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Working while you study

Student visa working rights and restrictions

Working during your studies is a great way to build new skills, contribute to your local community, and earn a little extra money to fund your university experience. If you're an international student, there are plenty of opportunities open to you, and a few restrictions to know about too.

Working on a Student Route student visa

During term time

On a Tier 4 or Student Route visa, you can work or volunteer for up to 20 hours a week during term time – as defined by the official timetable. But it's very important that you don't work any more than this. If you do, you'll be classified as working illegally, and this will affect your visa. You can find out more about the Student Route visa on the UKCISA website.

The 20 hours a week you can work includes all employment and any voluntary work too. So if you have a paid job for 15 hours a week, you can't do more than 5 hours voluntary work alongside it.

You also can't work more than 20 hours one week, and less than 20 hours the next week, and then take an average of your working time – your 20 hours must always fall within a single Monday to Sunday period.

If you are working in a Care Home the condition of working 20 hours per week still applies to you.

Outside term time

Outside of term time, your working restrictions will depend on whether you're studying an undergraduate, taught postgraduate, block taught or research postgraduate course. You can find the specific restrictions throughout the year below:

Working restrictions

You are not permitted to work in a self-employed role such as for Deliveroo or Just Eat whilst you hold a Tier 4 or Student Route visa.

Check if the role is on PAYE with the employer. If it is then it is not a self-employed role.

If you have any questions about the type of role please contact us.

 
Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week

Winter and Spring breaks

No restrictions

During your exam re-sits

20 hours per week, until you finish your last exam

When you're re-submitting coursework or a dissertation

20 hours per week until all your assessments have been completed

Summer vacation

No restrictions, as long as you’ve finished all your assessments and any exam re-sits.

After your course has been completed (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4/Student Route visa)

No restrictions until your Visa end date, as long as you've finished any exam re-sits

 
Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week

Winter and Spring breaks

No restrictions

During your exam re-sits

20 hours per week, until you finish your last exam

When you're re-submitting coursework or a dissertation

20 hours per week until all your assessments have been completed

Summer vacation

20 hours per week, after your last exam or assessment hand in and your course has been completed             

After your course has been completed (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4/Student Route visa)

No restrictions until your Visa end date, as long as you've finished all your assessments and any exam re-sits

 

 

Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week

Winter and Spring breaks

No restrictions

During your exam re-sits

20 hours per week, until you finish your last exam

When you're re-submitting coursework or a dissertation

20 hours per week until all your assessments have been completed

Summer vacation

At the point you commenced your course, you will have been given information on the structure of your course and of the hours that you can work in your academic year of study.  

During the summer vacation, students may be able to work if there are no Learning and Teaching expectations. You can work full time after completion of any assessments and any exam re-sits. 

To confirm whether you are required to study during this period (for example by working on your dissertation or project) please contact your Faculty/School Admin Office. If you are required to study then you cannot work full-time during this period and your 20 hours working restrictions continue.

After your course has been completed (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4/Student Route visa)

No restrictions until your Visa end date, as long as you've finished all your assessments any exam re-sits

As the course is ongoing throughout the year the full course is considered to be term-time. There are no vacation periods in which you can work full-time.

Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week, except within recognised Annual Leave periods

Winter breaks

You are permitted to work more than 20 hours per week during the University Christmas Closure period.

Spring breaks

20 hours per week, except within recognised Annual Leave periods

Undertaking viva amendments

20 hours per week, except within recognised Annual Leave periods

Summer vacation

20 hours per week, except within recognised Annual Leave periods

After your course has been completed (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4/Student Route visa)

No restrictions until your visa end date, as long as you’ve submitted the final bound copy of your thesis

If you’re receiving a bursary from the University, and you’re expected to undertake 6 hours per week assistance to teaching, this would count towards your 20 hours per week restrictions.

If you wish to take Annual Leave from your studies in order to work more than 20 hours for a period during term time, you’ll need to do the following before the excess hours are worked:

Obtain written authorisation via email from a member of your supervisory team for the period of annual leave, which includes the specific dates of the leave which has been authorised - the working week is from Monday to Sunday and Annual Leave will be for full weeks. 

Copy the text of the email into a new tutorial record and ensure you and the supervisor sign it off.

Please note, you must obtain authorisation and ensure this is recorded on Skills Forge before you undertake any full time work. Your annual leave is a maximum of 6 weeks within the year, not including bank holidays and university Christmas closure.    

Working for the university

If you are also working for the university, please update the PeopleHub  (select Compliance/Other and add: Name, ID, Annual Leave - add the dates to the heading) and attach a copy of your Supervisor's authorisation of your Annual Leave dates - this must be added to your file before you undertake any full-time work.

Students on a Tier 4 or Student Route visa studying part-time postgraduate taught or research degrees are not permitted to work (paid or unpaid) during term time or the vacation period.

If you are on a Standard Visitor visa or have entered the UK in this category you are not permitted to work (paid or unpaid) during term time or the vacation period.

To ensure your employer remains compliant with UKVI rules on working hours restrictions, you will need to be able to evidence that you have completed your course. Your Confirmation of Studies Letter will show your employer your course dates and is available from Student View Portal. Once you have provided this evidence to your employer, you will be able to work full-time.

To ensure your employer remains compliant with UKVI rules on working hours restrictions, you will need to be able to evidence that you have completed your course. Your Confirmation of Studies Letter will show your employer your course dates and is available from Student View Portal. Once you have provided this evidence to your employer, you will be able to work full-time.  

Some students can apply to have their immigration health charge reimbursed. This applies only to holders of valid European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) who have not worked and will not work in the UK. 
 
If you intend to work in the UK you must not apply for this reimbursement.

For more information see Working in the UK after your studies

If you require any further information, advice and guidance please contact the University's International Student Advice Team, please contact the UoP Global Office.