Immigration Guidance. Working in the UK after your studies. Tier 4 (General) Students moving to Tier 2 (General)

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1 Immigration Guidance Working in the UK after your studies Tier 4 (General) Students moving to Tier 2 (General)

2 For students on a Tier 4 General visa moving to Tier 2 (General) visa to work in the UK after their studies. Non-EEA/Swiss/EU nationals If you are not an EEA/Swiss or EU national and you wish to remain in the UK to work after your studies, you will require a visa. Tier 4 (General) Students Once you have completed your course, there is usually some time left on your visa. During this time, you can work full time. However, you must not: fill a permanent vacancy or take a permanent contract; engage in self-employment or business; work as an entertainer, sportsperson, doctor or dentist in training. Tier 2 (General) Most students who want to work in the UK after their studies will need to use the Tier 2 (General) work visa route. To use the Tier 2 route, your employer must sponsor your visa. To do so they should be registered as a Tier 2 sponsor with the Home Office and must provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) number issued by the the Home Office.

3 To be eligible to apply, you must Have completed and been awarded your full degree qualification or, if you are a PhD student, have completed at least the first year of your degree. You can apply as soon as you have received notification in writing from the University that your degree has been awarded. This usually happens a few months before graduation. Hold a job offer from a company listed as holding a Tier 2 licence on the Home Office Register of Sponsors. Immigration guidance Have an offer of a graduate level job or one on the shortage occupations list. Be paid the higher of an annual salary of at least 20,500 or the minimum salary for that particular occupation as detailed in the UK Visas and Immigration Occupational Codes of Practice. Apply to switch into Tier 2 from within the UK before your Tier 4 student visa expires. Fulfil the English language and maintenance (personal finances) requirements. Points system Allocation of a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on a points system. There are points available for your job, salary, English language ability and the maintenance funds you hold. To be successful you must score 70 points.

4 Eligibility You can apply to switch to Tier 2 inside the UK if you currently have: Tier 4 (General) Student visa or a student visa issued before March 2009; Tier 4 Dependant visa or Student Dependant visa issued before March 2009; or Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa. You must make your application before your current visa expires. If you apply from inside the UK your employer does not need to pass the Resident Labour Market Test (where they must prove that no other settled worker is suitable for the job). You must apply within three months from the date your COS was assigned and no more than three months before you start work. If you have a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa you can apply as soon as an employer wants to sponsor you. Applying from outside the UK If your current visa expires and you leave the UK you can apply from outside the country if you find an employer. The employer will have to pass the Resident Labour Market Test and they will have to use a restricted COS to sponsor you.

5 University documents required To switch from Tier 4 to Tier 2 inside the UK, you need evidence that you have completed and been awarded your degree. This includes: your original degree certificate (if you have graduated), or your academic transcript; and a Tier 2 Confirmation of Award letter, available from the International Office. Immigration guidance If you have not graduated when you apply, the confirmation of award letter will confirm the date of your graduation. Students with full scholarships If you were fully funded (tuition fees and living costs) for your studies in the UK by the UK government, your home government, the British Council or any international company, overseas university or independent school in the last 12 months you must submit a letter from that sponsor confirming you can remain in the UK to work. Maintenance funds You must show that you ve held at least 945 for a consecutive period of 90 days. The bank statement you provide as evidence must end no later than one month before the date that you apply. If your employer is an A Rated employer they can state on your Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) that they will maintain and accommodate you to the end of your first month of employment in the UK (to a minimum of 945). If this is the case, you will not need to provide evidence of your personal maintenance funds.

6 Online application Once you are ready to apply for the Tier 2 visa and have gathered all of the required documentation, you should complete the online application via the Home Office website. You will need to register for an account. apply.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/iapply.portal The International Student Advisory Service is unable to assist you with completing your application or with checking your documents. If you require assistance with your application you should seek advice from a specialist immigration solicitor or independent advisor. Applying for jobs in the UK When applying for jobs it s useful to look at the Tier 2 Register of Sponsors so that you can focus on employers who can sponsor you and give you with a realistic chance of being offered employment. If, on an application form or at interview, you are asked if you need permission to work in the UK you must answer yes. Employers not on the register If you are offered a job with an employer who is not on the Tier 2 Register of Sponsors, they will need to obtain a licence from the Home Office before they can to issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). In this case, they may wish to take advice from an immigration solicitor or immigration specialist.

7 Conditions of a Tier 2 visa There are certain conditions attached to a Tier 2 visa. The visa will initially be awarded for either 3 or 5 years plus fourteen days (if your employment contract is open-ended) or for the duration of your employment plus one month if your contract is fixed term and less than 5 years. You must apply for a new visa if you change employer and you must attend work regularly if there is unexplained absence or you leave your job early your employer must inform the Home Office. Immigration guidance University Careers Service The University Careers Service has lots of ways to help you find employment in the UK after your studies have finished. They offer information and advice on graduate jobs, internships and work experience as well as help with CVs, applications and interviews. There are useful resources on the Careers Service website, and you can make an appointment to speak to a Careers Consultant. W: E: Third Floor, Main Library Building George Square EH8 9LJ T: King s Buildings, Weir Building West Mains Road EH9 3JY T:

8 More information International Office The International Office at 33 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9JS ( can provide basic information and advice on Tier 2 and other work visa routes. For more detailed enquiries the International Office may refer you to an immigration solicitor or specialist. Online You can find more information online. tier2/general Legal advice A solicitor or immigration specialist can handle your application but will normally charge a fee. You can find local specialists at: oisc.homeoffice.gov.uk There is useful guidance, approved by the Home Office, at: The International Office, 33 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9JS The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336

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