I am United States citizen and looking to move to the UK. Currently, applying to graduate school there, which would start in October this year. However, I would like to go as soon as March to join my significant other, who is an EU national working / settled in London. I want to be able to work during this period, ideally paid work. I am looking for advice on visas and programs - the best way to legally get me there quickly and allow me to be more than just a tourist for the next 6 months.
Visitor visa: Is it allowed to enter on a standard visitor visa, look for work, and then switch to the appropriate visa? Would I have to leave the UK in between?
Partner visa: Based on the rules, I do not think our relationship will convince immigration, as we have not officially lived together nor do we have any other proof of combined assets. Are these stipulations strictly enforced, or might we have a shot just saying we have been a couple since 2014?
Work visa: I'm guessing I have no chance at a serious sponsorship knowing that I want to be in school instead in a matter of months.
Work visa, such as Tier 5 temporary work: From my research, I am hoping I could have a fixed-term internship, research position, or job for a few months with this visa. If so, what is the best way to find one? I would love some advice on job searching from outside the UK. Should I apply for internships as normal from job websites; or is there a smarter way to find vacancies? Can I contact Tier 5 sponsorship bodies directly for help? Should I approach companies or universities directly for opportunities or research positions? Do I have any hope of being taken seriously, or finding something in a timely manner?
Are there any other potential routes?
I have a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering and significant research experience with neuroscience and data science.