The Student Room Group

international grad students - what's your plan of action?

(soz if im not posting this in the right place)

I'm a September 2024 admit for Uni of Manchester who has been terrified about the graduate visa being removed, and I just saw an article that said it's very likely to be.

I'm from the United States, and was really looking forward to grad school in the UK this fall. It's been a lifelong dream of mine and I've been working and saving for months since I applied last October. Now it feels like the whole thing is just disappearing in front of me. I could try to just go for the degree and try my best to get a job right after graduating, but going at all is going to cost me 90% of my life savings.. but I also have nothing going for me in the US, no family, and living here causes me tons of anxiety.

I'm really not sure what to do or who to even talk to. If you're in a similar boat or have any advice, I would really appreciate it 😭
Original post by violetsux
(soz if im not posting this in the right place)
I'm a September 2024 admit for Uni of Manchester who has been terrified about the graduate visa being removed, and I just saw an article that said it's very likely to be.
I'm from the United States, and was really looking forward to grad school in the UK this fall. It's been a lifelong dream of mine and I've been working and saving for months since I applied last October. Now it feels like the whole thing is just disappearing in front of me. I could try to just go for the degree and try my best to get a job right after graduating, but going at all is going to cost me 90% of my life savings.. but I also have nothing going for me in the US, no family, and living here causes me tons of anxiety.
I'm really not sure what to do or who to even talk to. If you're in a similar boat or have any advice, I would really appreciate it 😭

The graduate visa route was only introduced in 2021. Before that, every international student had to find a job for after they graduate to stay in the country, if they wanted to stay that is.
The fact the graduate visa will be removed shouldn't be that detrimental, although I can see the definite benefits of it.

In reality, a student should start looking fro graduate jobs in September-November of their final year, which is when majority of the companies who advertise graduate level positions start publishing them on the web. I don't know much about other fields of study besides STEM, but for STEM it's best to check gradcracker - https://www.gradcracker.com/
There are hundreds of opportunities being released every year, so as long as you apply to at least 10-20 jobs total, and assuming the quality of your application as well as your interview skills are good, you should have no problems with securing yourself a graduate job or two.

Once you have the job offer signed etc, you can relax and focus on your studies. Majority of the companies will also fully sponsor your transition from Tier-4 student visa to the Tier-2 work visa, and the process itself is rather smooth.
The only thing you need to check is that the company you apply to work for is listed on the Tier-2 visa sponsor list, you can view it here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-workers
There are currently 93 THOUSAND A-rated companies on that list, so quite a few.

I hope that helps, but you can always seek for some guidance at your Uni in that regard. They must have someone there helping international students navigate the immigration laws.

All the best,
Al

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