Helen Foley

Job title: Visa Compliance Manager, Degree Programmes
Location: London

Posts by Helen

Hi everyone

My name is Helen Foley and I’m the Visa Compliance Manager for London Business School. My role here includes supporting new students coming to us from outside the UK – which is most of you, so I’m kept pretty busy! I’m excited to be posting my first blog entry for new applicants for 2014.

As you are all no doubt aware, visas continue to be a hot topic for prospective and current students in the UK. Contrasting stories and anecdotes in the media and on social networking sites make it difficult to know what the real situation is. My blog today aims to dispel a few media myths and clarify the current situation for both study and post-study work visas for full-time, non-EU students at London Business School.

Let’s start with the easiest bit – getting a visa to study at London Business School is very straight-forward. Speaking frankly, the calibre of students at the School sets the bar higher than that set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) meaning our full-time degree programme students are perfect candidates for Tier 4 visas. With confirmed proof of your place at the School, and evidence that you can pay your tuition fees and support yourself financially while in the UK, you will have no problem obtaining your Tier 4 visa.

Staying on the topic of Tier 4 Student visas, as you will be studying a postgraduate degree for 12 months or longer, your dependants – which means your spouse, partner or children – can apply for Tier 4 Dependant visas to join you in the UK. Dependants can work full-time, study or attend school while in the UK. As a Tier 4 student, you will also be permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during any non-study periods. I know this can be very important for both financial and work experience reasons during your degree.

Speaking of work, I’m very aware that before even applying for a programme at London Business School, many of you are focussed on what your post-study opportunities will be. While it is true that changes to the Immigration Rules in 2011 changed the outlook for post-study work in general, we are pleased to report that the view for London Business School students on our full-time degree programmes remains bright and sunny. Our employment figures since 2012 speak for themselves – more than 50% of non-EU MBA and MIF students have found post-study work in the UK. The changes to the Immigration Rules actually discriminate in favour of highly skilled, highly paid workers. London Business School graduates are exactly the people that the UK government is encouraging to stay and work in the UK.

Most students find work under the Tier 2 sponsored route where an employer sponsors a non-EU worker. For people looking for work from outside the UK (including students at business schools in the rest of Europe and the US), this can be an onerous, difficult process due to a number of regulatory and compliance requirements. As a London Business School graduate on Tier 4, you will be exempt from these hurdles, putting you in a very strong position in terms of employability. The Career Services team at London Business School work very successfully with employers to ensure that our students receive excellent job opportunities, regardless of nationality. The post-study work exemption for UK graduates is key to this success.

For the more entrepreneurial-minded among you, there are also great post-study work opportunities. In UKVI language, London Business School is an endorsing institution for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas. In simpler terms, this means that the School can sponsor up to 40 students per year to say in the UK following their graduation to develop and establish a business here. For 2013/14, we have already sponsored more than 20 students for these visas, with further applications pending at the time of writing. As a School, we are thrilled to be able to do so, and from a personal perspective, continuing to support our students post-graduation with original and often remarkable business plans is one of the best parts of my job.

I hope this helps to unpack some of the fog around visas and clarifies what your options are in coming to London Business School, and looking ahead to your future as a graduate of the School. I look forward to meeting many of you at Admits events in the coming months, and well as supporting you in your Tier 4 applications before welcoming you to London Business School later this year.

Helen Foley

Visa Compliance Manager, London Business School