I’m originally from Brazil, leaving my home country right after uni when I was 21 years old. I used the help of the world’s largest youth led organisation (AIESEC) to work in Germany, Belgium and the UK for the last four years and here are my top 5 tips to come work in the UK:
1. International Groups such as British Council and AIESEC
AIESEC offers internships with top corporations by using Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) visa for a year and enabling you to reapply for another year ‘s extension. Gross salaries in the UK go from £18,000-35,000 a year.
Some stats on AIESEC:
- Present in 126 countries & territories
- It generates 22,500 international professional internships per year
- 100,000 members across 2,400 universities
To get involved contact the AIESEC office in the nearest university and ask about their Global Internship Programme.
2. Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE)
Get a job in a company here and introduce them to AIESEC’s Tier 5 GAE license to sponsor your visa: more here. Your chances are especially high in tech where the UK have the biggest talent GAP.
- In order to apply for a Tier 5 GAE visa, the individual must apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship. For AIESEC to assess if the individual is eligible for sponsorship, they must have secured a full-time, temporary paid internship offer from a UK employer.
- The minimum qualification requirement is that of an undergraduate enrolled on a course at a NARIC-listed institution. If, however, the individual is a graduate or post-graduate, then their last education should not have been completed longer than 3 years ago.
Again this visa is valid for a year and you are able to renew it for another one.
If you work in tech industry, the best platform I’ve come across is Hired. They coach you all the way to build an attractive profile to tech companies in the UK.
3. Tier 2 Visa
Work for a multinational company in your home country and ask to be transferred via Tier 2 Visa. This visa is valid for 5 years, however is a bit trickier than it sounds.
You need to:
- have a valid certificate of sponsorship for your job
- show you’re being paid an appropriate salary for your job
- prove your knowledge of English
- have personal savings so you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK
- show you can travel and your travel history over the last 5 years
- have tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
- provide a criminal record certificate from any country you’ve lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, if you’ll be working with vulnerable people
You need to have an eligible qualification if you’re switching from a Tier 4 visa.
Certificate of sponsorship
Your sponsor needs to prove it to the government that they cannot find someone already in the UK either British or EU/EEA who can fill out their current vacancy. The trick most employers use in this case is to be as specific as possible in the vacancy. For instance, there aren’t many bilingual people with a Master’s degree available to work or simply no coders unemployed.
You’ll usually need to be paid at least £30,000 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered – whichever is higher. Check the appropriate rate for the job you’ve been offered.
Check the guidance for situations when you can be paid less – for example if:
- you’ll work as a medical radiographer, nurse, paramedic or secondary school teacher in some subjects
- you’ll work as a pre-registration nurse or midwife
You must have £945 in your bank account for 90 days before you apply. This is to prove you can support yourself.
Management consulting firms, hedge fund banks, private equity and global trainee Programmes in the world’s top 500 companies are very well known for offering this opportunity to transfer internationally and visa sponsor you.
4. Apply for Undergraduate and/or Master’s here
There are plenty of programmes in the UK and they are full of scholarships. If you’re an international student with a good GPA, high GMAT and above average English skills you’ have substantial chances to get at least 50% OFF in your Undergraduate (Bachelor’s). For Master’s and MBAs, this is a bit more scarce, but here in the UK around 30% of all students receive some form of scholarship, otherwise you can always take a loan with very low interest rates from the government and pay it gradually. Check out Scholly – an app that allows you to search scholarships by country and QS Scholarships to browse through exclusive scholarship offered by them.
Alternatively, there are plenty of transfer programmes available such as Erasmus that you can always use to get acquainted to the UK and use your time here to interview as many potential employers as possible.
5. Have an EU passport before Brexit happens
Theresa May, UK’s Prime Minister, triggered the Article 50 on the 27th of March 2017 beginning the two-year countdown to leave the UK. One of the expected actions is tightening on immigration, however it’s been said multiple times by a wide array of specialists that all EU citizens who are here by March 2019 will probably be offered a special sort of visa to continue working here. The UK economy cannot afford to lose 2.38 million estimated EU workers in the country.
That being said, go through your family tree. Use a service to map your ancestors such as Family Service or Ancestry and try to get documentation to when they went to your home country. If you can prove you have a strong ancestors tree coming from the EU, you have good chances of attaining citizenship. Unfortunately now with Brexit you probably won’t have enough time to come to work in the UK, but you would still be able to work in any other amazing EU country i.e Germany, France, Ireland, etc. In this process, time is your friend as it’s becoming increasingly difficult to access it as all borders across the globe are tightening with the raising of the new populism movement with Donald Trump, Brexit and rising terrorism.
For instance, when my mom applied for her Italian citizenship in 1992, it took only a few months. Now my aunt applied for hers in 2009 and hasn’t received yet. The current waiting line is around 10 years across many consulates.
Final Note: After 5 years working in the UK, you’re eligible to take the test to certify to British citizenship and have the irrevocable right to work in the UK. However, time spent either on student visa or tier 5 GAE do not count towards time accumulated on the 5 year naturalisation, only the 10 year route. More details here.
What are you waiting for? Come and make this country even greater!