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THE UK: Visa Guides

Update to how starting salaries will impact UK visa applications

The UK government appear to be relenting on their tough stance on graduate salaries for international students wishing to remain in the country they study

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Good news for international students in the UK! The government seem to be relaxing the rules on graduate salary requirements for visa applications. However, a new batch of students will still have to struggle in the meantime. What can they do?

Last April, changes were made to policy regarding internationals who wished to remain in the UK. To obtain a visa, they would have to secure employment in a sector relevant to their qualification, with a salary that many deem difficult to achieve in this economic climate (at least £20, 000). While domestic students are struggling to do the same, it can be discouraging to those who have settled down in the country while studying. This has resulted negatively on Britain’s longstanding image as a nation welcoming of skilled foreign students. It’s a shame because so many students fall in love with the place they study in and wish to stay; especially if the place is a vibrant city like Brighton or Sydney, or they have found someone special.  

 

Update

Now, this seems to be changing with the release of a Statement of Intent by the Home Office, indicating that the government is changing its outlook. However until something is confirmed, the problem remains for international students planning to complete their course in the next few months; they still face the hard task of finding a salary usually reserved for those with many years of experience. Of course, this is just another stress added to final year work.

So what can international students do to improve their likelihood for employment? Consider the tips below:

 

Integrate with others

Meeting people from other cultures is often one of the main reasons for choosing to study abroad. However, once we get to our destination, homesickness can set in. It can be easier to make friends with those we have a lot in common with already i.e. students from our own country. It’s seems a bit of a shame when you’ve travelled so far already - so go that extra step outside your comfort zone! Push yourself to attend societies and events with a mix of students. As an international student, you will probably be the most interesting person in the group. Occasionally, it is nice to have friends from your own country when you need to speak to someone with a similar background; but find the correct balance.

 

References within the country you study

Having references that are up-to-date is vital to securing any job or placement. If a prospective employer cannot easily reach someone to vouch for you, they may not go to the trouble to pursue your application further. This can be especially difficult for international students relying on referees in another country, where there may be a breakdown in communication. The solution is to maintain good relationships with those you have met while studying. These could be tutors you have established a good relationship with, or your employer from a part-time job. Visit tutors in office hours whenever possible, rather than suffer in silence over a problem you have.

 

Use holidays wisely

If you can’t make it home for holidays, don’t be too sad. Rather than sit in an empty house for several weeks, missing your friends and family, stay busy. Internships have already been widely discussed as necessary to seeking employment once you’ve graduated. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be productive and contribute towards your CV. Look at internships, placements or schemes which are relevant to your career goals. If holidays span a month, you can fit in two different placements in that time, learning valuable skills along the way.

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About Author

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Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.

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