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Posted March 1, 2013

Working in the UK as an International Student

If you're an international student studying for your degree in the UK, you are entitled to get a part-time job to supplement your studies.

With that being said, there are some limitations to the type of jobs you can do as you cannot:

  • Be self employed
  • Be employed as a professional coach or sportsperson
  • Be employed as an entertainer
  • Be employed in a full-time permanent job

How Many Hours Can You Work? In order to ensure that the system works effectively, there are specific rules regarding the amount of hours that you are allowed to work, and at what times these may be. Providing you have your student immigration application accepted, you can work:

  • Up to 20 hours a week if you are studying in a higher education institute at degree level.
  • Up to 20 hours a week if you are studying in an overseas higher education institution in the UK on a study abroad program.
  • Up to 10 hours a week if you are studying at a higher education institution for a qualification that is below degree level.

When Can You Work? Under the terms of your student immigration application, you are free to work any time during the official term time of your university. It does not matter whether you are currently attending lectures or are on study / exam leave etc, as the same rules apply. You are not permitted to work more hours than is stated above, even if you have excess time available to you.

During the holidays you are permitted to work full time providing it is not a permanent position, and that the employer is aware that it is only during the holiday period.

Once you have finished your studies you are allowed to remain in the UK, working for up to four months on your student immigration permission. After this time you must leave the country or apply for different immigration permissions. During this four month period, you are permitted to work in a full-time position.

You are not allowed to take a gap year off from your studies in order to work in the UK. If you defer your studies, you have to return to your country of origin and then come back to the UK to commence your studies once more.

What about Taxes?

Everyone who earns over a certain threshold in the UK must pay tax. This applies to international students as well, and this will automatically be deducted from your wages and sorted out by your employer. You are not expected to have a National Insurance Number prior to commencing work, but this will be given to you as and when required. For further information on this subject, you can visit the HM Revenue & Customs website



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