What do I do?
Below is a blog post that we have received from a Tier 2 skilled worker that wished to remain anonymous. They have not broken any laws but they are currently trying to get a Tier 2 job that pays £35,000 and are wary that a controversial blog post might endanger her chances. "Controversial" is also being used in this instance as a synonym for "honest" and "a common experience".
- Josh Harbord
What can I do?
I cashed out my retirement savings and moved 5,000 miles to reboot my career by getting a new graduate degree. Six months in, I watch the industry I planned on starting a new life in collapse around me - thousands have been made redundant.
I had to decline one job offer because it was switched from permanent to maternity cover - and you can't get a visa on a "temp" job.
School finished and I still had no job, so I moved in with my parents who now live here on their own T2 visa. I have a doctorate (JD) and two masters degrees (with honours no less). I speak English. I’m too old to be considered a dependent of my parents - and it wouldn’t matter anyway, as family on a T2 can’t work.
I came here to start a new life and a new career in my early 40s. I was trying to make my life something “more” than it was in the US, before it was too late. And now it seems like it is too late.
I send out hundreds of resumes, each carefully referenced against the Home Office list for T2 sponsors to make sure I’m not wasting time on employers who don’t sponsor visas. I get a job interview for a fancy PA position, and I go, but I wonder why I bother because I was clear about needed visa sponsorship and they were clear that they couldn't provide it.
My savings are now gone. On January 30th I went back to the US for 16 days. I purchased airline tickets with money borrowed from my parents. Right up until the last moment I was hopeful that a last minute job offer would come and I wouldn’t have to use the tickets. I left 1 day before my visa expired and I stayed in the US for six days longer than the 10 days you are required to be out of the country before you can return. I wanted to be sure no one can say I overstayed. I cried the entire time.
I cry every day now. Because I’m back in the UK as a visitor. I’ve had three interviews since I’ve been back, but nothing beyond that. I've asked every single friend I have between here and Ireland and called in countless favours. Most friends work for smaller companies that don't sponsor visas, or they're outside London (so the salary wouldn't meet the £35k threshold even if a visa was available).
I just came back from five days in [a European country] so I could “reset” my six months as a visitor. Now I’m good to stay until January again, when I have to leave again or hope I get a job.
I’m out of savings so I can’t afford to move home - I sold everything I owned to move here. I have friends here.
What do I do?