Ready to pay for my actuarial work experience

The Co-operative
Willis Towers Watson

As an international student outside the EU, have been applying to actuarial graduate programmes over the last several months, to no avail. Not that Im totally unsuitable, as I successfully pass tests and telephonic interviews up to an AC ( have been to one AC as well). My problem is that where i pass, or even before i apply, i am told my application cannot be progressed because they would not be able to sponsor my visa. Am unfortunately from one one these countries, Russia, which are outside of the EU. My work post study visa expires in spring 2014, which is before the end end of a typical 2-year graduate programme … I wish very much I could apply for an actuarial graduate programme within my own country but there simply arent’ any.

By experience, Aspen, Hymans Robinson, FirstActuarial, L&G, Aviva, the Co-operative Insurance, APR, Lloyds are just a few where i have applied to hear at some point that ‘Legislation requires us to consider UK applicants before those that require employer sponsorship to work in the UK.’ on the other hand, Towers Watson, Mercer and PWC will consider you. Some others (Direct Line and Friends Life) are a question mark… By the way, the fact that a company is on the UKBA sponsors list still does not guarantee they’d sponsor graduates.

I am not going to give up despite all the difficulties. I am currently sitting two of the actuarial exams on my own. I’d very much like to hear from you if you’re an international student and are in the same boat. What are your application experiences? Which companies you have applied considered or not considered you?

As for me, I am contacting employers and asking them for work experience instead of a graduate programme… I’d be happy to pay as much as the cost of my masters degree (£12000) for a year of work experience until my work visa expires. Perhaps this could be a solution.


basically I am on the same boat…

PwC, Tower Watson, Mercer these are all big compenies provides visa, but the competition is high…

I do not think the work experience way works as company never ask money from graduate…


Hello there, if you have PSW you can switch to Tier 2 with no resident labour market test, no need to even advertise position, and no COS limits. If I am correct, they don’t have to consider anyone before you, perhaps they just don’t want to bother at all… Also, you don’t require sponsorship to start working, only to stay after your visa expires(make a switch to Tier 2)-but this can be done almost within a few days.


yeah from my understanding, if you are switching from Tier 4 student visa or PSW to Tier 2, the company don’t have to go through all those complicated processes. It is the new rule after they cancelled the PSW. But maybe quite a lot of companies are not fully aware of this change. So my advice is that if the company approached you saying they can’t process because you need visa, you can tell them about the new rule and hopefully they’ll consider you.
I am going through the same thing here but I think the best thing to do is to contact the company and make sure it accepts applications from people need sponsorship before going through all those long recruitment processes.


thanks fiksi this could be helpful … maybe i should mention this fact to the companies who just say on their websites i cannot apply like Aviva. really wanted to apply to them!


Another thing to mention… to be sponsored, your job must fit in one of the codes(UKBA’s list), and meet minimum salary demands. The trick here is that these requirements are quite high, and some occupations can’t be sponsored at all. Recently many occupations have been removed and it’s becoming more and more difficult to sponsor because of this.

Still, keep trying… many British grads from top unis are unemployed, for years… it’s very difficult now, and often you need a lot of luck also. Stay strong and keep trying :slight_smile:


are actuarial jobs in this list? it should meet the minimum salary requirements anyway, cos the starting salary is above £20’000.


Hey, yes, 20k is an absolute minimum… but these occupations require more than that. Some jobs might require min of 25k or even more.

If any other company can sponsor an actuary, it is there. They all use the same system.


yet it is sad they dont take you cos the purpose of PSW is to enable you to get relevant work experience… i can understand the employers cos nobody wants an employee who cannot commit to working for them for more than 2 years. thats exactly why i said perhaps ‘paid work experience’ could be a solution. there could be a untapped market here.

i mean i have always followed the rules. have studied well at school, got a distinction here at university, paid my visa fees, have not undertaken any bar work or low paid jobs. i only wish i could have the work experience for the degree that i have studied.
Oh well.


an update to what I said: It seems fi PWC can sponsor an actuary, but only in London. I think other locations don’t have salaries enough to qualify for Tier 2. This could be the case for some other companies also.

As for what you say, you are 100% right. Bear in mind you are very welcome when you have to pay exorbitant uni fees, and promised various opportunities, but when you want to
actually use that uni and knowledge, you are stranded. You have every right to be bitter and angry.

Like you say, you are not looking for bar work etc. or disrespecting visa rules. UK should make rules much simpler for such people.

As for paying someone to work, I suggest you avoid that.

You need to find a company which can switch you to Tier 2. Perhaps even work in something else(whatever skilled job that can be sponsored), until you find an actuary job. This visa situation is worsened by very weak economy.