Many international students want to work in the UK after completing their studies here and employers can benefit from a diverse and multi-talented workforce for their businesses to succeed and operate locally, nationally and at a global level.
Employers often worry about the process and time required to apply for work visas for potential candidates. However in 2021 the UK government Home Office introduced the Graduate visa which graduates apply for themselves once they have successfully completed their courses without any employer involvement. These allow graduates to seek opportunities and work in the UK in any role at any skill level for 24 months (36 months if a PhD graduate).
A popular alternative route is the Skilled Worker Visa employer sponsored scheme (formerly the Tier 2 route). Employers need to be registered sponsors to participate in this and the role skill level must be at graduate or higher level depending on the qualification completed. Candidates can apply for roles while completing their studies and if on a Student Visa, employers can consider them alongside UK and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status (no work visa required). There are currently over 30,000 employers registered to do this in the UK, and they are listed on the Register of licensed sponsors. Some are internationally successful businesses such as the Big 4 accountancy firms, whereas others employ few staff but have specific requirements in terms of skills, experience, knowledge and language ability.
It is possible for those on Graduate Route visas who secure graduate level skilled roles to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa later on, with a sponsoring employer's support, to remain in the UK beyond the initial 24 months.
Both routes are helping UK companies to succeed and grow, allowing the recruitment of strongly motivated, highly skilled graduates.
The government websites provide more information about the Graduate Visa and the Skilled Worker Visa. To learn more, click on the links below.