Human Resources

Tier 4 Planned Hours FAQs

Please see below for our list of Tier 4 Planned Hours FAQs, which you may find useful.

What about short term placements - do they count towards the 20 hours?

While your student employee is undertaking a work placement as required by their course, this period is not included within the period of term time employment permitted by their immigration conditions. For example, if the requirement for work placement forms part of the study guide (in the Prospectus) then it is not included in the 20 hour restriction. For further guidance click here.

Does activity which is part of a credit-bearing module count towards the 20 hours?

While your student employee is undertaking a work placement as required by their course, this period is not included within the period of term time employment permitted by their immigration conditions. For example, if the requirement for work placement forms part of the study guide (in the Prospectus) then it is not included in the 20 hour restriction. For further guidance click here.

Are weekend hours treated the same, or does a multiplier need to be applied?

UKVI are looking at the number of hours a student is working, not whether they are getting paid overtime, so the day of the week or hour of the day isn't relevant.

Do payments for accrued holiday hours count towards the 20 hour restriction?

No, the annual leave payment is just that - a payment to cover the annual leave they’ve accrued. It does not count towards the 20 hours restriction.

How do managers find out about a student's other roles at the University?

The email that is sent with the link to the Google form, will highlight whether that student has more than one job at the University.

What about jobs a student may have outside of the University?

The student has a responsibility NOT to exceed the hours stated on their visa. The University will not be held responsible for any jobs they have with external employers.

Do managers need to record hours if the student only has one job at the University?

Yes - the UKVI expect us to monitor in advance the hours the student is likely to do. This means we have to complete a form for every student with restrictions.

How do we manage a student's hours on the day if they could exceed the number of planned hours recorded?

If there is a possibility the student will exceed their 20 hours restriction - the manager must reduce the number of hours they were originally offering that student.

How do Tier 4 students get added to the list for the emails to start being sent?

Once the contract for the student has been processed by Human Resources, their details will be added to the system by the HR Compliance Officer.

Do managers need to enter back-dated information?

No. We are only capturing future planned hours.

Can I update the planned hours I've submitted for a student?

Yes, just submit the new value via the relevant Google form link.

If I employ a student with multiple roles, and record their planned hours in advance, can I guarantee that I get the hours I need?

No. If you employ a Tier 4 student who has multiple contracts within the University, there is a risk that their combined hours will exceed the 20 hour limit. If the student’s combined hours exceed the 20 hours, you will receive notification almost immediately. In that case the relevant Line Managers will need to follow the instructions in that email to resolve the issue.

How many Tier 4 students are employed in our department?

You may request this information at any time. The HR Compliance Officer will send you an updated list when it becomes available.

Can the emails be sent to a generic email address?

Yes, you are able to request an alternate email address for specific contracts by emailing the HR Compliance Officer.

Can the emails be sent to multiple alternate email addresses?

Yes, you are able to request multiple alternate email addresses for specific contracts by emailing the HR Compliance Officer.

Would focus group attendance be counted as volunteering?

In essence, yes. As a Tier 4 (General) student, they can do voluntary work if they are permitted to work, but this work and any other (e.g. paid or unpaid) work that they do must not exceed the number of hours they are permitted to work during term time. For example, if they can work for 20 hours during term time and have paid work of 15 hours a week during term time, they cannot do more than 5 hours voluntary work per week. If they are not permitted to work they cannot do voluntary work. For further guidance click here.

Do I need to record planned hours for my Tier4 bursary students?      

Yes. The 6 hours per week of assistance to teaching that PGRs are expected to undertake would contributes to their 20 working hours per week restriction. Therefore, those 6 hours need to be submitted and included with working hours for your students each week. For example; if your student works 5 hours for you, you should submit 5 hours plus the 6 hours for assistance to teaching.

I haven't received any requests to submit hours for either a new student or existing student for a particular week?      

It could be a result of a) it's a new student that hasn't been added to the Tier 4 Planned Hours system just yet; the contract hasn't been processed or b) you will only receive reminders for your PG students, UGs maybe on holiday due to a public holiday times (i.e Easter).

If a Postgraduate Research student takes annual leave for part of a week, can they work a total of 20 hours on the days they are not on leave, regardless of the hours they work on their leave days?        

No, the UKVI restricts students to a maximum of 20 hours per week and does not provide any mechanism to manage this in smaller units. Therefore, unless the student takes a complete working week as leave, they will still be restricted to a total of 20 working hours for that week, including any hours worked on the days they were on leave.

If we pay students to attend training, does that need to be logged?

Yes.

How do we log hours for students which have to complete training before they are appointed?

The contract start date should include the first day of training. They should not have started any training until the right to work checks have been completed, however there can be a gap between training and their first day of working.

Can I amend a student's planned hours during the week in question?

We wouldn't recommend doing this, particularly where a student has multiple roles. If you were to increase a student's hours to a point where the 20 hours total were reached the warning email would be sent to all affected managers, who would be highly unlikely to be in a position to modify hours at such short notice.

What happens if the line manager is due to go on leave or has an unplanned absence?

Contact ukvicompliance@port.ac.uk with an alternative University staff email address and we can arrange for emails to be forwarded accordingly.

How do I record and/or evidence annual leave for my postgraduate research students?

Postgraduate research students must request the leave, in writing, from their Line Manager or Supervisor. Managers/supervisors should copy leave approvals to Academic Registry registry@port.ac.uk and to HR hrenquiries@port.ac.uk. Managers/supervisors must ensure that they understand any visa restrictions the student may have, and confirm that dates of the planned employment do NOT exceed the end date of the student's visa. Annual leave for PGR students is a maximum of 8 weeks within the year, which equates to 6 weeks plus bank holidays and the University Christmas closure.

What happens if I don't participate?

If you do not participate then the student will not be permitted to work in the role. There may be sanctions for the Manager in these instances.