Working Rights in UK during your studies?

Working in the UK during your studies

Most students in the UK have immigration permission which allows them to work during their studies. You do not need to apply for special permission in order to work. The hours and type of work you can do are restricted and depend on when you made your most recent application for immigration permission and, in some cases, the type of course you are studying.

Tier 4 (Child) students who are aged 16 or older can work up to 10 hours a week. Younger students are not allowed to work.

If you apply as a Tier 4 (General) student, this depends on where you study. If you study at a private college, in most cases you will not be allowed to work, even if the private college has Highly Trusted Sponsor status. However, if your private college is a recognised body, you will be allowed to work 20 hours a week.

  • Students at Recognised Bodies (universities) will retain their right to work 20 hours a week part-time and to do work placements where the study : work ratio is 50:50.
  • Students at publicly funded FE colleges will continue to be able to work 10 hours a week part-time.

Working in the UK after your studies At the moment, the schemes that are most significant for students who have finished their studies are:

  • Tier 2 for jobs where no one in the resident labour market can be recruited, and occupations where there is a shortage of qualified workers. This replaced work permits and some other work routes from 27 November 2008.
  • Tier 5 for a stay of up to 2 years in the UK for work. There are many different schemes within Tier 5, so you need to check if you meet all the requirements of one or more of them. In most cases, you cannot make a Tier 5 application in the UK if you have Tier 4 immigration permission, so you will have to return to the country where you usually live and make an entry clearance application there. However, it is possible for students to apply in the UK under Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) if you need to stay for training in order to qualify in your profession after your studies here. If this is of relevance to you, you should check with your professional body if it is or intends to become a Tier 5 sponsor.
  • Tier 1 for investors, entrepreneurs, including recent graduates from selected UK institutions, and those who are internationally recognised or likely to become world leaders in the arts, humanities, science or engineering.

How to search for a job or voluntary opportunity?

Search online for the latest jobs and volunteering opportunities – volunteering can help you develop and learn new skills while you’re looking for a job

There are a number of ways you can search for jobs:

  • through Jobcentre Plus
  • through newspapers
  • on the internet
  • by registering with recruitment agencies
  • in trade journals
  • through friends and other people you know
  • Online networks

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