Wondering what are the laws governing part-time work as a student in the UK? Or considering a job in the UK after graduation? We have the answers!
A. Working part-time as a student
If you have applied for a student visa, as a Tier 4 (General) student, your eligibility for part-time work in the UK depends on the type of institution you will be studying at.
Most Malaysian students at universities in the UK are permitted to take up part-time work, as long as they do not breach the following regulations:
“The student should not work for more than 20 hours per week during term time (and full-time during vacations), except where the placement is a necessary part of their studies and with the agreement of their educational institution (providing the work placement does not amount to more than 50% of the course).
The student should not engage in business, self-employment, or the provision of services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer. The student should not pursue a career by filling a permanent full-time vacancy.”
If you are studying at a private college in the UK, in most cases you will not be allowed to work, even if the private college has Highly Trusted Sponsor status. However, if your private college is a recognised body, you may be allowed to work.
Please note that such information changes from time to time. To find out more, visit www.ukcisa.org.uk.
You can also read the full Tier 4 policy document here:
OK, I’ve read all that. How do I get started with a part-time job?
Get advice from the International Office, the Student Welfare Office, or the Students’ Union at your university.
There may be job opportunities available at your university, particularly during the holidays. Many universities run conferences during vacations and will be glad to receive help during those times.
In every British town, there is a government sponsored employment agency called the “Jobcentre”. The Jobcentre displays details for many part-time jobs.
Follow up appropriate work opportunities detailed at the Jobcentre, or suggested by your university advisors, or visit the local supermarkets which may have part-time work, and take advice from other overseas students.
First of all, your top priority in the UK is to obtain a good degree, and you really must not put that at risk by taking too much part-time work (or anything else!).
Secondly, there are many activities at UK universities which contribute a lot to your “education for life”. It would be a poor investment of your time to miss out entirely on these activities. So do not attempt to spend every spare moment on some (poorly paid) part-time job; go for some balance in your once-in-a-lifetime university experience. Ideally, see a part-time job as a chance to reward yourself with a holiday around Europe after you have obtained your good degree!
The spouse of an international student may work without permission as long as they have been given leave to remain in the UK for twelve months or more. Please note that for a student to bring their dependants to the UK, the student will have to be on a postgraduate course at a university, which is of more than 12 months duration or a Government-sponsored student.
B. Working in the UK after graduation
In March 2011, the UK Visas & Immigration announced that the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) scheme which previously allowed students to stay in the UK for up to two years after graduation, to seek employment, would be closed from April 2012.
This means that to remain in the UK to work after your graduation, you would need to have secured an offer of a skilled job from a sponsoring employer. You will then switch to Tier 2 of the points based system.
For more information, please visit the UK Visas & Immigration website: www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
You can also read the full Tier 4 policy document here: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/
Please note that information on such schemes does change from time to time.
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