Magoosh GRE

Can International Students Work in the UK?

| December 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

There is no simple answer to this all important question, but here are the basics. If you have a visa which says “No work” or “Work prohibited” then you cannot work while in the UK. You are expected to be able to fund your stay in the UK without working or receiving money from UK public funds, so you cannot claim social security benefits, so remember this when you calculate your budget. It is a serious criminal offence to work without a permit.

If there is no such restriction on your passport (look at the visa sticker very carefully) you can usually work for up to 20 hours a week part-time during term time and full-time during vacations. However there are certain jobs you cannot take up. These are:-

  • Self-employment- you cannot be self-employed while studying in the UK.
  • Performing as a professional entertainer (unless you are a student of music). This is because of the entertainment union’s (EQUITY) rules.
  • A full-time permanent job
  • Professional sportsperson or coach

You should bear in mind that it is difficult to find work in the UK because of the unemployment situation, but the best thing you can do if you want part-time work is to visit the temping agencies which can be found in most British cities. Search for these online or in telephone directories. There will probably be a list of such agencies in the Students’ Union building.

Generally students find jobs in the catering industry, working behind a bar or as a barista, waiter or waitress. These jobs are poorly paid on the whole, but remember that the minimum wage is £6 an hour. There are often tips too which are usually shared with all members of staff. Don’t work for less. Some students find work as shop assistants, but these jobs are increasingly difficult to come by.

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Category: International Student Guide

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