Work and study in UK: Are foreign students allowed to explore job opportunities in the country?
Updated on Mar 14, 2016 - 9:23 a.m. IST by Bedasree Das
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Work and study in UK:
 A strict immigration policy might have brought UK under the scanner of immigrants worldwide but it still has not deterred international students from exploring the country's grand old universities. In fact, with an increase of 2.5% in international students’ enrollments in 2014, UK continues to be among the top three countries actively pursued by students planning to pursue their education abroad; USA and Australia being its top contenders. However, UK also falls among the most expensive destinations for students, especially, those who come from developed and underdeveloped economies. While most students take the scholarship route to study, it is not always enough to cover the sundry expenses of the students. In such a case, many students opt to take a few hours from their study to work and take care of their expenses. However, with visa fraud cases on the rise, the country has taken some steps to restrict international students from using their visas as a backdoor to immigrate to UK.

However, not all is lost as international students are still allowed to work in UK under certain restrictions. Here, we bring you the various clauses under which you can work and study in UK:

Are you allowed to work while studying in UK?

The United Kingdom’s stance on immigration has left many international students confused, especially, those looking for work opportunities both during and after studies. In 2015, in a series of moves to discourage foreign students from engaging in visa related fraud cases, the country announced that international students beyond the EEA border would not be allowed to work in UK during their studies. However, this rule of international stduents not being allowed to work and study in UK is only applicable to students enrolled in further education colleges i.e., institutes offering vocational courses.

 

International students holding Tier 4 (General) visas and Tier 4 (Child) visas are allowed to work during their studies, Child visa holder are allowed to work only if they are over 16. Besides, the country has restrictive hours of work for both the visa categories.

 

Find below the rules applicable to different categories to international students with Tier 4 (General) who wish to pursue part time jobs in UK i.e., work while studying in UK.

 

International students who can work and study in UK:

1. Part-time jobs for students enrolled in courses on either of the three levels- NCF6, QCF 6 and SCQF 6 or above at a UK higher education institute:

  • Maximum 20 hours a week and full-time during vacations.

  • As part of their programme, placement related to course of study cannot consume more than 50% of the programme.

  • As a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.

  • As a postgraduate doctor or dentist of a recognised foundation programme sponsored by the Health Education South London or Foundation Programme Office Health Education Yorkshire and Humber for either of the courses.

2. Work and study in UK for students enrolled in courses on either of the three levels- NCF3/4/5, QCF3/4/5 and SCQF 6/7/8 at a UK higher education institute:

  • Maximum of 10 hours a week and full-time during vacations.

  • As part of their programme, placement related to course of study cannot consume more than 33% of the programme.

  • As a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.

What are NQF, QCF and SCQF?

The NQF or the National Qualifications Framework is the old qualification framework of the UK which has been replaced by the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). They are credit transfer systems which recognise qualifications by awarding credits, and hence, determine the level of the student. The SCQF, which is the Scottish Qualifications Framework, follows the same system, only it has 12 rather than the 8 levels that the QCF has.

NCF, QCF or SC QF 4/5/6 relates to students enrolled in foundation and undergraduate level courses in UK universities.

 

NCF, QCF or SC QF 7/8 relates to Masters and Doctorate levels. Qualifications 3/2/1 relate to diploma, certificate and A- levels besides GCSE and related levels.

 

3. Work and study in UK for publicly funded Further education colleges:

  • As part of their programme, placement related to course of study cannot consume more than 33% of the programme.

  • As a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.

4. As per the work while studying in UK norms, if an international student with Tier 4 visa has a private provider as a sponsor he/she would be allowed to work unless he/she undertakes a work placement which is an integral part of the course.

International students who are allowed to work and study in UK are not allowed to be self-employed or fill in a permanent vacancy unless they are on the Doctorate Extension Scheme and have completed their course. Students are considered to be on a doctorate extension scheme if they have completed their PhD and have made successful application to remain as a Tier 4 visa holder.

For Tier 4(Child) visas:

International students holding Tier 4 (Child) visa and above the age of 16 years are allowed to work and study in UK under the following conditions:

  • Maximum of 10 hours; full-time during vacations

  • As part of their programme, placement related to course of study cannot consume more than 50% of the programme.

  • As a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.

Also read:

Part-time jobs for international students: Top countries which offer work during study opportunities


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