International students are able to work in the UK before, during and after their studies subject to specific requirements. Working whilst studying may help towards living costs and enable you to gain valuable work experience, however it should be supplementary to your studies. It should not replace or impact negatively on your attendance
Working before and during your studies
Your ability to work in the UK before and during your studies will depend on the type of visa application you made whether in the UK or outside the UK. Students who have a student visa or points based dependant visa are allowed to work in the UK as are students who are studying with a Tiers 1, 2 and 5 visa. You will not be allowed to work on a tourist visa or a short term study visa.
The number of hours you are allowed to work in the UK before your course starts and during your course will depend on a number of factors such as the level of your course, duration of your course and whether you have the working conditions stated on your visa. Students working before and during their studies are only allowed to work up to the maximum time allowed on their visa or Biometric Resident Document. There are different rules regarding working during official University holidays. If you have not got a working condition on your visa where you should have one or you think the number of hours you have been given on your visa is incorrect, you will need to contact our Visahelp Team for advice.
There are also various types of employment which are allowed and not allowed by the Home Office during your studies. For example, you can work on a voluntary basis (not being paid) or you can work for pay or a combination of both up to the maximum time allowed on your visa for working purposes. There are certain types of jobs you will not be able to take up while studying for example, you cannot be self-employed on a study visa. Further information about the types of jobs you are allowed and not allowed to take up on a student visa can be read here.
Working after your studies
So long as you have finished your course, you can work full-time during the time left on your visa. You should consider alternative immigration routes if you want to stay in the UK for a longer amount of time and gain further work experience or obtain a permanent position. The Tier 5 Visa route subject to eligibility may be an option for students who wish to gain work experience in the UK for up to 12 months or you may consider other visa types such as the Tier 2 General Visa which allows for permanent positions to be taken up with a UK employer.