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International Students - Working During Your Studies

Getting a part time job during your studies can be a good idea. It not only gives you a little extra money to pay the bills and have some fun, you also gain experience and can put it on your CV.

If you are an EU National (excluding nationals of Bulgaria or Romania) or you are from Switzerland, you are able to work with no restrictions. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will need to register to work and can only work 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during holidays. However, if you are from outside the EU, you will need to have enough money to fund your tuition and living expenses, without working, as part of your visa application. Most international students, though, can usually get a part-time job to supplement their funds, but their visa will limit what they can do.



Students on a Tier 4 (General) student visa are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holidays. The universities, on the other hand, usually advise that you work no more than 15 hours a week to avoid negatively affecting your studies.

International students enrolled into a postgraduate course must check how many hours they can work during holidays, as some postgraduate degree programmes don’t follow the usual university calendar.

Those on a Student Visitor Visa are not allowed to work at all, however.



Whether you pay tax or not depends on how much you earn. If you earn over a certain amount, called your personal allowance, you will need to pay income tax. However, students who work part-time usually won’t earn enough to have to pay tax.

Everyone who works in the UK needs to apply for a unique National Insurance number and pay National Insurance Contributions. These go toward funding public services, such as the National Health Service (NHS).


Finding a Job

If you would like to find a job, you can go to your university careers adviser or look for one yourself. Job ads are in newspapers, the internet and on some shop windows. Alternatively, you can go directly to companies and ask if they are currently hiring.


Please note, if you are studying on a student visa, you cannot take up a permanent job or become self-employed.

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