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International talent

It's probably easier than you think to recruit international students and graduates from York. They offer specific language skills, cultural awareness, overseas contacts and professional global experience to help your business grow. Whether you want to recruit an international student for an internship, vacation work or a longer term graduate position we can help.

Employer Feedback

“We asked Balam to do a huge amount in a short space of time and he responded cheerfully, diligently and calmly. The work was of an extremely high standard despite the challenges we presented him.”

Michelle Blake, Information Directorate, University of York

An international student could:

  • give you a unique insight into an overseas business market for potential import/export activities
  • help you carry out market research to identify new business opportunities
  • use language skills and cultural knowledge to internationalise marketing materials or web content 
  • be the best candidate in your graduate recruitment process and be keen to stay in the UK to develop their career with your company.

Although Careers and Placements staff cannot give specific immigration advice, we might be able to answer any initial queries you have about recruiting our international students and direct you to further sources of help. For detailed questions about the immigration rules we recommend you consult an immigration specialist through the Immigration Law Practitioners Association

Recruiting international talent - during studies

While studying, most international students at York automatically have permission to work for any employer - up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during academic term time, and full-time during the vacation period of their course. This maximum must not be exceeded in any one week.

They are also allowed to work full-time in the four months immediately following the end of their course while their Student visa is still valid. 

  • For undergraduate students this is typically the summer period July - October
  • For taught postgraduates who complete their course in September, this is typically October - January

They can undertake most types of work during this time although there are some restrictions. There is useful information explaining students' right to work on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website. 

To advertise your existing vacancy to international students, upload your vacancy in the usual way in Handshake.

To discuss setting up and recruiting a student or graduate to conduct a project-based internship with your organisation, contact the Internship Bureau on careers-placements@york.ac.uk.

Recruiting international talent - after studies short-term 4-6 months

Employing an international graduate short-term may help you complete a project that requires specific language skills, cultural knowledge, overseas contacts or knowledge of global business markets. 

An international graduate will usually be able to work in the UK full-time for up to 4 months immediately following their course of study, on their existing Student visa; for a postgraduate this period has been extended to 6 months.

  • For undergraduate students, this is typically the summer period July - October
  • For taught postgraduates who complete their course in September, this is typically October - March

There is no need to apply for any additional immigration permission or sponsorship and the student can start work full-time as soon as they reach the end date of their course. If you have a suitable vacancy simply advertise directly to University of York students and graduates through our vacancy advertising service in Handshake.

Recruiting international talent - after studies short-term 12 months

Employing an international graduate short-term may help you complete a project that requires specific language skills, cultural knowledge, overseas contacts or knowledge of global business markets.

Up to 12 months: Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange  (T5) allows you to take on a skilled graduate for up to 12 months, using a third party sponsor. You don't have to be a registered sponsor yourself - an "overarching sponsor" will take over all sponsorship responsibilities. In most cases students are allowed to switch from their Student visa to this Temporary Worker visa within the UK, once they have completed and passed their degree. 

In general the internship should meet the following conditions:

  • not longer than 12 months (although some schemes allow for 24 months sponsorship)
  • supernumerary (outside regular staffing requirements), so typically an internship project
  • paid at least NMW and be in line with all applicable employment legislation
  • work must be at a skill level of NVQ Level 3 or above
  • work must be related to the graduate's course of study

Overarching sponsors who could sponsor a graduate on your behalf include:

 NOTE: Scheme providers can change - check out the full list of approved Government Authorised Exchange schemes and sponsors.

Up to 12 months: Doctorate Extension Scheme: PhD students can apply for an extension to their Student visa under this scheme which allows them to stay in the UK for up to 12 months to look for and start a job. From summer 2021 this scheme will be replaced by the new Graduate Route visa.

Recruiting international talent - after studies 2 years+ or long-term

From 2021 there are two main longer term options for international graduates to stay and work in the UK.

Graduate Route visa

  • For students graduating summer 2021 or later (date to be announced)
  • Graduates can stay in the UK to work for up to two years without sponsorship and are not tied to a particular job or employer
  • Graduates who are employed at skilled worker level (eg a graduate scheme) may be sponsored, see the Skilled Worker visa below.

Skilled Worker visa

From December 2020

  • Points-based visa
  • Appropriate for graduate trainee roles and graduate schemes
  • New graduates switching from a Student visa in the UK (or aged under 26) will be considered a "new entrant" under this scheme.

GOV.UK description of the Skilled Worker visa

GOV.UK visa sponsorship information for employers

Recruiting international talent - resources

Sources of advice

Contact the Employer Engagement and Events Team