As an international student using the UK government’s Tier 2 sponsor list to find companies offering Tier 2 sponsorship in the UK is a pain in the a$%.
Up until now the best help you will have gotten from the internet and your University career services is to use the Government Tier 2 Sponsor List.
Which looks like this.
A 2,450 page PDF which is enough to make anyone want to throw their laptop out the window and then jump after it.
Our Founder, Mike has been dealing with the Tier 2 Sponsor List for 8 years.
Poor guy, but thankfully for us, he has picked up some great information for you to navigate the tier 2 sponsor list and easily find companies offering Tier 2 sponsorship in UK.
The Problem with the Tier 2 Sponsor List
The Tier 2 sponsor list is a record the UK government keeps because it has to.
They never intended it to be used as a database or something to help international students find a job in the UK.
Importantly you can’t differentiate between which companies will actually give you a Visa to work in the UK.
You could sit there for the next 3 years trying to contact every company on the list.
You could just use these lists of companies that are hiring now and sponsoring. Plus we tried to make it as easy as possible for you with a big a.ss list, and we even rated the companies on their likelihood of actually giving you a Tier 2 Visa.
Companies Hiring Now (in 2021 in the UK) – A big list
Here’s a big list of companies we have dealt with this and last year, and we know hire international students and have given out Tier 2 Visas before.
This list is purely subjective based on our personal experience of working with international students and professionals from 2013.
Based on the following questions
- Have we had personal experience of helping someone apply to this company?
- Have they progressed past application, and not been asked if they have “right to work in the UK?”
- Is the company big enough to provide a significant number of vacancies? We classify this as 20+ vacancies and a Times Top 100 Company
This is a list of 85 of the biggest companies operating in the UK, who are currently or have previously been in the Times Top 100 Company List.
We calculated the chances of getting sponsored based on 3 factors:
- Our experience
- The ease of the process
- The number of vacancies
No science was hurt in the making of this table.
|Times Top 100 2021 Rank||Name||Industry||2021 Graduate Job Vacancies||Click to Apply||Chances of getting sponsored (5 = High , 1 = Hell No!)|
|2||PwC||Accounting & professional services||1,100||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|3||Deloitte||Accounting & professional services||1000||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|6||Technology||No fixed quota||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|7||KPMG||Accounting & professional services||700||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|10||J.P. Morgan||Investment banking||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|11||GSK||Chemicals & pharmaceuticals||50||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|12||EY||Accounting & professional services||750||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|14||HSBC||Banking & finance||600||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|15||Barclays||Banking & finance||500+||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|16||Goldman Sachs||Investment banking||400||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|19||Rolls-Royce||Engineering & industrial||No fixed quota||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|20||McKinsey & Company||Consulting||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐|
|28||Arup||Engineering & industrial||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐|
|32||Lloyds Banking Group||Banking & finance||100||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|33||Natwest||Banking & finance||228||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|35||BP||Oil & energy||100||Apply||⭐⭐|
|38||Allen & Overy||Law||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|39||Jaguar Land Rover||Engineering & industrial||75||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|42||Shell||Oil & energy||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|43||Morgan Stanley||Investment Banking||200||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|45||Boston Consulting Group||Consulting||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐|
|45||Airbus||Engineering & industrial||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|48||BT||IT & telecommunications||275||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|50||Penguin Random House||Media||200||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|52||AECOM||Engineering & industrial||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|53||Atkins||Engineering & industrial||200||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|54||Apple||Consumer goods||No fixed quota||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|55||Herbert Smith Freehills||Law||60||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|56||Astrazeneca||Chemicals & pharmaceuticals||80||Apply||⭐⭐|
|57||Bloomberg||IT & telecommunications||350||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|60||Vodafone||IT & telecommunications||60||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|61||White & Case||Law||50||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|63||Network Rail||Engineering & industrial||150||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|64||Deutsche Bank||Investment Banking||100||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|65||Huawei||IT & telecommunications||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|66||Slaughter and May||Law||80||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|67||Bain & Company||Consulting||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|68||Marks & Spencer||Retail||30||Apply||⭐⭐|
|72||Exxon Mobile||Oil & energy||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|73||Enterprise Rent-A-Car||Consumer goods||450||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|81||Siemens||Engineering & industrial||150||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|N/A||BDO||Accounting & professional services||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|83||Capital One||Banking & finance||40||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|90||American Express||Banking & finance||45||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|91||Tesla||Engineering & industrial||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
|N/A||Norton Rose Fullbright||Law||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|92||Grant Thornton||Accounting & professional services||325||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|95||Mott McDonald||Engineering & industrial||200||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|97||Samsung||Engineering & industrial||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|98||Bank of England||Banking & finance||70||Apply||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|100||BMW Group||Engineering & industrial||Unknown||Apply||⭐⭐⭐|
What companies will give me a visa?
