UK work options

UK work options

Want to work in the UK after completing your education? Karan Gupta lists out your options


Getting a job in the UK after studying is not easy. Most international students in the UK go back home after studying and very few actually manage to score a job in the UK itself. However, there are certain visa categories that you can apply for, which may just help you stay back in the UK after graduation.


Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa


If you want to set up a business in the UK and have at least 50,000 pounds to invest in the business, you will be eligible for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. This visa can be approved in as little as 3 weeks and is valid for a period of 3 years. Before the visa expires you can extend it by a period of 2 years, making the total validity 5 years. And if you have been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for a settlement visa, which means that you get permanent residency and don’t have to leave.


If you do manage to get the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you will be able to get your family with you and start your own enterprise. However, you cannot be employed by another business and your primary purpose of stay in the UK will be to run your own business.


Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa


If you are a recognized leader or emerging leader in the field of science, technology, humanities, medicine, digital technology or the arts, you can apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. You have to apply for the visa in two stages – the first stage where you get endorsed by the Home Department as a leader or emerging leader and then the second stage when you actually apply for the visa. This visa can be approved in 3 weeks. The visa is valid for 5 to 5.4 years and extendable by another 5 years, making the total duration 10 to 10.4 years. This visa does not apply to doctors, dentists, or people in sports.


Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa


If you are a graduate student who has a business idea and have been officially endorsed by the Department for International Trade or a UK higher education institute (which has been authorized), you can apply for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa. After being endorsed, the visa process takes a maximum of 3-8 weeks and the visa is valid for 1 year, extendable by another year. Thus the total that you can stay on this visa is 2 years. You cannot use this visa to settle in the UK and it is not valid for doctors, dentists and people in sports.


Tier 2 (General) visa


If you have been offered a skilled job in the UK by a licensed sponsor, you can apply for the Tier 2 (General) visa. You can get this visa in 3 weeks and the visa is valid for a maximum period of 5 years and 14 days. This option may seem like the best option for students who are currently studying in the UK and are looking for jobs. However, many employers find it hard to justify why they should employ international students and not UK residents and hence are skeptical of sponsoring such visas.


Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa


If you are an elite sportsperson or qualified coach, who has been recognised by the particular sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of your profession internationally, and you intend to develop your sport in the UK, you can apply for the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa. The visa can be obtained in 3 weeks and is valid for 3 years, extendable by another 3 years, making the total validity 6 years.


Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)


As the name suggests, the Tier 5 visa is designed for temporary workers in various fields including working for charity (with no payment), creative and government authorized schemes, international agreements, and religious workers. Visas for Tier 5 category are generally approved in 3 weeks and are valid for a period of 1-2 years and in some cases longer.


Remember networking is the best way to find jobs, not only in the UK but anywhere in the world. Networking includes creating your Linkedin profile and being active by publishing articles, speaking to alumni and faculty of your institute and sending out your resume directly to placement agencies and companies. If you network well, you may just be able to secure a much coveted job in the UK.

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