In this article, Nayonika discusses some takeaways from the conversation with our guests on the implications of changing visa structures and rules for international students and the prospects for their employability in the UK.
Nayonika – The International Question
We asked the guests questions surrounding the context of changing regulations for visas for international students and their speculations on the introduction of the Graduate Route on their employability in the UK.
The Tier 4 Visa which most international students previously acquired to study in the UK, permits 20 hours part-time work per week, along with full time studies. It also prevents students from freelancing or acquiring self employed status while studying. Previously, the only prospect available for most students to pursue working in the UK post graduation was acquiring either the Tier 2 (General) visa-sponsored employment, the Global Talent Visa or in some cases Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange). The re-introduction of the ‘Post-Study Visa’ or the ‘Graduate Route’, brings in a positive change for international students as it offers a 2 year extension to work at any skill level and live in the UK. The time spent in work under this visa will not count towards settlement. It gives international students 2 years, rather than 4 months as previously, to live and work while looking for permanent positions and opportunities.
Shima and Nicki were both very honest as they tackled these questions. What the future will hold with these changes remains unclear as the Home Office is yet to publish the exact terms for work and employment that these new routes would offer. The transition is currently in process, hence to grasp a complete synopsis of this question is difficult at this point in time.
Shima mentioned that some of her clients were able to secure positions for employment with the Tier 2 visa. The key is to be direct with your employer and well informed about your position. Know your working status and capabilities under your visas and when inform your employer of this when applying for a position. Transparency is key in these situations. She also recalled that some potential employers and aspiring candidates also hire lawyers to facilitate this process. Do research about the organisation you’re applying to, their policies and the help they provide. Find out which institutions and workplaces offer sponsorships. Get in touch with the company or institution’s administration to understand more about their policy on hiring international candidates. Engage in dialogue to clarify and explain your situation.
Nicki spoke about how remote working has made collaborating and working across borders more accessible. As a self employed creative practitioner, one must be aware of the tax implications of their country of residence. They must also be aware of the rules and structures of employment in the countries of their employers. Nicki mentioned, it was essential to have a clear understanding of these working relationships and liabilities in order to collaborate and position yourself confidently in this international workspace.
Awareness and information is key. Remain transparent about your position and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. Be ambitious but also realistic. Access all your resources and networks wisely to build fruitful working collaborations across the world.