How many hours can international students work in the UK

How many hours can international students work in the UK

This article was written by the Great British Mag editorial team on 8 August 2022.

We won’t sugar coat this. The UK is an expensive place. And the cost of getting a degree and covering your living costs can go into the thousands.

So, it’s not surprising that many students have part time jobs, and here we explain what you can and cannot do.

Can all international students work in the UK?

Not all international students are allowed to work so it is important to look at your CAS letter and BRP to understand your visa status.

If you are studying for a qualification at degree level or above, you can work up to 20 hours a week in term time. And up to 10 hours a week, in term time, if you are studying for a qualification below degree level.

If you are on a Student visa and in full time study you can work as many hours as you like outside term time and before your course starts.

Who cannot work?

Check your CAS letter carefully to understand your rights to work in the UK and the number of hours you are allowed to work. If your visa or CAS letter has the words “track record” in the Status column you are allowed to work.

If it says the Sponsor type is a private provider, a publicly funded college or an embedded college offering pathway courses you will not be able to work in the UK, but you will be able to complete any mandatory work placements that are part of your course.

Can I work if I’m an international postgraduate student?

As a full-time postgraduate students you can work up to 20 hours, during term time and for an unlimited number of hours outside of the academic term. However, those completing a postgraduate course part-time cannot work both in term time or outside term, such as the summer holidays.

Can I work if I’m on Study Abroad Programme?

If you are joining a study abroad programme run by a higher education institution in the UK you will be able to work for up to 20 hours a week in term time and full-time outside term time, which includes all the holidays and before the course starts.

Check the UK Gov website to ensure the institution you are joining is registered as a student sponsor by searching the “overseas higher education institution in the Sponsor type column.

What age do international student have to be to be able to work?

You have to be 16 years old and be studying under a visa that allows you to work part time. Your visa and CAS letter will give you details of how many hours you are allowed to work.

How many hours can you work on a Student visa?

Under the Student visa, most international students doing a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate degree can work 20 hours per week, during term time, and that includes internships, paid and voluntary work. And for an unlimited number of hours outside of the academic term.

Are work placements and internships included?

Work placements that are a compulsory part of your course are not included in the number of hours you are allowed to work. However, any voluntary work or internships you arrange, within term time, will go towards the number of hours you are allowed to work.

What jobs can international students not do?

If you are on a Student visa you are not allowed to be self-employed, work as a freelancer, work for a company abroad. Nor can you work as a doctor-in-training, professional sportsperson, or entertainer.

Can you work for a company abroad?

The Student visa prohibits you from working remotely for a business outside the UK, so for example if you were working before you started your studies and you wanted to continue with the organisation on a part time basis you would be breaking the rules. 

Can international students work full-time?

Depending our your visa status you will be able to work full-time outside of the academic term and once you have completed your course you may qualify for the Graduate visa– which will allow you stay in the UK to work or look for work for up to three years.

Who keeps a track of the of the hours you work?

The number of hours you work will be recorded by the companies you work for, and this information will appear on your payslip and ultimately be recorded by the Department of Work and Pensions against your National Insurance Number.

What happens if I break my visa conditions?

This would mean you are in breach of your visa and you could be asked to leave the UK. But when GB Mag contacted UK Visas and Immigration, a branch of the Home Office, responsible for policing visas they declined to answer our questions about how many students they have deported and how they police the restriction.

You may also want to read

What tax do you have to pay if you work in the UK

How to get a job after graduation in the UK

Why you cannot work without a National Insurance Number