Kara Dunkley

I am LBS’s international Student Advisor, assisting with both financial aid advise and UK visas advice. I joined LBS in September this year having previously worked in many different roles in the higher education sector including admissions and recruitment, student affairs and immigration advise. I am your first point of contact if you have any questions about the many different UK visas options that are available for both you and your family and any student loan advise you may need to assist with funding your studies at LBS. I have a passion for travel and cultural diversity. I have lived in 10 different countries and travelled around well over 20. My passion for the foods, languages and cultures of all of these new and exciting places is what drives me to help others have the opportunity to experience a new city a new way of life and meet people from all over the world.

Posts by Kara

If any of you who are international students or potential students, thinking about or worrying about getting jobs after your studies I thought that this little post about visa options might help.

I know that 2016 has been a significant year of change especially for international students in the UK. It is not all bad news though.

The UK government’s immigration policies are supportive of graduates of UK business schools and universities and most importantly the UK Government is committed to helping the brightest and the best make a contribution to the British economy which of course is great for graduates of London Business School (LBS) as you are just that.

There are lots of options available to international students who want to stay and work in the UK after their studies although not as flexible as in the past.

Below are the three most common visa schemes available to international students: Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5.

There are many more which I will try to post about in more detail throughout next year, but for now take a look at these:

Tier 2 (General)

Overview:  This is the main immigration route to work in the UK. The visa is linked to a specific job and employer.

Is Sponsorship required?  Yes, from the Tier 2 licensed employer.

What is the Maximum duration of stay permitted?  5 years.

Can I switch from Tier 4 inside the UK?  Yes, and there are benefits of doing so. As a recent UK graduate on a Tier 4 visa, you qualify for an exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test. This makes things much easier for Employers to sponsor our alumni on a Tier 2 visa and offer them post-study job opportunities.

What do I need to qualify for this visa type? Sponsorship is in the form of a COS from a Tier 2 licensed employer. The job needs to meet various requirements including a minimum salary.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

Overview:  London Business School endorses up to 20 Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas each year. This visa is aimed at students who complete their degree in the UK and wish to stay to develop a business plan or entrepreneurial idea.

Is Sponsorship required?  No, but there must be an endorsement from LBS.

What is the Maximum duration of stay permitted?  12 months with the possibility of renewal for a further 12 months.

Can I switch from Tier 4 inside the UK?  Yes, and you will also be able to switch to Tier 2 from this category if you find a sponsor later down the line.

What do I need to qualify for this visa type?  Your final transcript following completion of your course, endorsement letter from LBS and maintenance requirements.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility

Overview:  For individuals of certain nationalities including Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand aged between 18-30.

Is Sponsorship required?  Yes but only for certain countries.

What is the Maximum duration of stay permitted?  24 months

Can I switch from Tier 4 inside the UK?  No, unfortunately you can’t, you will need to make the application from back home.

What do I need to qualify for this visa type? A certificate of sponsorship is required for nationals of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan. Other requirements include maintenance.


Below are some very good links that have much more information and helpful advice.

I hope this has made anyone who was worried about the limited options for working feel a bit better about the visa  that are out there for you.

Please contact me via email visas@london.edu with any further questions you may have.