UK Visas

Careers Advisers at the University of Oxford Careers Service can support you to make competitive applications for jobs in the UK and abroad, but we are not legally able to advise you on individual visa questions. However, we often help international applicants think strategically about their options and the sectors they are applying to and how the various visa options available in the UK may fit with your career interests. 


  • The University’s Student Immigration team is best served to answer your visa queries with their detailed resources online and their email available for questions on visas:
    • They regularly deliver 'Staying to Work in the UK' and you can register for this via CareerConnect or email for details of the next talk.
  • The UK Visas and Immigration website will give you the latest working visa information and details of a number of other visa schemes.
  • UKCISA, the UK Council for International Student Affairs, offers independent information and advice about immigration, finance and working in the UK.

Graduate Route Visa Top Tips

Once you have read the details about the various visa options available to you, and IF the Graduate Route is an option for you, consider the following top tips to improve your chances of working in the UK using Graduate Route:

  • Master the UK visa application process – review the Graduate Route FAQs on the Oxford Visa & Immigration web pages.
  • Think carefully about timing your application to allow the longest period of working in the UK
  • Read the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) report on Graduate Route: ‘Not heard of this’ to better understand the perspective from employers
  • Focus on the benefits to the employer:
    •  No fees to pay, No sponsorship, Trial opportunity
  • Grad Route: focus on small or medium sized employers as most large companies will not use Graduate Route for their graduate schemes of 2+ years
  • Help employers see you as reward and not a risk
  • Mention you’d love to be sponsored but you’re happy with Graduate Route
  • Increase the reward: Connections, Competencies, Commitment
  • Learn about the skilled worker visa & be ready to ask about this after 3 months+ (be ready to correct them e.g. no resident labour market test!)
  • Be persistent, organised and focused.

Sponsorship Top Tips

Once you have read the details about the various visa options available to you, and IF sponsorship is an option for you, consider the following top tips to improve your chances of being sponsored to work in the UK:

  • In general, larger firms are more likely to have the budget and resources to be a sponsor.

  • Try these job search platforms specifically for international students:
    • Student Circus: A job search portal for international students in the UK on Tier-4 visas, listing jobs and internships from companies with Skilled Worker visa sponsorship licences. If your university isn’t a partner of the site, you can register for a 30-day free trial with your student email.
    • A new job search platform for foreign nationals seeking jobs in the UK, set up by the international graduate Anastasia Agafonova. The platform has a unique visa-points-based calculator aligned with the UK government's new points-based system.
    • GOV.UK has a register of licensed sponsors that you can use to identify companies who you may want to work for. You can also use the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association members directory to find immigration advisers who can help to identify licensed sponsors.
    • TargetJobs has lots of good advice and job opportunities too: Guide to job hunting for international students (

Working in the UK While a Student

Depending on your status, it is possible to work in the UK whilst you are studying, and there are routes to work in the UK upon completion of your Oxford degree.


The Start-Up Visa scheme ended on 13 April 2023

Please note that our final round of applications for endorsement has now taken place.


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