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Work as an international student

Student studying with a pen in hand
Image courtesy of UAL

Some international students work part-time while they study to supplement their finances, while also gaining valuable work experience.

However, some international students may find that their visas restrict the hours they can work.

Visa regulations for part-time work

There are limitations to how many hours you can work while you study on a Tier 4 visa. So before you look for a part-time job, check that you can work and if so how many hours a week. For more information, visit the Home Office (UKVI) website.

As a general guide:

If you have a Tier 4 (General) visa and are studying a full-time degree course (e.g. BA, BSc or MA), you can work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and work full-time during the holidays.

If you have a Tier 4 (General) visa and are studying below degree level (further education course or a Foundation Degree in Art and Design) you can work up to 10 hours per week during term-time and work full-time during the holidays.

You cannot be self-employed (including freelancing).

You may find it difficult to work as many as 20 hours per week and keep up with your studies. So do not rely on these earnings to pay for living costs in London. Also, remember that in order to be eligible for a visa, you must show that you have enough money to stay in the UK without working.

How much can you earn?

This will depend on the kind of work you do, but many students in London earn around the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for part-time jobs. The National Minimum Wage is the minimum amount per hour that  workers in the UK should be paid.

Refer to the UK tax HMRC website for current rates.

Help finding jobs

Careers and Employability helps students find work and plan careers in the creative industries; offering online resources, workshops and events, which cover issues such as:

National Insurance Numbers for International students

If you want to work while you study in the UK you will need to apply for a National Insurance (NI) number to be part of the UK tax system. For more information, check the HM Revenue & Customs website

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