WorkStudy in the UK

5 Steps to Work and Study in the UK

Oftentimes, students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs seek out part-time employment to offset the cost of their education or to gain more practical experience in their field of study – outside the walls of their classroom and the scope of their campus. But when seeking international education in the UK, is such a balance possible?

The answer is, in many cases, “yes.”

For international students studying in the UK, part-time employment is allowed during full-time study, though requirements for non-EU international students are slightly more complex than those for EU internationals. Unfortunately, in light of Brexit, it’s relatively unclear what employment will look like for international students in the future; for now, take comfort in the fact that it is still very common for them to be employed while they study.

Here are 5 steps for non-EU international students looking for a job while they study in the UK:

Step 1: Make sure your university is a recognized visa sponsor

In order for non-EU international students to be approved for part-time employment during their study period of the UK, the university at which they are enrolled must be eligible for student employment. This means they must be on both of the following two lists: the official UKVI Sponsor list and the list of ‘recognised bodies’. If a student’s course is at a lower level (below undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate), the student is studying at a further education college, or the student’s institution is not listed on the lists above, they will not be legally permitted to work during their studies.

Schools like Brunei University of London, Kingston University London, and Middlesex University are all on both lists. Find a complete list of universities eligible for student employment here.

Step 2: Check if you need a UK visa

Depending on the student’s background and the length of a student’s study period, they may or may not be required to obtain a student visa in the UK. There is a helpful tool available to prospective students considering the UK as a destination for study – it helps determine the type of visa you need, based upon factors such as background, intended time spent in the UK, and level of study or work. You can find that resource here.

Step 3: Apply to a school that meets the requirements of Step 1

Applying to schools in the UK is not typically a complex process, but it does vary from one university to the next. Be sure to review the requirements for your chosen institution(s) at their admissions web pages or using consulting resources like Yes Atlas to give you a better idea of what to expect throughout both your application process and your time spent in-country.

It is key that students apply to and receive admission to a university in the UK before applying for a visa.

Step 4: Apply for a Tier 4 (General Student) Visa

The tier-4 visa is a relatively strict visa form that requires visa-holders to adhere to specific rules and guidelines during their stay in the UK. However, working while enrolled full-time at one of the universities listed in Step 1 is allowed under this visa. This means that non-EU students holding this visa are able to work part-time during their studies. Be sure to apply early, giving yourself at least 3 weeks to hear back from the visa processing center.

For a complete list of details surrounding Tier 4 Visas, visit the UK’s visa website.

Step 5: Apply for a job and start earning money and experiences

Once a student has completed steps 1-4, they are ready for employment in the UK. Research jobs on or near you desired campus and be ready for your interviews, and make sure they are within the specified guidelines of part-time student jobs, specified here.

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