How will the new UK graduate immigration route help international students to find work?

For many international students looking to or currently studying in the UK, one of the top queries is around permission to remain in the UK post-graduation. While there are some differing implications depending on personal circumstances, a new immigration route for the UK has now been confirmed. From 1st July, international students who want to work in the UK upon successfully completing their degree can apply for the new graduate route. This route allows new graduates two years to work or look for work in the UK. This move from the UK government gives a more realistic time frame for students to find experience and employment after university, but what else should international students consider if they would like to start their career in the UK?

The new visa implications

The new graduate route is a fantastic new addition but ensure that you understand how it relates to your personal circumstances. Here are some of the top points:

-The route is accessible to international students who have a valid student visa at the time of application and have completed a degree at undergraduate level or higher.

-Once an application has been approved, graduates will be able to look for employment at any skill level for up to two years. At which point, they will be able to apply for the Skilled worker route once they have found a suitable job from within the UK.

Although the route does not count towards settlement, at the end of the two-year period, eligible graduates will be able to switch into other routes including the Skilled worker, Start-Up and Global Talent.

There are also concessions that have been added to support students affected by COVID-19 restrictions, for more details see the key points fact sheet from the Home office and as always, connect to the Immigration team at your university for up-to-date advice and support with your application.

Identify your skills

The UK’s recruitment process works around matching skills to the job in question. So, to meet the criteria you’ll need to start by identifying your top skills and strengths to create a personal brand. This may be an opportunity to add to your skills where necessary and gain additional work experience to fill the gaps. Once you’ve identified these skills, present and exhibit these both in your applications and interviews with examples and evidence that show you hold these skills and meet the criteria for the role.

Create your job strategy

Job hunting can be frustrating, but with a clear strategy for what you want and how to get there, the journey will be made easier. Think about which jobs are suitable for you and your skills. If you aren’t eligible for the new graduate route, are you applying for companies that are willing to sponsor graduates or suit your situation? These are some starting points to consider when creating your strategy. How is your current strategy working for you? If you’ve applied to a wide range of roles without invitation for interview, then it could be an indication to update your approach. Create a list of dream roles/companies and just focus on those. This may mean looking at a slightly smaller pool of jobs, but by really paying attention to what the role requires, industry knowledge in this area and how suitable you are for the role you’re giving yourself the opportunity to send a high-quality application that matches you to the job you want.

GradLink have produced support pages to answer questions and provide advice for working in the UK, there you will find our 7 point plan for finding a job in the UK with videos, links and advice including how to perfect your (video) interview skills, how to find suitable work experience and how connecting to international alumni can help you secure a role. GradLink will also be releasing a new webinar series for international applicants to UWE Bristol called the Enhanced Careers Programme for International Student : Get a job in the UK from 11-25 May 2021. This series will speak to UWE’s successful international graduates and employers, give specific internship advice, show students the path to setting up a business just to start, full details to sign up will be shared on GradLink next month. For access to our FREE service and, register today for the top news and advice for international students.

By Jen Garmston Published: Mar 18,2021