Recruiting international students

Good news for employers

Recognising the value of UK degree-educated talent, the government has put in place dispensations for the recruitment of our graduates, making it easy to recruit from Lancaster University Management School.

We recommend that employers always refer to the UK Border Agency's current immigration advice.

Guidance on the Tier 2 and 5 of the Points Based System, to be used on all Tier 2 and 5 applications made on or after 6 April 2015, can be found here.

Salient points referring to the employment of UK-educated graduates include:

UK educated graduates fall into the category of ‘unrestricted’ jobs if they are applying from within the UK

27.4 There is an annual limit of 20,700 CoS available to sponsors under Tier 2 (General). The limit runs from 6 April each year to 5 April the following year.

27.7 The following are exempt from the limit and we call these ‘unrestricted’ jobs, for which an ‘unrestricted’ CoS is needed:

a) All applications by migrants who are applying from within the UK, including those extending their stay in Tier 2, changing employer, or switching immigration category.

(UK-educated graduates applying in-country fall into the category of migrants who are switching from one category to another, that is, from Tier 4 as students to Tier 2 (General)).

Jobs offered to UK-educated graduates are not required to be subjected to a resident labour market test.


Post-study work

28.8 You do not have to complete a resident labour market test if a migrant you want to sponsor is applying for Tier 2 (General) leave in the UK and has, or was last granted leave to enter, or to stay in the UK….

f) if they were last granted permission to stay in the UK as a Tier 4 migrant or as a student and during their last grant of leave, or a continuous period of leave that includes their last grant of leave, they have received final results confirming they

  • have passed and will be (or have been) awarded a UK recognised bachelor’s or master’s degree

Implications for employers

If they do not have an offer of work and are in the process of switching, students will only be able to stay in the UK until their student visa runs out. The period between finishing their studies and the end of their student visa – the time when they will be required to leave the UK – is usually only four months between September and January, and may vary for each individual.

It is easier to recruit a graduate from a UK university because these people fall outside the annual limit and you do not need to do a labour market test.

Regarding job advertisements - instead of stating, "candidates must have permission to work in the UK," employers may find useful the phrase, "the successful candidate must, by the start of their employment, have permission to work in the UK."