As most of you will know by now, the new PSW visa introduced by the UK government will come into effect from 1st July 2021.
This means that as long as you are holding a valid Tier 4 student visa and are in the UK, you will be eligible to switch to this visa and stay to work ,or look for work, for up to 2 years.
However there’s a problem, as this will be a new visa route which many people will get for the first time, there will be an impact on your job search. Especially if you are seeking a job with sponsorship.
Those who do not know how to utilize this visa and the time it grants, or do not have a clear plan to get a job with the skilled worker visa, will find themselves applying to the wrong dead end jobs or wasting valuable time.
In this article you will learn what you should be considering and doing once you have the PSW visa so that you can make the most of the extra time you have based on your career goals.
KNOWING YOUR PATH
There will be primarily two types of graduates who opt for the PSW visa, each with a different type of career goal.
There will be those of you who want to use the 2 years of this visa to gain some experience with a UK company in your chosen field, and then use this experience to find other opportunities outside the UK once your time on the visa has ended.
Then there will be those who want to use this time to find a suitable company that holds a sponsorship license, get a job offer from them, and switch to the skilled worker visa. Maybe doing this while they are already working within another company in the UK to support themselves financially.
So the question you need to ask yourself and be clear on is this…. which one of these two graduates are you?
You need to also consider why this is important to know by the time you have received the PSW visa.
The simple answer to this question is, TIME! The more time you spend trying to work out what you want to do, instead of actually doing the things which will bring you closer to your goal will result in you missing out on the following:
- Deadlines of jobs in your field
- Time ticking down on your PSW visa
- Jobs being obtained by other international graduates also seeking the skilled worker visa
So I highly recommend that you start thinking about your plan of action now so that you can utilize your time effectively later.
DOING THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME
Once you are clear on what your goal is and you have the PSW visa, the next step is to execute a plan of action. So what are your options?
Your first option is to begin identifying companies that hold a sponsorship license in your chosen field, and applying to their jobs weekly with the goal of them sponsoring you for the skilled worker visa once you get the job offer.
You should also make a conscious effort to target specific decision makers in companies with a license who are not advertising a job, and negotiate a meeting to discuss your experience and skills which could help their organisation. Remember, only 30% of jobs are advertised online, and the remaining 70% are found through direct networking and connections.
The second option you have is to attempt to get some other type of role which you can do while holding the PSW visa such as an internship, part time job, or even an unpaid voluntary role. If the company who you begin to work with already has a sponsorship license, then working with them for a period of time will allow them to see your usefulness and contributions, therefore making it easier to negotiate with them to sponsor you for the skilled worker visa at a later date.
Recent research is suggesting that the second option is beginning to be the most common way for international graduates to get a skilled worker visa instead of directly applying for a sponsored job and immediately switching to it. In particular for those of you who do not already have UK experience in your chosen career field.
So to conclude, those of you who are serious about maximizing your time on the PSW visa should now be planning your goal once you have switched from your student visa.
Are you just looking for 2 years experience in your field with a UK company, or to extend your career here with the skilled worker visa?
Research your industry and the state of graduate recruitment in that field. Is there a market for graduates? Has the demand increased or decreased since the impact of Covid19? Where are the majority of those opportunities in the UK and with what companies?
Then finally, once you get the PSW visa you should implement option one or two, or a combination of them both to maximize your chances of getting the right position with a licensed sponsor.
Do this, and you will already be 5 steps ahead of your competition who will also be getting the PSW visa in the UK.