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International talent

Heslington Hall with a bright blue sky.

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.

Find out more on the Student Circus blog: Why more employers should hire international students

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 the academic semester, 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 York Internships on

International students may also be able to do a placement or year in industry while on a student visa.

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

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

Graduate visa

  • No sponsorship required - the graduate applies for this visa when they have confirmation that they have completed their course
  • For work at any skill level, or salary; not tied to a particular job or employer
  • Graduates can stay in the UK for two years, or three years for a PhD graduate
  • Possible to switch into the Skilled Worker visa (see below) at the end of the Graduate visa; or you may prefer to sponsor your graduate recruits from the start of their employment.

Skilled Worker visa

  • Points-based visa
  • Appropriate for graduate trainee roles and graduate schemes
  • The job must be on the list of eligible occupations
  • New graduates switching from a Student visa in the UK (or aged under 26), or from a Graduate visa, will be considered a "new entrant" under this scheme
  • New entrants must be paid a minimum of £30,960 (based on a 37.5 hour working week) or 70% of the going rate for the job, whichever is higher. Going rates for eligible occupation codes (GOV.UK)

GOV.UK description of the Skilled Worker visa

GOV.UK visa sponsorship information for employers

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

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 - resources

Sources of advice

Contact the Employer Engagement and Events Team