Visas for the UK: myth-buster!

by Kara Dunkley, International Student Advisor

As the International Student Adviser at London Business School, my role includes supporting new students coming to us from outside the UK – which is most of you, so I’m kept pretty busy!

As you are all no doubt aware, visas continue to be a hot topic for prospective and current students in the UK. Contrasting stories and anecdotes in the media and on social networking sites make it difficult to know what the real situation is. Here I’ll aim to dispel a few media myths and clarify the current situation for both study and post-study work visas for full-time, non-EU students at LBS.

Let’s start with the easiest bit – getting a visa to study at LBS is very straight-forward. Speaking frankly, the calibre of students at the School sets the bar higher than that set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) meaning our full-time degree programme students are perfect candidates for Tier 4 visas. With confirmed proof of your place at the School, and evidence that you can pay your tuition fees and support yourself financially while in the UK, you will have no problem obtaining your Tier 4 visa.


Staying on the topic of Tier 4 Student visas, as you will be studying a postgraduate degree for 12 months or longer, your dependants (your spouse, partner or children) can apply for Tier 4 Dependant visas to join you in the UK. Dependants can work full-time, study or attend school while in the UK.

Employment during and after your studies

As a Tier 4 student, you will also be permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during any non-study periods. I know this can be very important for both financial and work experience reasons during your degree.

Speaking of work, I’m very aware that before even applying for a programme at LBS, many of you are focused on what your post-study employment opportunities will be.

Around 50% of our full-time MBA and MFA students and around 40% of MiF and MiM students stay to work in the UK after their studies.

While some aspects of immigration in the UK have been tightened in recent years, the rules now discriminate more clearly in favour of highly skilled, highly paid workers. LBS graduates are exactly the people that the UK government is encouraging to stay and work in the UK.

Most students find work under the Tier 2 sponsored route where an employer sponsors a non-EU worker. For people looking for work from outside the UK (including students at business schools in the rest of Europe and the US), this can be an onerous, difficult process due to a number of regulatory and compliance requirements. As an LBS graduate on Tier 4, you’ll be exempt from these hurdles, putting you in a very strong position in terms of employability.

Entrepreneur visas

For the more entrepreneurial-minded among you, there are also great post-study work opportunities. In UKVI language, LBS is an endorsing institution for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas. In simpler terms, this means that the School can sponsor up to 40 students per year to stay in the UK following their graduation to develop and establish a business here. As a School, we are thrilled to be able to do so, and from a personal perspective, continuing to support our students post-graduation with original and often remarkable business plans is one of the best parts of my job.

I hope this helps to unpack some of the fog around visas and clarifies what your options are. I look forward to meeting many of you at Admits events in the coming months and supporting you in your Tier 4 applications before welcoming you to LBS!

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