The top companies offering tier 2 sponsorship in the UK

This article is for international students currently enrolled at a UK university on a Tier 4 visa and wanting to switch to a Tier 2 work visa. Whether you’re a final year undergraduate or a postgraduate student the clock’s ticking. You need to make some decisions about your future career.

But you’ve made one decision.

You’ve decided that you really want to stay and work in the UK.

You love the culture, the freedom, the relaxed way of working and maybe you’re even getting used to the weather! We hear you.


The biggest challenge is the need for the Tier 2 visa.

As an international student, you face a big challenge when it comes to finding work after your studies. You are limited to companies offering tier 2 sponsorship. You may be thinking it’s way too hard and competitive.

Grad Careers Coach helps international students who are currently at a UK university to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 work visa. (We do not provide advice for those who are not currently studying in the UK).

The 4 most common questions asked are :

  1. “I just don’t know who will be able to sponsor me?”

  2. “Can you give me a list of companies who sponsor the Tier 2?”

  3. “What are my chances of successfully getting a job in the UK?”

  4. “I don’t care where I work, I just want to stay in the UK. Please help?”

So, in response we’ve put together a guide to help answer these 4 common questions, and understand how you can successfully get a Tier 2 graduate job in the UK.

It isn’t as hard as you think.


Anika, the founder of Grad Careers Coach, answers these 4 questions in a short video. Simply press play…

Or you can read the answers in the full article below:


So if you’re currently an international student enrolled at a UK university on a Tier 4 visa, then read on.

Let’s start with who can sponsor your Tier 2 visa…

1. “I just don’t know who will be able to sponsor me?”

Companies offering tier 2 sponsorship in the UK

In the UK, there are around 30,000 companies that have the license to sponsor a Tier 2 visa. You can find the full list here – (

If you’ve seen a job you’re really interested in, it’s worth checking if they are on this list.

BUT (and this is a big but),

Just because the company has the license to sponsor, it doesn’t automatically mean they will.

This is why some of you say to us that you’ve found a great job opportunity, the company is on the sponsor list but they won’t hire you because you don’t have the right to work in the UK.

Also, companies that used to sponsor may not do so anymore, their position can change from year to year.

You need to keep up to date with who will and who won’t.

It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Luckily we can help.


On to the next question that we get asked ALL the time.

2. “What are my chances of successfully getting a job in the UK?”

The facts:

  • In 2015, nearly 6,000 students were granted leave to stay in the UK under a Tier 2 visa.
  • Bearing in mind that there were 310,000 non-EU students in the UK in 2015/16.
  • This means around 2% of international students stayed in the UK under the Tier 2 (General) visa sponsorship.
  • However, let’s not forget that out of the 310,000 non-EU students there will be at least half who did not want to stay in the UK after their studies.

This is what we know from working closely with careers departments at top UK universities.

In reality then, the percentage of international students who successfully get a job out of those who actively apply in the UK but are unsuccessful is much higher than 2%.

From our experience we know that with the right guidance, it is definitely achievable to secure a top Tier 2 graduate job in the UK.

Here’s our most recent success story:

Yinqi Wu, from Leeds University, joined our coaching programme  in 2017 and recently got a job offer with Tier 2 sponsorship…

3. “Can you give me a list of companies who sponsor the Tier 2?”

Here are the top 3 industries and companies within them that hire international students.

Accounting, Consulting, Professional Services, Banking and Finance hire the largest number of international students.

Companies offering tier 2 sponsorship:

1) Accounting, Consulting and Professional Services

EY, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, BDO, Accenture, Grant Thornton, Mercer, Oliver Wyman, Bain & Co, Capgemini, Bloomberg, Smith & Williamson, Capco, McKinsey & co

companies that sponsor the Tier 2 visa

(5,910 graduates recruited, 2016*)


2) Banking and Finance

Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Nomura, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds Banking Group, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, RBS, Standard Chartered, UBS, Aviva, Zurich, Blackrock, First Derivatives, London Stock Exchange Group, Commerzbank

(1,354 graduates recruited, 2016*)


3) Engineering and Technology

AECOM, ARUP, Atkins, BAE Systems, BP, BT, Centrica, EDF Energy, ExxonMobil, Galliford Try, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, MMI Engineering, National Grid, Network Rail, Phillips, Rolls Royce, Shell, Siemens, BT, Google, IBM, Microsoft, FDM Group, Periscopix, TPP, Meltwater, Atos, Imagination, Facebook

(2,801 graduates recruited, 2016*)

*Source: High Fliers Graduate Market 2017 Report (


Another great source of companies offering tier 2 sponsorship in the UK is this list of the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers:

companies that sponsor the Tier 2 visa

Important to note these are the well – known employers.

They actively advertise their graduate jobs, they visit your university and take part in the careers fairs. You have no doubt heard of these big, international companies.

Less well – known Tier 2 sponsors you probably haven’t heard of:

There are many others!

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to discovering other companies that will hire you and sponsor your visa.

As part of our paid service, you can receive a weekly list of the latest suitable Tier 2 graduate jobs.



4. “I don’t care where I work, I just want to stay in the UK. Please help!”

Before you start rushing out to apply to this list of companies offering tier 2 sponsorship, here’s some invaluable advice.

If you’re one of those that think “I don’t care where I work, I just want to stay in the UK. Please help!” then be careful.

Without a clear job strategy, it will be very difficult to get a Tier 2 job.

You must think about your skills and qualities, and your motivation for applying.


The keys to job success

What we’ve learnt from our past students who have successfully got a job here in the UK:

  • Don’t just worry about finding anyone that can sponsor Tier 2. It’s more work than that, you need to search for the company that sees your value and believes in you.
  • It is about how you sell yourself, your skills, language, personality, and attitude.
  • From a company’s point of view, sponsoring an international student is taking on an extra responsibility. Prove that you’re a valuable investment.
  • Many of our past students made such a good impression during their internship they were hired permanently by the employer. In some cases, the employer had to apply for a license just because they wanted to hire the student.


If you want a company to sponsor you, whether they have the Tier 2 licence or not, you need to prove to them that you’re worth it.

Companies offering the Tier 2 visa need you to answer this:

  • Why should they employ you?
  • Why should they employ you over a British graduate?

Whether you apply for a graduate programme at a large, international company or a graduate job at a small to medium sized company the strategy for success is the same.

Focus on why they should employ you, and the value you will bring to the company.


What to do next

If you’re committed to staying and working in the UK, we can help you. You must be an international student at a UK university on a Tier 4 visa, with at least 6 months left on our visa.

We have a Job Offer Guarantee Programme, to apply all you need to do is email your CV to

Or you can simply fill out the short form below and our team will contact you.

Let us help you secure a top graduate job.

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  • Fabiola Engoue

    Very insightful. Thank you for this