employ you. The job must also pay a minimum of £20,800 (for some sectors the salary level is higher).

You can find out about all the rules that apply on the UKCISA website and we have some further information online. Come and talk to us if you need help – we are not able to give immigration advice but we can direct you to the information you need and answer some of your questions. We can also tell you about the experiences of other students and graduates.

There are other options available if you meet certain conditions – check Working in the UK After Studies on the UKCISA website. You might also find it useful to read our information for employers as this contains a useful breakdown of the options they have to recruit international students.

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