How to get a visa sponsorship to work in the UK after graduation

If you came here on a Tier 4 student visa, most likely you may have taken a loan to cover your fees and it would be nice to catch up financially by earning in GBP, the equivalent of what you’ve spent in pounds. Additionally there is temptation of working in an international market and getting some world class exposure that brought you here in the first place along with many other reasons.
We completely understand your need for acquiring a work visa in the UK and hence we bring you all the tips you need for getting a work visa below. Fortunately a Tier 4 visa can be switched to a Tier 2 or Tier 5 work visa if you find an approved employer. Read on to understand how to go about it.
UKBA visa sponsor list
In the UK, if an employer has to sponsor your work visa, they need a licence to do so. It is for this reason that most employers will ask you about your visa status at the outset. However you wouldn’t necessarily be notified that your application is not being processed further for this particular reason.
So when applying, the very first thing you should do is to have a look at the UKBA list of sponsors for Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa types. The list of employers, in alphabetical order, provides you with their location, their UKBA rating and the type of sponsorship license they hold – in other words which visa type they can sponsor. Tier 5 visas are for temporary work such as internships and Tier 2 visas are for general employment.

If you already know which companies you want to apply to, this will enable you to check if they can offer you a sponsorship to work. This will save you the time you would waste on writing unnecessary applications and you can focus on trying to get the right jobs instead.

If you don’t have a potential employer in mind, this list will still be useful, but you will have to do some preliminary research on what companies offer the kind of work you are looking for as the UKBA list of sponsors does not provide information on the sector of employment, what the company does or how to contact them.

Scouting for jobs with visa sponsorship in the UK

Use all possible resources to find employers in the sector that interests you. Even if you have already graduated, you should be able to access your university’s career services for some time after you complete your degree. There, you will find a LOT of documentation, brochures and booklets listing the UK’s best employers for graduates.

The most common guides of the best employers’ are by The Guardian and The Times. Useful information per sectors of employment is provided by TARGETjobs andProspects. These services specialise in graduate employment and in particular graduate schemes – read about them further down.

Apart from these tools, talk to your professors, contact professionals, go to alumni events and conferences relating to your field (many are free). In short, put yourself on the map!

Once you’ve compiled a list of employers revert to the UKBA sponsorship list and check if any of the listed companies already have a sponsorship license.

Alternatively, prepare yourself to convince a potential employer to apply for a sponsorship license by reading in on the visa sponsor requirements and find the exact requirements you have to meet by using this free visa tool from Migreat. It is not a particularly complicated process and since 1st October 2013 it is even easier for organisations to employ recent graduates for 12 months as corporate interns. Ensure you understand that employers might have to run ‘Resident Labour Market Tests’ before offering you the position. There are many pros to taking internships over waiting for the right jobs to come along, here are the reasons why.

Graduate schemes for international students

Graduate schemes are employment programmes developed by sizable companies that recruit a definite number of graduates each year. The schemes are usually 1-2 years long and will provide you with an intense professional training.

Why should you consider graduate schemes? The companies offering graduate schemes have funds to provide extensive training, and therefore they are the most likely to have the resources to sponsor a Tier 5 graduate scheme visa. Find the exact requirements you have to meet through Migreat’s free work visa tool.

Participants are usually multinational corporations undertaking projects all over the globe and they value international profiles highly. Good news: you are that applicant – keep that in mind!

We hope that you find these tips valuable. If you do, don’t forget to share it with your friends. You can also comment and let us know about any particular strategies you made when trying to obtain a Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa. Wishing you good luck with starting your career in UK!


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