Working student in the UK - full guide
Almost all British universities which we at Evolution AtoZ Ltd. collaborate with are offering a flexible curriculum in which classes are set only twice a week. This would give you a lot of freedom and the opportunity to look for a job while studying. Most employers in the UK are open to hiring international students on a part-time basis or giving them the opportunity to do internships related to their training courses.
Despite the liberal position of the government and employers in this regard, you as international students will be forced to comply with several strict rules and restrictions imposed by UK law. Therefore we have tried to make a detailed guide to serve as a guide in case you decide to embark on such an endeavor.
Rights and obligations of students with residency status
If you are a Swiss citizen or a member of the EU/European Economic Community and have a temporary or permanent residence status you do not need to apply for a student visa. Working migrants with residency status can study and work without restrictions. However, to apply for funded education, you must have resided continuously for 3 years in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man before the first day of starting your course.
To enroll in a college or university in the UK and to qualify for receiving funding for your education after August 1st of 2021 you must have temporary or permanent status. If you have temporary status and have worked for at least 3 months before starting your course you can benefit from the funding. It is mandatory to work throughout the training course, regularly proving a monthly income of at least £ 800.
Basic requirements for working students in England
You do not have a residence status, a permanent residence document, or an indefinite permanent residence visa? Then, among other UK application documents, you will need a student visa (Tier 4) or The Student Route (Student visa). The latter enters into force on 5th October of 2020. Tier 4 (General) is a visa for students who want to study in the UK and come from outside the EU and the European Economic Community. The general visa entitles every international student to study and work in England, and the applicant must be at least 16 years old.
You can work 20 hours a week during the semester if you are studying for a Bachelor's degree (Level 6) or higher. If you have enrolled in a 6-month, one-year or two-year course, respectively: Level 3, Level 4, or Level 5, you can have employment for up to 10 hours per week. During the holidays you have the right to work full time.
Which work activities are prohibited for students in England
As a student at a college or university in the UK who holds a Tier 4 visa or The Student Route visa, you can pursue a limited number of paid or unpaid work activities. There are specific professions and commitments that are not allowed for full-time students in England. In this sense, you could not:
work full time in a permanent position
work as a full-time intern
start your own business
support yourself as a self-employed or freelancer
work as: animator, professional athlete, including coach
work as a supplier /driver for Deliveroo/Uber or companies with similar activities
work as a dentist or trainee doctor unless you have enrolled in a postgraduate program that is part of your overall training process.
What are the holiday periods during which you can work full time
Periods of rest in British colleges and universities are not strictly fixed and depend mainly on the program in which you are currently studying. Undergraduate students have 3 vacation periods per year which are reflected in the calendar of each university - winter, spring, and summer vacations. While students Postgraduate taught students and Postgraduate research students have much more limited rest time. Accordingly, they have only winter and spring vacations or no more than 8 weeks a year.
We, at Evolution AtoZ Ltd., advise you to be actively involved in internships during your training process. This will help you to more easily enter the subject and the specifics of the chosen profession, to acquire additional knowledge and skills, to consolidate and put into practice what you have already learned. And don't forget that hard work and perseverance hone your character and pave the way even to unattainable at first glance goals!