This is a scenario feared by many international graduates who come to study in the UK. For all of the information I put out, and the warnings I give you about timing, research and preparation, what do you do if you haven’t received a job offer and your student visa runs out?
Can you actually do anything about it?
Here I will explain what the options are if you find yourself in this situation after studying in the UK and you fail to obtain a Tier 2 general visa or a Tier 5 GAE visa.
Visa time limits
So while you were studying you applied for numerous graduates schemes without success. You are now outside of the UK, but you still want to achieve your goal of working for company where you can get some great practical experience.
Here is the first thing you need to do.
First you need to decide what type of positions you want to apply to where you can gain sponsorship within a specific time limit. Under the tier 5 GAE visa you will have to apply, pass the recruitment process, receive your offer, and obtain sponsorship within 12 months.
If you do not achieve this goal within this time limit then you will be no longer eligible to work in the UK under this visa route.
For the tier 2 visa there is no official time limit for applying and receiving an offer after you graduate. There are graduates who have been working for 2 years after completing their degree and are still eligible to apply.
If there are companies who have a specific time limit for applying to their positions after graduating then they should state this within the job description of the vacancy. Be sure to read the vacancy description carefully as many international students miss this vital information.
The mere fact that you are now not in the UK and need to get a job offer can be an issue due to your location.
It is not something that will immediately affect your application but, when it gets to the stage in the recruitment process where you need to be physically present to be assessed, you will need to make sure that you attend.
This will have financial and timing implications attached. You will need to pay for your trip and accommodation back to the city where the employer has arranged to hold the assessment. Additionally you need to plan for the event that you have received invites for multiple applications you have completed and the companies have scheduled their assessments for different dates.
This can be very awkward to navigate successfully if you have not planned properly beforehand and it is one of the main reasons that many international students give up once they have left the UK after their studies.
Keep this in mind from the moment you leave the country and plan ahead.
Being organised with your paper work
If you are successful in receiving an offer from outside of the UK then the final area where you need to be organised and efficient is with your paperwork.
Under the tier 2 visa you will need to gather and send to your employer information so that they can process your visa before you commence working with them.
For the tier 5 GAE visa if it is an overarching body and not your employer, then you will need to send to them your documents so that they can issue you with a valid certificate of sponsorship (COS).
Finally you must submit your paperwork and information to the UK home office. It is ultimately them who make the final decision on whether your application for a working visa is successful or not so ensure that you read through all of their requirements in advance so that the processing time is not delayed.
The most crucial thing that you need to understand about applying for one of the working visas after your tier 4 visa has expired is that you need to be extremely motivated to complete all of the steps required to secure work. I would even go as far as to say that you need to seriously question your own commitment to the goals you have set for yourself. Most people give up on their plans because the see it as too hard to achieve but if you are persistent, then you will surprise yourself.
The moment that you allow any doubt about what you are doing to take over because everything is not going to plan, you will lose any will to continue.
STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK IN THE UK WITH SPONSORSHIP?
CONFUSED ABOUT THE WORKING VISAS AND FINDING THE RIGHT VACANCIES?
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