The main visa option for you will be Tier 2 (General), where the minimum annual salary for Band 5 Pharmacy pre-reg students is currently £22,128 in England, £22,440 in Scotland, £22,129 in Wales and £21,909 in Nothern Ireland.
If you are not able to find a Pre-registration position with a Tier 2 sponsor that meets the salary requirements for Tier 2 General, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) instead. Please contact an International Student Adviser in The Hub to find out if you are eligible for Tier 5 GAE sponsorship to do your pre-reg placement.
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. You will not need to be sponsored by your employer for this visa. 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:
You may be offered the opportunity of continuing your studies by doing the MOptom alongside your pre-reg placement. Or you may have enrolled on the MOptom at the beginning of your course. 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 that is an assessed 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).
Please note that under current academic progression Rules if you enrol on the 3 year BSc Optometry and then decide to do the MOptom you will need to extend your Tier 4 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.
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.
Through The Hub, Aston can: