Advice Line +44 (0)344-991-9222

UK Tier 4 Student Visa work rights

The UK immigration Tier 4 Student Visa is for foreign students who wish to study in the UK. If you have been accepted for a full-time position at a UK educational institution, you may be eligible to enter the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa.

You may also be able to work while studying in the UK. The following information details which students are eligible to work and how long they are allowed to work under their Tier 4 visa.

Students who applied for a visa prior to 4 July 2011

You are allowed to:
  • do part-time work during term time;
  • do full-time work during vacations;
  • do a work placement as part of your course;
  • work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme; and
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.

The maximum amount of part-time work you can do during term time is:
  • 20 hours per week if you are studying a course at or above UK degree level or a foundation degree course, and/or if you made your Tier 4 (General) application on or before 2 March 2010; or
  • 10 hours per week if you are studying a course that is below UK degree level and is not a foundation degree course, and you made your Tier 4 (General) application on or after 3 March 2010.

Students who applied for a visa after 4 July 2011

If you are participating in a course at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 which typically means a Bachelors degree program or higher at a UK higher education institution you are allowed to:
  • work for up to 20 hours per week during term time;
  • work full-time during vacations;
  • do a work placement as part of your course;
  • work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme; and
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.
However, if you are participating in a course below this level at a UK higher education institution, you are allowed to:
  • work for up to 10 hours per week during term time;
  • work full-time during vacations;
  • do a work placement as part of your course; and
  • work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.
You are not allowed to work in the UK if you are on a course at any level with an education provider that is not a UK higher education institution or a publicly funded further education college.

Please note that you must not be filling a full-time permanent role. Also you must not be self-employed, employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised Foundation Programme) or as a professional sportsperson, coach or entertainer.

You can work full-time during vacations, within the above limits. If your course is completed and you have applied to remain in the UK under another visa in the points-based system, before your existing permission to stay expires, you are allowed to work full-time until your application is decided.

Dependents/Spouse

Your spouse may work in the UK if the grant of leave is for more than 12 months. If your visa was granted for a period of less than 12 months or you are participating in a course of study below degree level, your spouse will not be allowed to work in the UK. In order to be granted entry clearance as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner, you must both be aged 18 or older.

From 4 July 2011, you cannot bring your dependants to the UK unless you are:
  • sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at or above an NQF level 7 or in a masters degree program or higher which lasts 12 months or more; or
  • a new government-sponsored student following a course which lasts longer than 6 months
If you are interested in studying in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, our WorkPermit.com immigration advisors can help. If you complete our student immigration enquiry form one of our representatives will be happy to contact you to let you know about the immigration process and possible universities in the country of your choice.

If you would like to apply for a UK visa WorkPermit.com can help. WorkPermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.