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Home International Students Study, work & more Working during your studies EEA and Swiss students: working while studying

EEA and Swiss students: Working during your studies


Can you work in the UK?

Yes. All EEA and Swiss national students can work in the UK. If you are a national of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia, you no longer need to register your work under the Worker Registration  and are free to take up employment without being subject to any special requirements.

If you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania you are no longer subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme, and are free to take up employment without being subject to any special requirements.

However, if you are a Croatia you might be subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme. If you are in the UK as a student, this means you might have to apply for a registration certificate as a student before you can start work. Any employment is limited to 20 hours a week in term time, but you can work full time in your holidays and on work placements, and for up to four months after your studies end. This application costs £55.

I am a Croatian national. Can I work from 1 July 2013?

If you wish to work, you will need to obtain authorisation, unless you meet the criteria for any of the exemptions. These are outlined on the Home Office website.

If you are not exempt and you have student immigration permission (Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4) which is valid beyond the 1 July 2013, then you will be able to work (up to the maximum hours specified on your visa) until your visa expires.

If you are not exempt, do not have student immigration permission, or you are arriving on or after 1 July 2013, you will need to obtain permission before you can work. To do this, you will need to apply for a Yellow Registration Certificate on form CR1,  available on the Home Office website. You are advised to apply for permission as soon as possible as you will not be able to undertake any work until you obtain this.

If you are here with student immigration permission (either Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4), you will be able to continue to be here beyond the date your immigration permission has expired without needing to make an immigration application.

You will be able to continue or start working without having to apply for authorisation if your student immigration permission is valid beyond 1 July 2013 until the date it expires, but you will only be able to work up to the maximum hours permitted by this visa. If you wish to work beyond this date, you will have to obtain authorisation. You will not be able to work in the period between the end date of this visa and the date you are issued with your Yellow Registration Certificate. Therefore, it is advisable to apply for authorisation as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, no account has been taken in the UK's Regulations of those who wish to work as sabbatical officers. If you wish to undertake work as a sabbatical officer, please contact the National Union of Students

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals: Worker Authorisation Scheme

The Worker Authorisation Scheme for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals ended on 31 December 2013. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are, from 1 January 2014, free to take up work without restriction.

I am a self-employed Croatian national in the UK. What steps do I have to take in order to show that I am self-employed?

The Home Office has produced some useful guidance for those who are, or who wish to be, self-employed.

Pending BR1 applications

The current processing time for BR1 applications appears to be approximately 9 months.

Where a registration certificate application has been submitted but has not been decided before 1 January 2014 (the end of the accession period for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals) the Home Office has confirmed that they will continue to process the application, even where this takes them beyond the date of accession.

Family members:  EEA and Swiss nationals

If your family member is a national of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Republic of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, they will be free to work in the UK.

If your family member is a Croatian national, they may, in some circumstances, be required to obtain authorisation before commencing work. Please see the Home Office website for more information.

Family members: other nationals

If you are allowed to work, your family member who is not an EEA or Swiss national can also work in the UK. Family members who can accompany you and work are usually your wife or husband or your civil partner, dependent children and, in many cases, unmarried partners and dependent grandchildren, parents and grandparents. The easiest way to prove to an employer that your family member has the right to work is by applying for a document, usually a residence card, from the UK Government.

If you are a Croatian national, please see the Home Office website for information on applying for permission to work for your family members. 

In all other cases, your family member can apply for a residence card on form EEA2.

More information

On the UK Border Agency website, you can find general information, application forms and instructions for immigration caseworkers.

If you want information about bringing your family to the UK, go to the UKBA visa services website for general information,  application forms  and guidance for entry clearance officers.

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