Students from the EEA (European Economic Area)
If you're an EEA (European Economic Area) or Swiss National, or the dependant of one, you're permitted to work in the UK without any restrictions on the number of hours or type of work. To prove that you're a national or dependant of a national of an EEA country, you'll need to show an employer your passport or identity card.
If you're a national of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Slovenia, you no longer need to register your work under the Worker Registration Scheme and are free to take up employment without being subject to any special requirements.
If you're Croatian and studying in the UK, you're entitled to work 20 hours a week during term-time, and full-time during holidays. However, before starting employment, you must obtain a yellow registration certificate confirming you are a student by completing a CR1 form.
International (non-EEA) students and work
If you're a national from outside the EEA, you can check whether you're eligible to work by looking at the visa stamp/entry clearance certificate in your passport. A restricted stamp indicates that you can work, but this is limited to 10 or 20 hours per week depending on your level of study. You can work full-time during official vacation periods.
For further guidance, international students should refer to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) guide on working during your studies. It covers:
- Passport stickers and identity cards.
- Number of hours you can work whilst studying in the UK.
- Types of work you must not do.
- Eligibility to work on sandwich courses and work placements.
- Definition of term-time.
Southampton Solent has a dedicated careers service which provides students with information on job vacancies, career planning, and every aspect of working during and after your studies. For more information visit the careers section.
Regulations, legislation and law
Work placements if you have a Tier 4 visa
You can work full-time on a work placement only if:
- Your work placement is no longer than 50% of the length of your course (degree level).
- The work placement is an assessed part of your course.
If you work over 10 or 20 hours during term-time, you will be in breach of your immigration conditions.
Your family members and work
Some family members of Tier 4 students are permitted to work in the UK, whilst others are not. This will depends on the conditions endorsed on the visa.
Conditions that allow a dependant to work during their stay in the UK are worded in the following ways:
- 'Work permitted'.
- 'Restricted work. No doctor/dentist training'.
- 'Limited leave to remain in the UK. No recourse to public funds'.
- 'Leave to enter (until specified time). No recourse to public funds'.
- 'Leave to remain in the UK on condition that the holder maintains and accommodates himself and any dependants without recourse to public funds is hereby given until (specified time)'.
Family members who are permitted to work can undertake any type of work, full-time and part-time, employed and self-employed. However, they cannot take employment as a doctor or dentist in training unless they have a degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution.
Conditions that do not allow a dependant to work during their stay in the UK are worded in the following ways:
- 'Limited leave to remain in the UK. No recourse to public funds. No work or engaging in business'.
- 'Leave to enter (until specified time). No work or recourse to public funds'.
- 'Leave to remain in the UK on condition that the holder maintains and accommodates himself and any dependants without recourse to public funds, does not enter employment paid or unpaid and does not engage in any business or profession is hereby given until (specified time)'.
National Insurance and Income Tax
For full details of how to apply for a National Insurance number, how much tax you can expect to pay and how to claim tax back, please see the student tax advice on the gov.uk website.
If you're working 'cash in hand', you are not working legally. You should always have a pay slip, showing how much you have earned and any deductions made. If you're unsure about your pay slip, please check with the International Student Adviser.
Working after your studies
The Tier 1 Post Study Work scheme has now closed. There will be other options open to international graduates in the Tier 1 and 2 categories. You can find a useful guide to working in the UK after your studies on the UKCISA website.
For further information about the schemes and the implications of work permit employment, visit the UK Home Office website.
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