Student work

Last modified: 03 August 2022

Most students aged 16 or older can work, even if it is only a course-related work placement. It is a great opportunity to make some extra money and to experience working life in the UK. You will also meet a wide range of people and enhance your career prospects. 

Work rights are a condition of your immigration permission. This means it is very important that you are clear about what you may and may not do. You must always follow any restrictions. We explain them on this page.  See also Home Office casework guidance and our information about Student conditions.

Our blog, A working definition, provides answers to a lot of your questions about work.  

You can work with Student permission as a Students' Union sabbatical officer. See also DependantsShort-term student visa and gov.uk.

On 5 October 2020, 'Tier 4 student leave' became 'Student' and 'Child student' permission. This change makes no difference to your work rights. 'Student' includes Tier 4 (General) and 'Child student' includes Tier 4 (Child). Short-term students are not included.

Who can work and working hours

Last modified: 27 July 2022

Many, but not all, Students and Child students can work. This depends on the type of student sponsor you have.  Go to the register of Student sponsors and  look at the Sponsor type and Status columns. When you have found your college or university, select the relevant option below to find out if you can work.

Working hours in term time must not exceed 10 or 20 a week, and you can work full time outside term time

"Week" means any 7-day period starting on a Monday. Keep detailed records of your working hours. This is especially important if you work irregular hours and/or if you have more than one employer.

"Term time" means the period when your student sponsor expects you to be studying. "Outside term time" means any other time. For example, the period before your course starts and after it ends, and holidays (vacation). You can usually find term dates on your college's website or in your course information. You must provide this information to your employer.

Always check the information on your immigration document. If it says "No work", you must not work. If you think this is a mistake, you must get it corrected before you take any employment.  See how to do this in Errors on 90-day vignette and Errors on BRP.

You can find full details in these Home Office publications:

An employer's guide to right to work checks

Home Office Student and Child student caseworker guidance

Student sponsor with a track record

Overseas higher education institution

Independent school

Any other student sponsor

Work placements and internships

Last modified: 27 July 2022

Placements are an excellent way of obtaining work experience. They can help you make career decisions and are helpful when you apply for jobs after your course.

You can usually do a work placement as part of your course even if you are not permitted to take employment. 

If you need help finding a work placement or internship, talk to your tutor or careers service. You might also find Student Circus helpful. It helps international students find jobs and provides information about work routes.

What is a work placement or internship?

Can you change your mind about doing or not doing a work placement?

Taking a work placement outside the UK

What kind of work can you do?

Last modified: 01 August 2022

If you can work during study, you can apply for and accept jobs in most types of paid role, at any level. You are not restricted to working on campus.

Below, you will find information about volunteering. We also explain the types of work you must not do. 

The Home Office might question your working hours if you earn more than most students. This could be around £15,000 a year. There are no limits on what you may earn or on your hours of work in vacations and after study. But make sure you never exceed the limit on your weekly working hours in term time. It is important that you do not let work interfere with making progress on your course.

Our blog "A working definition" looks at many types of work, and whether you can do them as a student.

For information about finding a job, see --> Finding work, employers and tax.

Volunteering

Work you must not do

Work when you are no longer studying

Last modified: 27 July 2022
This information is for you if your permission allows you to work during and outside term time. It is not relevant to you if you can only do work placements.
 
Most students have immigration permission that extends beyond the end of your studies. You can work full time for this extra period when you have completed your course. The student work restrictions continue to apply, unless you make a work application.

For details of work routes, see --> Graduate route and --> Working after studies.

You have completed your course

Moving into a work route

Leaving your course before completion or taking a break

Immigration health charge reimbursement

Last modified: 27 July 2022

Immigration health charge reimbursement

Some students can apply to have their immigration health charge reimbursed. This applies to you only if you:
  • have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and
  • have not worked in the UK, and
  • will not work in the UK. 

If you have any intention of working in the UK, you should not apply for this reimbursement.

For a summary of this scheme, see information on gov.uk.

See the attached document issued by the Department for Health and Social Care. It includes information about who the scheme covers. It also explains what will happen if you claim reimbursement and then want to work in the UK.

DHSC Student Information Pack - IHS Reimbursement.pdf

COVID-19 and work

Last modified: 03 August 2022

Most immigration concessions have ended. Details of the remaining special arrangements are in guidance. 


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