Lets take a look again at that beautiful Tier 2 Sponsor List from the UK Government.
There are roughly 34,000ish companies that can give you a Visa, a working Visa.
The first filter to any company giving you a Visa is that they need to be on the list, otherwise they cannot legally sponsor you to work in the UK
Next, there are two things to bear in mind when using the Tier 2 Sponsor list
- The type of visa they can give
- The size of the company
We cautiously estimate 90% of the companies on the Tier 2 sponsor list, won’t be hiring international students in a graduate scheme.
Simply because they don’t have the resources required. The vast majority are called SME’s (Small and medium sized enterprises) these are smallish businesses with generally less than 50 staff. A good example is a Chinese restaurant, that uses a license to sponsor a few staff, but has no intention of hiring a student.
We also know that just because a company is on the Tier 2 sponsor list, does not mean that they will or are actively sponsoring right now.
To find a company that will give you a Visa they should be:
- On the Tier 2 sponsor list
- Big enough to regularly hire and sponsor Tier 2 Visas
- Be actively sponsoring right now (this is a lesson best learnt from experience)
How do I find companies to give me a visa to the UK?
There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Use the government Tier 2 sponsor list
- Use the Sponsor Tier 2 website
- Use job’s boards and then cross reference companies with the Tier 2 Sponsor List
- Use specialised Job’s Boards which filter jobs that provide Tier 2 sponsorship
Let’s give you a more detailed explanation of how you would use each method and when it would be useful.
1) Use the Government Tier 2 sponsor list
You would go here download the PDF, and sit and CTRL + F for companies, or start going through the list A to Z.
You can use the government Tier 2 sponsor list. It’s just not easy.
Sponsor Tier 2 also automatically emails you twice a week about new companies that have been added to the Tier 2 Sponsor List.
Both these sites are updated daily directly from the Home Office feed.
The limitations of the government’s Tier 2 sponsor list is that it’s just a giant searchable PDF.
You can search, sort and slice into the data set like you can in a database.
Also both the websites above, will give you direct links to the companies website
When to use the Tier 2 Sponsor List?
To quickly check for a single company, or double check information you already have. Otherwise stick to one of the 2 companies above for an easier time of it.
2) Use the Sponsor Tier 2 Website
We first built this free web app in 2020, because we found the process of using the Tier 2 Sponsor List so frustrating. We did try to reach out to Rohit at UK Tier Sponsors, but we felt like we would get more done and faster if we did it ourselves.
The Sponsor Tier 2 is just the government’s Tier 2 sponsor list as a database. Plus you get a free email twice a week about companies that have been added (new potential employers) and can check which companies have been removed.
You can also:
- Search by Town
- Search by Industry
- Get a link to most companies websites
- See recently added companies
- See companies that have been recently removed
When to use the Sponsor Tier 2 App?
A great app to use as a complement for a job search. You can keep it open in a seperate tab and use it to quickly and easily search for companies that sponsor. Or if you want a narrower search based on your location.
Fair warning if you search by industry or a large city like London, Manchester or Birmingham you may still receive hundreds if not thousands of results.
Also great to sign up to free emails and see what companies have been added recently and may be potential employers.
3) Use job’s boards and then cross reference companies with the Tier 2 Sponsor List
Following on from Option 2, you can use Job’s Boards like LinkedIn and Indeed and then cross reference the companies using the Government Tier 2 sponsor list or the Sponsor Tier 2 website.
LinkedIn and Indeed are great… but…
The problem here is the sheer volume of results you could get, and also the wide range of possibilites a search like “Tier 2 Sponsorship” could bring up on a job’s site
4) Use specialised Job’s Boards which filter jobs that provide Tier 2 sponsorship
- Find live vacancies
- Check for company and vacancy at the same time
- Proactively looking for jobs
- Time consuming
- Lots of manual work
- Lots of tab switching
How long will it take me to process a visa for these companies?
As stated on the UK Government websites for skilled worker visas (Tier 2’s) it can take anywhere from 3-8 weeks
The process of getting a Visa is reasonably quick and goes like this :
- Get a formal job offer
- Receive a written contract
- Provide documents to process your Visa (large company) or fill out form on the Home office website (LINK) to process your own Visa
- Book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre to get your documents checked
- Wait for a decision
In our experience allow for 8 weeks, though some companies like PwC like to batch apply for student well in advance of 8 weeks.
For example, to start on their graduate programmes in September, your deadline to apply would be 5 months earlier on the last day of April.
If you are unsure if you even need a work Visa you can check on the UK government website here: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
Job Ready English is not an OISC registered immigration adviser, nor do we intend to portray ourselves as immigration experts. All information provided here is for education purposes only.
We always recommend that you seek immigration advice from an OISC registered immigration adviser, a list of which you can find here: https://www.gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser
All immigration advisers must be registered with the OISC or be a member of an approved professional body, for example The Law Society.
3 Best Job Search Sites
Student Circus was set up in 2016 with international students in mind by a pair of international students who understand your needs when it comes to a job search site.
Student Circus does the research, so you don’t have to.
On the site they state they each employer has:
- Confirmed they are actively sponsoring international students
- Verified that they meet the salary criteria laid out for that job
- Are licensed by the Home Office to sponsor a Tier 2 job
They provide free 30 days access of access to students with a University email and collaborate with 30+ Universities to work directly with their international students, providing weekly updates on new companies which have been added.
You can search for:
- Start-up internships
- Professional and clean user interface
- Easy to navigate and search for roles
- Highly credible as working with large Universities like LSE and Bristol
- Navigate by sector and job type
- To view details about a job vacancy you need to register with a University email
UKHired is a brand new platform for visa sponsorship jobs in the UK launched by an international student Anastasia with support of UCL Innovation and Enterprise in March 2020.
UKHired developed a unique algorithm that selects jobs that qualify for Tier 2 visa sponsorship from a pool of Internet sources and major job boards.
The website has jobs for both recent graduates with little work experience and seasoned professionals. It would help if you ticked ‘Tier 4 Visa Holder’ box to access vacancies selected for international students.
How UKHired can help international students find a job in the UK:
- Free access to an extensive database of visa sponsoring jobs
- Filter jobs by category, location, salary and keywords
- Recommendations for tools you can use to receive the job offer
- Clean website design and great UX
- Free access to the job search
- No need to register
- Search by job category, salary, experience, location and keywords
- Large selection of visa sponsorship jobs for students
- Useful tools to help with your job application
- UKHired doesn’t guarantee that the employer will sponsor you
- They have more jobs for experienced professionals than recent graduates
Target Jobs is a government sponsored website aimed at providing information for students in the UK.
Not only is it a fantastic resource for students who want to find information on almost any company or role.
They are also the only mainstream job search site we know of, that has “Accepts those requiring a work permit” as a filter. As well as “Degree requirements” which is VERY useful.
So many students get frustrated, because they find the right job for them, then find they don’t quite meet the entrance criteria. Particularly if you got a 2:2 for your bachelors.
Target Jobs is massive, so to get to the screenshot below go to:
- Click Jobs
- Looking at the left-hand menu scroll down the screen all the way to the bottom and you will see “Accept those requiring UK work permits” just before the search bar
- Search by work permit and degree result
- Lovely User Interface, so easy to navigate
- Massive resources to learn about companies and roles
- Shows the expiry date for the vacancy
- No need to register
- Shows number of vacancies
- Massive choice can be overwhelming
- You do get quite a few “junks” results from educational internship companies selling jobs
Finding companies that are sponsoring international students can be incredibly frustrating. Using the Governments Tier 2 and Tier 5 List isn’t helpful.
You can use a free tool like Sponsor Tier 2, but Our Facebook Group asked for a list of Tier 2 Companies that sponsor international students in the UK. Which is up to date and has been verified that they are hiring international students right now.
These are companies that we have helped international students and professionals apply to, and are currently targeting with our clients.
This list is updated regularly and you can click on any logo to be taken straight to that companies graduate recruitment page.
Accounting and Professional services
Banking & Finance
Bank of England
Lloyds Banking Group
London Stock Exchange Group
McKinsey & Company
Boston Consulting Group
Bain & Company
Johnson & Johnson
Engineering & Industrial
Jaguar Land Rover
Legal & General
Willis Towers Watson
Direct Line Group
Bank of America
Rothschild & Co
IT & Telecommunications
Allen & Overy
Slaughter & May
Norton Rose Fulbright
White & Case
Marks & Spencer
John Lewis Partnership
The Hut Group
Now you have a list of UK companies sponsoring Visas for international students, what should you do next?
Got a company to add? Link is broken? Or have a question? Post a comment below.