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Pre-registration employment

What visa options are there for the pre-registration placement?

If you are an MPharm student who will graduate in 2016 onwards you will not be able to apply for the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa with sponsorship from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.  This is because this was only available to MPharm students who graduated in 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015.  The main visa option for you will be Tier 2 (General), where the minimum annual salary for Pharmacy pre-reg students is currently £21,478. 

If you graduated from the MPharm course in 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015 please contact Laura Bryan in The Hub to find out if you may be eligible for sponsorship from the RPS to do your pre-reg placement.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa

Alternatively you may be able to apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa.  This visa is only available to 18-30 year olds of certain nationalities but if you are eligible to apply it will give you permission to work full-time in the UK for 2 years.  See the Tier 5 Temporary Work webpage for further details.

If you think getting a visa for your pre-reg year will be a problem for you please book an appointment to see an International Student Adviser in The Hub.

If you enrolled on the OSPAP course from September 2013 onwards you will not be able to apply for the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa with sponsorship from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.  This is because this was only available to MSc OSPAP students who graduated in 2012 or2013, 2014 or 2015. The main visa option for you will be Tier 2 (General), where the minimum annual salary for Pharmacy pre-reg students is currently £21,478.  

If you graduated from the MSc OSPAP course in 2012 or 2013 please contact Laura Bryan in The Hub to find out if you may be eligible for sponsorship from the RPS to do your pre-reg placement.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa

Alternatively you may be able to apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa.  This visa is only available to 18-30 year olds of certain nationalities but if you are eligible to apply it will give you permission to work full-time in the UK for 2 years.  See the Tier 5 Temporary Work webpage for further details.

If you think getting a visa for your pre-reg year will be a problem for you please book an appointment to see an International Student Adviser in The Hub.

International BSc Optometry students at Aston who will require a visa for their pre-reg placement have a number of options:

The MOptom & Tier 4 visa extension

You may be offered the opportunity of continuing your studies by doing the MOptom alongside your pre-reg placement.  If you decide to do the MOptom you will be able to extend your Tier 4 Student visa until the course end date of the MOptom plus an extra 4 months.  This will cover you to do your pre-reg.  As the pre-reg will become a work placement as part of the course you are allowed to do this full-time on a Tier 4 Student visa.  It will also be easier to apply for a Tier 2 General visa if you want to continue working in the UK after your pre-reg placement has finished.  Please note that the Tier 4 visa cannot be extended after the MOptom has finished even if you have not yet completed your pre-reg but you may be able to get sponsorship from the College of Optometrists for this (see below).

Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Scheme visa

The College of Optometrists will sponsor BSc Optometry graduates under their scheme for pre-reg students.  Those students who decide not to take the MOptom may be able to get a visa under Tier 5 instead. You won't be able to work in the UK after your pre-reg if you use Tier 5 (see below), so all students are advised to take the MOptom and extend Tier 4 where possible. The College also state on their website that they will not allow students to start their pre-reg until the Tier 5 visa has been granted and received, unless they are taking it as a placement as part of the MOptom programme.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa

This visa is only available to 18-30 year olds of certain nationalities but if you are eligible to apply it will give you permission to work full-time in the UK for 2 years.  See the Tier 5 Temporary Work webpage for further details:

  • Speak with an International Student Adviser at The Hub to discuss your visa options for your pre-registration placement. You are strongly advised to bring in your documents for checking at each stage of the process.
  • Make sure you apply for your National Insurance Number, if you don't already have one. Your sponsor may ask for this information, even if you haven't started working yet.
  • Optometry students: If you decide to apply for the Tier 5 GAE visa, you must apply to the College of Optometrists for your Certificate of Sponsorship. Those students applying for the Tier 2 visa must obtain their Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer directly. 
  • Apply to UKVI for your visa, giving your Certificate of Sponsorship number on the application form. Information about how to apply can be found on the UKBA website.
The Hub can offer help and advice at each of these stages.

Through The Hub, Aston can:

  • Discuss your visa options for the pre-registration placement with you, and where there is a choice of visas available we can help you decide which is the best visa option for you.
  • Check if you're eligible to apply for Tier 5, and if you can apply inside the UK.
  • Point you towards the UKVI guidance for employers and sponsors, if you are asked for this information.
Due to UKVI rules and the nature of our immigration advice service:
  • We cannot sponsor you under Tier 5. This must be done by the overarching body who has applied for the licence.
  • We cannot give detailed advice to employers who are unsure how Tier 5 will work or if you're eligible to work in the UK. It is the employer's responsibility to check this, and to get appropriate legal advice where necessary. Aston's advisers are qualified only to advise you as a student/recent graduate.

Page last checked and updated 12.11.2015 LB

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