Graduate visa - communicating with employers

Posted in: Advice, Graduate Jobs, International Students

This blog is re-posted and updated as part of the Get UK Career Ready week, have a look at the events we are running, tailored to international students, from Monday 30th January to Thursday 2nd February. 


As an international student /graduate, with the graduate visa you can apply for any job at any level without employer sponsorship (with few exceptions), which means that there are lots of job opportunities out there, in every sector and every industry. Without needing employer sponsorship, jobs are there for your taking. It also opens up opportunities in smaller to medium organisations which may not sponsor originally. However, many employers are still unaware of this new visa and therefore may still believe that an expensive sponsorship and complex administrative procedures are still needed. This his may be an obstacle in your job search. So what can you do in order to overcome this?

  • Put yourself in the employer’s shoes

With Brexit, the pandemic and cost of living crisis, many companies have struggled, especially smaller companies. The companies may have had enough to worry about to notice the introduction of a new post study work visa, and it also has not been widely promoted. In addition, before the graduate visa, employing international students was expensive and time – consuming.  Therefore, don’t get annoyed if they don’t know what you are talking about when you tell them about the graduate visa and try and be understanding and polite, putting yourself in their shoes.

  • Come armed with information

If the employer has no idea about the graduate visa, make sure that you do! Make sure that you have read through the information about the visa from the Student Immigration Service and have link or leaflets ready to email. Student Immigration Service has their own leaflet and can confirm with employers or look here for an even more comprehensive employer leaflet regarding visa options for working after studies for international students.

In addition, make sure you know exactly when you are able to work full-time and if there is a gap between this and applying for the graduate visa, make sure you know what work you are allowed to do during this time, sometimes an employer will have to employ you temporarily for a short time.  All this information will make it easier for both you and the employer.

  • Create a sales pitch

In addition to your unique skills and experiences that you can bring to the company, have a think about what benefits someone on the graduate visa can bring a company. For example, it doesn’t cost the employer anything and the employer does not need to complete any lengthy sponsorship application. In addition, one advantage that employers have told us; the graduate visa is a great tool for an employer to assess a candidate's suitability for a company and job role so that they are 100% certain before hiring the candidate permanently on a skilled worker visa. The graduate visa can also be useful for employers looking for a relatively quick and cost-effective way of meeting their recruitment needs around short-term projects, or where some level of flexibility is needed if they’re not yet sure of longer term requirements. Have a think about what benefits the graduate visa can give a company in your specific situation and don’t be afraid to voice this to an employer.

For any further job search advice and tips, or how to answer the “right to work” question, make sure to check our Get Started International Students Guide. 

The Careers Service wish you all the best in your job search!

Posted in: Advice, Graduate Jobs, International Students


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