Careers Service

Frequently asked questions - Finding and applying for jobs

Which companies hire international students / who should I apply to?

The majority of graduate employers will be happy to accept applications from international students. However, some firms will not be in a position to sponsor visas for you - they may not be on the Sponsor Register (required for visa sponsorship) or the job may not meet the minimum salary requirements. There may also be a few firms whose positions require UK nationals (for security reasons).

The Tier 5 visa does not require an employer sponsor but an overarching organisation can act as the sponsor. Tier 5 schemes and sponsors are included on the Sponsor Register.

How do I approach employers about visas at careers fairs/events?

Make a good first impression by asking questions that show you have a genuine interest in the company/work rather than asking questions about visas, sponsorship or hiring international students. You can check before you go about which companies are on the Sponsor Register and focus on promoting your skills and motivation and how these are a good fit for the company.

Are there any graduate programmes just for international students?

Some companies run schemes that allow graduates to train in the UK offices for 1 or more years, and then relocate to the organisation in their home countries, subject to the needs of their business. Examples include; Unilever (China or EMEA) Programme, Tesco China Programme, Glaxosmithkline, PricewaterhouseCoopers (China).

There are a number of agents established to help you find positions both in the UK and/or home countries. Some are free to register with, others charge for any career coaching services. Look out for recruitment fairs such as Global Career Company's annual fair in the UK and organisations that attend events on campus such as Mandarin Consultant.

What if an application asks if I have permission to work in the UK?

See the common problems section under Tier 2 employer sponsor visa on the UKCISA website.

How do I answer an application form question about UCAS points or qualifications?

UCAS points are allocated to post-16 qualifications in the UK and used by universities for entry to higher education. Some graduate employers may ask you to include UCAS points on your application as a way to assess your academic record. If you have international qualifications there is no direct way of providing an equivalent number of UCAS points but there are ways you can deal with questions about this on an application form.

Where can I find out where international graduates from Manchester are now working in the UK?

When does my student visa expire and can I work full-time in the UK after I have completed my studies and before my student visa expires?

Check your visa to see when your student visa expires. Usually, it expires 4-6 months after your studies have ended and during this time you can work full-time in the UK on your Tier 4 visa, but not in a permanent position. Please see the following guidance on the UKCISA website.

Are there any graduate recruitment websites which specifically advertise Tier 2 positions?

Yes, please see the following websites: