Hiring International Talent in the Wake of Brexit

The UK has historically been the number one choice for EDHEC graduates looking to work outside of France. Indeed, the UK is home to approximately 2,000 EDHEC alumni, the largest community of EDHEC…
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12 Mar 2021


The UK has historically been the number one choice for EDHEC graduates looking to work outside of France. Indeed, the UK is home to approximately 2,000 EDHEC alumni, the largest community of EDHEC alumni of any city in the world outside of France. In the wake of Brexit, many of our students have been asking if they will still be able to work in the UK. The answer, happily, is a resounding: YES!

In fact, under the new guidance, it is easier than ever to hire rising international talent into postgraduate roles in the UK. To understand the change in legislation, it is important to differentiate between full-time permanent roles, and internships and work placements.

Full-time / Permanent Roles for University Graduates from Abroad 

Virtually all University graduates you hire from abroad will now come in under the new Tier 2: Skilled Worker Visa. If you worked with the old tier 2 system, you may remember things like the resident labour market test, which made the process slower and more expensive. Fortunately, the process has been streamlined into a straightforward points-based system, and the resident labour market test no longer applies.

If your organisation has a sponsor license, you can now sponsor any applicant from abroad provided they meet the minimum criteria of 70 points, as below:

Characteristic Points
Offer of job by approved sponsor 20
Job at appropriate skill level 20
Speaks English at required level10 10

Salary of £25,600 or or the ‘going rate’ for the role, whichever is higher


Applicants will also need to demonstrate that they have enough funds to support themselves while they are in the UK and pay the health surcharge.

Internships and Work Placements of up to 12 months

If you wish to hire international talent for your internship or work placement schemes, this will now fall under the Tier 5: Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange category. 

In practice, in the vast majority of cases these visas work through an intermediary company, like GTI or BUNAC, who operate an approved scheme. Therefore, the employer does not need to be a licensed sponsor. However, there are costs associated with the sponsorship charged by the intermediary companies. Some companies charge the employers these costs, and others charge the interns. In addition, there are minimum requirements employers need to meet and some administrative duties employers need to perform. There are also costs payable to the Home Office for the Visa and in almost all cases, the student must secure an offer for the internship before they apply through one of the approved schemes. In addition, the work experience / internship needs to meet the following criteria:

  • It should be supernumerary – which means it is not an existing job – but one specially created for this scheme.
  • It is not intended to lead to a permanent job – so is unlikely to be useful for a Graduate Scheme.
  • It must be compliant with UK National Minimum Wage legislation (i.e. pays minimum wage or is exempt as a registered charity). More information on NMW can be found here
  • It should help the participants build relevant skills and overseas experience.
  • The employer must be a UK registered company, a UK registered charity or registered with a UK government department.

Including international talent in your early talent pools adds diversity of skills, experience and links to critical business markets to your teams. So, it is good news that even though the UK has left the EU, you will still have access to top-tier graduate talent from Europe and further afield.


Immigration guidance can be updated by the Home Office at any time. Please consult for the most up to date information.

By Cassandra Pittman, EDHEC Country Manager UK & Ireland, [email protected]


To find out how you can source high-caliber profiles and recruit EDHEC talent, email us at [email protected]

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