Advice about recruiting international students

Recruiting International Students – Information for Employers

The benefits of employing international students

  • It can help you understand and deal effectively with overseas customers and supplies.
  • It can help your business expand into new global markets.
  • It will broaden the outlook of your staff and help your business to be open to new ideas.
  • You can recruit the ‘brightest and best’ employees from around the world.

Options available if you are considering employing international students: 

Recruitment for Placements and Internships - Tier 4 Student Visa

  • International students can work part-time in term time, full-time during vacations, and until expiry of Tier 4 visa (e.g. contract, project or consultancy work) after graduating.

Recruitment for Graduate Positions - Employer Sponsored Tier 2 Visa

  • The employer must be listed on the UKBA Register of Sponsors.
  • The salary stipulated in the UKBA Standard Occupational Code for the job role and no less than £20,000.
  • The student must meet the UKBA points requirements (e.g. degree level post, salary, certificate of sponsorship, English language, maintenance).
  • The employer can recruit the best person for the role - no labour market test required (if student applies from within the UK following graduation)
  • The employer must issue international student with Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • The student must apply for Tier 2, if within the UK, before expiry of current visa.

Recruitment for Graduate Positions - 2 year Post Study Work Visa (PSW) Tier 1

  • New applications to Tier 1 PSW visa closed from April 2012.
  • Students with existing PSW visas can be employed until expiry of PSW visa.
  • It is possible to switch from PSW to Tier 2 to continue working.

Recruitment for Work Experience - Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange - some examples

  • Covers work experience for specific professions (e.g. Architecture, Pharmacy), visas organised by GAE Sponsors e.g. Professional Bodies.
  • Six months work experience for any employer (e.g. BUNAC Blue Card Internship Programme).
  • International student needs to apply from their home country.

Employing International Students - Next Steps

  • Employer must be listed on the UKBA Register of Sponsors to get a sponsorship licence (for breakdown of costs see UKBA website).
  • Issue the international student with a certificate of sponsorship.
  • Keep accurate personnel records for your international employee during employment.

Please note

This update is only a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist advice should be sought from a member of the University Immigration Team in relation to any queries that may arise. 


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