Make time before you graduate to think about whether you want to look for a graduate job in the UK immediately after your degree, or whether you would like to find work in your home country. If you want to stay in the UK research your options carefully.
With your Tier 4 visa you should have an additional four month period * at the end of your course when you can work full-time without any further immigration permission. * Or six months for taught postgraduates only studying from the 2018/19 academic year onwards
After you have completed your degree, you are likely to have four months left on your visa before it expires (undergraduates) or six months (taught Masters students). Make sure you let prospective employers know you don't need a new visa to work during this time - you can include this information on your application/cover letter - but bear in mind that the student employment restrictions for Tier 4 students still apply to the type of work you can do.
Your main visa options to work in the UK after your Tier 4 visa are:
The Tier 2 visa is intended to help the best international talent stay in the UK long term to start their professional graduate level career. You can find out more about this visa on the Immigration Advice Service pages and the UKCISA site.
Job search - use our resources for finding graduate jobs but then check if the employer is able to recruit you under Tier 2. If they're not already on the list of sponsors, might they be prepared to become a sponsor to recruit you - do you have specialist, in-demand skills that make this feasible? Using the SOC codes above - check if the job is at the right skill and salary level. If it's not it won't be possible to get sponsorship even if the employer is a Tier 2 sponsor.
This type of wording can be quite off-putting and confusing. You should check with the employer exactly what they mean.
Careers and Placements staff are not immigration advisers and are not permitted to give individual immigration advice, but we might be able to answer your initial queries about this issue. If you have any questions please come and talk to us.
See the section above on "permission to work in the UK". There is no longer a “work permit” category in the immigration rules and it is not possible for you to have any work permission in place before being made an offer of a job - unless you have a Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa.
You should not let this wording stop you from applying for a job, provided it meets the requirements for visa sponsorship under the visa category you are considering.
Employers should not use this sort of wording to screen out candidates on the basis of nationality. In many cases it is likely to be a result of confusion about the immigration rules rather than a deliberate screening process (which could be unlawful).
If possible try to speak to the employer to clarify the position. If you are completing an online application form and are unable to proceed, contact the company for advice.
Although targeted at employers, you may find Recruiting International Graduates 2018 (PDF , 179kb) contains helpful information. We also provide information for employers on our website on Recruiting international talent. You can provide this link to employers to help them understand the rules too.
Staff in Careers and Placements are not immigration advisers and are not permitted to give individual immigration advice, but we might be able to answer your initial queries about this issue. If you have any questions please come and talk to us.
Some of this is down to you as an individual - do you have valuable skills, experience and knowledge that make you competitive in the job market? However, realistically only a small number of graduates are able to switch into a work visa after their studies.
Here are the number of visas issued in 2018 - switching from Tier 4 student visa to:
Know the immigration rules
Many employers do not understand the immigration rules - these change frequently and can be complicated. It's important that you understand as much as possible about how your intended immigration route works. The information on the UKCISA website Working in the UK after your Studies is up-to-date and easy to understand. If you are considering an internship on a Tier 5 visa, read our Tier 5 GAE visa information.
Our website has some useful information for employers; you may also want to refer them to Recruiting International Graduates 2018 (PDF , 179kb).
You can also talk to us in Careers and Placements. We cannot give you specific individual immigration advice, but we may be able to answer your initial questions, provide general information and signpost you to sources of help.
If you need specialist immigration advice you can contact a solicitor through the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.
It can be challenging to find a graduate job with visa sponsorship in the UK and you may find you need to consider returning home to look for work. Start exploring the possibilities as early as you can, research the job market and plan to make the best use of your UK experience. See the section on Working in your home country for more help.
Who to contact
Careers and Placements
- Harewood Way, University of York, York, YO10 5DD
- Students and York graduates can contact us or book an appointment via Careers Gateway
- Tel: +44 (0)1904 332685
- Term time: Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm
- Vacation opening times vary - please check the opening times page