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How to Work Part-Time in the UK on A Student Visa

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Good news for students planning to study abroad in the UK – you can now work part-time to support your living expenses. However, the specific rules depend on when your visa was issued. Let’s break down the work regulations for students on a Tier 4 Student Visa in the UK.

What is a Tier 4 Student Visa?

A Tier 4 Student Visa is granted to international students who want to pursue full-time studies at a UK educational institution. Once you receive an offer from a UK school, you can apply for this visa, which allows you to study and work in the UK under certain conditions.

Work Rules for Visas Applied Before 4th July 2011: If you applied for the Tier 4 Student Visa before 4th July 2011, the work rules are different compared to those applied after that date.

  1. Part-Time Employment During Term-Time: You can work part-time during your study period.
  2. Full-Time Employment During Holidays: During breaks and holidays, you can work full-time.
  3. Work Placement for Your Course: If your study program includes a work placement, you can participate in it.
  4. Sabbatical Officer in Students’ Union: You have the option to work in the Students’ Union as a sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.
  5. Postgraduate Dentists or Doctors: If you are a postgraduate dentist or doctor on a recognized Foundation Programme, you can work.
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The permitted part-time work hours are as follows:

  • 20 hours per week for courses at or above degree level or on a foundation course (for visas applied on or before 2nd March 2010).
  • 10 hours per week for courses below UK degree level, if the visa was applied on or after 3rd March 2010.

Work Rules for Visas Applied After 4th July 2011: For students with Tier 4 visas applied after 4th July 2011, the work rules vary based on the level of study.

  1. Courses at or Above Degree Level (QCF 6 / NQF 6 / SCFQ 9):

  • Part-Time Employment: You can work part-time, up to 20 hours per week, during term time.
  • Full-Time Employment: You can work full-time during holidays and breaks.
  • Work Placement: If your course includes a work placement, you can take it up.
  • Sabbatical Officer in Students’ Union: You can work in the Students’ Union as a sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.
  • Postgraduate Dentists or Doctors: If you are on an officially recognized Foundation Programme, you can work.
  1. Courses Below UK Degree Level:

  • Part-Time Employment: You are allowed to work part-time, up to 10 hours per week, during term time.
  • Full-Time Employment: Full-time work is allowed during holidays and breaks.
  • Work Placement: You can participate in a work placement for your course.
  • Sabbatical Officer in Students’ Union: The option to work in the Students’ Union as a sabbatical officer for up to 2 years is available.
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Important Restrictions:

  • Full-Time Permanent Employment is not allowed at any point.
  • You cannot work as a self-employed individual.
  • Employment as a doctor in training is only allowed through a recognized Foundation Programme.
  • Employment as a professional sportsperson, entertainer, or coach is not permitted.

Remember, it is crucial to comply with the UK’s immigration rules. Breaking any visa-related regulations may lead to deportation. Apply for the necessary visas well in advance and clarify any doubts about your student visa with your university or the immigration department. Happy studying and working in the UK!

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