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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

If I'm granted my spouse visa (fingers crossed), am I legally allowed to apply for jobs in the UK prior to moving there? I'd like to get a head start on finding employment, if possible, especially if I'm able to tell employers I don't require sponsorship.

Thank you.
 

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You will be able to look for jobs. The first question anyone will ask though is whether you are permitted to work so don't be tempted to look before the visa is in your hand.
 

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It was recommended to me to start applying for jobs two weeks before arriving in the UK. Many job adverts have interview dates listed; you would need to be in the UK on that date.

In the meantime, you can rewrite your US resume to UK CV standards (google for examples), and look for recruiters that specialise in what you do. You should also set the language on your computer to UK English and start learning some of the different spelling of words. You'll need to ensure that your UK CV is in perfect UK English.

It has also been recommended to be that you should put VISA SUPPORT NOT REQUIRED above your name at the very top of your CV, so that there is no doubt about this.

What sort of job will you be seeking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I'm looking for a research position in the Biotech/Pharma industry, or in academia.
 

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Do an Advanced Search on Linkedin on the keywords "recruiter biotechnology research" and change the location to United Kingdom. Reach out to as many as you can find using the connect feature, but customise the note to explain your future situation.

Is your visa application sent in already? If so, you will find that recruiters will be willing to talk to you. If you have your UK CV ready, you can send it to them and get some feedback. (Free feedback, worth something, maybe not a lot.)

If you are not currently working, or as soon as you give notice, change your location on Linkedin to the UK (wherever you'll be), and update it with "Seeking research role in biotech or academia. Visa support not required" or something similar in the title under your name. Be sure notification of your network is turned ON when you do this so the word gets out. You never know who in your network can help you.

In the meantime, turn off notifications, and make your Linkedin profile really good. Write all past roles in the past tense. Proofread! Use UK English! This should be more than what is on your CV. Some people, including me, think that writing the LinkedIn profile in the 3rd person (like it's a bio) is best. Something like this:

"At Biotech Pharmaceuticals, Dr Richardson worked on the CCR2 project, screening compound libraries in search of drug candidates. She developed a human anti mouse anti CCR2 antibody, which later was patented and then humanised as a potential therapeutic."

The more you can make yourself sound three dimensional and interesting, the better. You should have lots of achievements listed in in your profile, not just your job description. This is true of the CV too.
 

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YW. I've been doing a certain amount of this stuff myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's definitely an intimidating experience. I left the work force in 2009 to go back for my PhD, so my last job search was in 2007. The US job market and the use of social media/online networking, has changed so much in that time, that it's like learning how to do it all over again. Add in having to navigate a foreign job market and it's expectations.... EEK!
 

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Try to network your way to people who will talk you through the process. Academic job interviews in the UK are different from what I can gather. They have everyone interview on the same day, and I read one report of all the candidates having lunch together along with the people doing the hiring. That was just one story I read online. I don't know if it's true.

You should see who in the Uk is doing the sort of research that you have done or want to do and figure out how to get an introduction. There's definitely lots to figure out!
 

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Wouldn't you also need to apply for a National Insurance number as without this you cannot work.
You can do this as soon as you arrive on a settlement visa, but not before.
 

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...and you can work without a National Insurance Number. A generic amount of taxes will be withheld until you receive your NIN and give it to your employer, and then they will correct your withholding on your next pay check, and it should be correct thereafter.
 

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It's not your NI number that corrects the amount of tax you pay, but when they set up your PAYE (pay-as-you-earn; or paying tax through employer deduction) account, for which NI number is needed. Then they can bring together all your tax affairs and deduct the correct amount of tax (and NI) from each pay.
 
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