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Everything you need to know about working on a Student Visa

The United Kingdom has become a popular destination for international students seeking quality education and professional growth. Many students wonder about the possibilities of working while studying in the UK. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various work options available to international students on student visas and clarify the conditions and restrictions they should be aware of.

Can International Students Work in the UK on a Student Visa?

Yes, international students pursuing a degree level or below degree level course in the UK can work. This applies to those enrolled in full-time degree programs and below degree level courses, work placements and postgraduate doctor or dentist students on recognised foundation programs. Those aged 16 and above can work, subject to certain conditions.

International students on a student visa are not allowed to:

  • Be self-employed or engage in business activity, except if they are awaiting a decision on an application for a Start-up migrant visa supported by an endorsement from a qualifying Higher Education Provider (HEP) with a compliance track record.

  • Take employment as an entertainer or as a professional sportsperson, including sports coaching.

  • Fill a full-time permanent vacancy, except if it is part of a recognised foundation program and all other requirements are met.

How Many Hours Can International Students Work on a Student Visa in the UK?

During term-time, international students enrolled in a degree level course can work for up to 20 hours per week, while those in a below degree level course can work for up to 10 hours per week. However, during the term breaks and before the course starts, students in both degree and below degree level courses can work full-time in the UK.

Can International Students Work Part-Time on a Student Visa in the UK?

Yes, international students can work part-time on a student visa if they are enrolled in a degree or below degree level course. However, those studying full-time at any level or pursuing a part-time course are not permitted to work part-time on a student visa in the UK.

Can Spouses Work on a Student Dependent Visa in the UK?

The rules for spousal employment on a student dependent visa vary depending on the level of the student's course. If the student is studying a below degree level course, the dependent spouse cannot work in the UK. However, if the student is studying a degree level course, the dependent spouse can work in the UK, including self-employment and voluntary work. However, they cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach in the UK.

Can a Student Switch to a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK?

Yes, students on a student visa can apply for permission to stay under the Skilled Worker route in the UK. They can start working for up to three months before the completion date of their course, provided certain conditions are met.

As an international student in the UK, understanding the work opportunities available to you can significantly enhance your experience and contribute to your personal and professional growth. While there are limitations and conditions to consider, the chance to work while studying can provide valuable insights into the UK's job market and culture.

If you have any questions or need guidance on work visas, our team at MSD Solicitors is here to assist you. We specialise in UK immigration law and can help you navigate the intricacies of work opportunities for international students. Don't hesitate to contact us and unlock the doors to your future success in the United Kingdom.


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