As you’re aware, post-study Visa, and its validity period, has been a consistent worry for immigrants in the United Kingdom.
This is common among graduates and budding entrepreneurs who intend to give back to the country by contributing their quota towards her economy.
With issues bordering on the extension of visa and securing jobs with a sustainable income, many find it challenging to stay back after schooling in the UK.
But here’s the good news.
The UK Immigration law was recently reviewed to accommodate immigrants who are willing to invest and contribute to the development of the country.
So, if you intending to get a post-study visa in the UK after schooling, read on!
We have answers to your worries.
What you should know is that there are two very reliable ways to enjoy post-study opportunities in the UK.
The first is by securing a UK Investor visa (Start-Up and Innovator) while the second way is by securing a post-study job.
Here’s how you can be eligible for both:
(1) The new Investor Visa schemes
There are two categories of visa for prospective investors in the UK – The Start-Up and The Innovator
(A)What is a UK Start-Up Visa?
The UK Start-Up Visa replaces the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa Programme, which is no longer available to new Visa applicants.
It takes at least three weeks before you can get a response to your UK Start-Up visa application so, it is advisable to apply as early as possible.
The Visa programme is ideal if you are a brilliant entrepreneur who has never run a business in the UK before.
The best part of this is, it is not mandatory that you have funds available to start the business. All you need is a viable, sustainable and economy-friendly business idea.
You can only apply for the UK Start-Up visa if:
- You are not a citizen of any European Economic Area (EEA) country.
- You plan to start a business in the UK.
Below is a highlight of the minimum requirements you must fulfill before applying for the Start-Up UK Visa.
- You must provide evidence showing that you have some personal savings that you can spend as living costs in the country.
- You have to be 18 years or older
- A professional body would have to assess your business or business idea.
- You must have the required English Language skill score.
The Start-Up UK visa permits you to stay for a period of two years, during which you can fly in your wife, partner, and your children.
However, your children must be below 18 years old.
It also permits you to support your finances by working for others while you build up your business. However, you will have to stay back in the UK for most parts of the two years granted.
Although it is not possible to extend a Start-Up visa, you can apply for the Innovator Visa at the end of the validity period. If granted, you can then continue to grow your business.
After running the business successfully for five years, you may be permitted to settle permanently in the UK if you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
(B)What is a UK Innovator Visa?
Like the Start-Up visa, this was also recently introduced to the United Kingdom Visa categories.
It’s for experienced entrepreneurs who are willing to launch their businesses in the UK.
According to the UK Government, the Innovator Visa is “a route for more experienced business people looking to establish a business in the UK.
An applicant needs to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body.
With some exceptions, applicants will have funding to invest in their business. This category may lead to settlement in the UK.”
This visa scheme replaces the defunct Entrepreneur (Tier 1) Visa which was closed on March 29, 2019.
Although it was not announced to be exclusive, the UK government has stated that the Innovator Visa would largely be granted to tech-related business as the country continues to make continuous efforts to grow its Technology sector.
What are the requirements for the UK Innovator Visa?
To be considered for this scheme, you must:
- make an initial investment of at least £50,000,
- be 18 years or older,
- have your business idea assessed by an endorsing body,
- have the required English Language skill score.
The UK Innovator Visa is valid for three years, after which you can apply for an extension. Just as it is applicable for immigrants who launched their businesses through the Start-Up visa, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after running your business successfully for 5 years.
(2) Post-study work opportunities.
While this option is relatively popular, we realize that a good number of immigrants in the UK struggle to secure sustainable jobs after school, forcing many to return to their native countries upon the expiry of their visas.
Meanwhile, gainfully employed immigrants can apply for visa extension whose validity ranges from one to six years.
Is it certain that every graduate will get a job immediately after school? No!
Is it easy to find good jobs as an international student/ graduate in the UK?
Yes, it is.
All you have to do is go through these recommendations.
1. Study courses whose graduates are in high demand in the country.
2. Take part in employability clinics in your school. Here you will learn how to write convincing cover letters, ask questions on grey areas in your chosen field, and so on.
3. Some schools offer instant job placements to students in selected fields. You can learn about those selected courses and enroll for them. Luckily, many UK schools accept student transfers. Which means you can always apply for a change of school, once you discover that the new school offers job placements in your chosen field.
4. Secure part-time jobs when schooling. While you may not need a paying job as a student, it is good to have the necessary work experience. It is especially useful if your part-time job relates to your field. Employers would most likely choose an experienced individual over an inexperienced graduate.