I, like many fresh graduates, received many, many rejections for job applications. I often ask for feedback (unless the company clearly states they cannot give any); but time after time I receive the same one-liner:
You were a good candidate, but we can’t sponsor a work visa.
Indeed, since the end of Post Study Work Visa in 2012, sponsoring an international graduate had only become more difficult – many companies are put off by the restrictions and fees of obtaining a visa license. There are only 29,367 organisations licensed to sponsor migrants in the UK as of today; to put that into perspective, there are 5.5 million businesses in 2016!
Too many companies are missing out on the brightest talents for fear of paperwork. Whilst individuals have their own talents, here are top five reasons why international graduates are well worth the extra step.
Many spend years struggling to learn a second language. International graduates excelled in theirs – English – and often have 2 – 3 more languages under their belts. They come with the cognitive benefits of being multilingual; and are better at multitasking and communicating, just to name a couple.
The global market nowadays means supply chains spread across continents, and it is always handy to have someone that thoroughly understands your international partners’ languages. You will save resources on third-party translators, have more efficient and effective communication, and gain quick trust from business partners.
People born and raised in the same environment tend to think similarly. Bringing in a person from a completely different culture gives a new perspective to the existing business. To have fresh, innovate ideas on your team will certainly increase the chances of “eureka” moments!
Statistics show a more diverse team outperform the others. Begin fostering a culture that favors diversity in your company through entry level staff; in the long run, talents of different levels will see your efforts and come to you naturally.
Britain is getting increasingly diverse. People from every corner of the world gather in this country to do business. Having international graduates on your team can bring new clients and connections that previously only dealt within their own communities.
These opportunities are not restricted to local expats. International graduates have ties in their home countries, and understand their business culture. In the current market, connections around the world can only be beneficial, if not paramount to an organization’s success.
International graduates have learned to adapt and thrive in a different culture; many of us have built friendships and strong community bonds. The learning style in the UK is often different to what we were used to, but as graduates we have proven our abilities to thrive despite this.
We are used to unexpected challenges – and are quick to adapt to new, exciting opportunities. As professionals, this skill can only grow.
It’s not an easy task to move to a completely different country. It’s not easy to do a university degree in your second language. It’s not easy to decide to stay in said country, despite the barriers and challenges.
International graduates are a very special group of people that overcame all these. We are ambitious, courageous, and more than anything, resilient.
All we need is a chance to shine.
Bonus: New Entrant Discount
Sponsoring a fresh grad is more easy than you think. Employers enjoy many discounts for sponsoring a student that switches from Tier 4 (student) to Tier 2 (work) visa, including:
- Exemption from conducting a Resident Labour Market Test
- Unrestricted CoS – not under monthly quota
- Exemption from the Immigration Skills Charge (£1000 per year per employee)
- Employee does not need provide an overseas criminal record certificate
For more information: please check out AGCAS’s guide for employers.
Multilingual Birmingham Law Graduate seeking full-time role