Visa regulations have not been a good subject for anyone wishing to study in the UK. The perception is almost completely negative – and it is easy to understand why. However, visa issues are one of the most misreported and misunderstood issues within the MBA, UK job market and the situation is not quite as black and white as external perception and reporting would suggest.
In fact, any student graduating from a UK university with an undergraduate or post-graduate degree is eligible to be employed under the Tier 2 General scheme. When making the changes which took effect in 2012, the UK government came to understand that their original plans would have an extremely negative effect on overseas students – a valued, high-quality group of investors in the UK – and built in a concession which allows a seamless transition from Tier 4 (student visa) to Tier 2 (company sponsored) and removes all barriers, such as Resident Labour Market Test or visa quotas, from the equation.
What does this mean in practice? A recruiting company must be Tier 2 General sponsored – which most organisations of significant size are. They can then employ and sponsor an overseas graduate from a UK university with minimal cost and paperwork. It’s true that many organisations were reluctant to go down this route initially, as they were unsure or uninformed of the options available.
However, the good news is that many companies have changed this policy and are now welcoming applications. For the MBA market in particular, the quality of students and level of experience they offer mean that they are more successful in the job market than perception would suggest. This is particularly true of consultancies, corporates and multi-national organisations, of course, but the current situation is that progress is being made……………..so, while there are never any guarantees, there is much more opportunity available than the media or word of mouth might suggest and quite a lot of cause for optimism.