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Working while studying

EU/EAA & Swiss nationals and their family members

The UK government is currently negotiating the EU exit deal and while this is ongoing nationals from EU, EEA countries and Switzerland have an automatic right to work. Anyone residing in the UK before the 31st October 2019, will not face any restrictions on their right to reside, work, study or access health care in the UK. Please see more information on the EU settlement scheme here. The rights of those arriving after the 31st October 2019 will depend on whether there is an exit ‘deal’. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, those EU/EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members who arrive after 31st October, may have to apply for a permission to enter the UK, and there may be some restrictions on their right to reside, work and access health care.

For more information for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members please visit UKCISA website. For the latest news on the EU Exit negotiations please visit the UK government website.

All other nationals

The stamp/sticker in your passport/visa will tell you if you are allowed to work or not.

Tier 4 (General) visa holders

University of Chichester Tier 4 students studying at degree level or above can work up to  20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during vacations. Students on courses below degree level can work 10 per week during term-time and full-time during vacations.

Please note that if you have been issued a CAS for a part-time degree at level RQF 7 or above, you are not allowed to work, volunteer or take part in work placements

Please see our Tier 4 & Employment information sheet for more information on working in the UK.  

PBS dependants (Tier 4 family members)

Family members of Tier 4 students on PBS dependant visa are allowed to work in certain circumstances. Please see the PBS Dependant Policy Guidance for more information.

Short-term study visa

All kinds of work, including volunteering and work placements is prohibited under this immigration category. Please see more information on the Home Office website and the UKCISA website. If you are coming to the UK as an exchange or study abroad student and wish to work, please consider the Tier 4 route instead.

How do I get a national insurance number?

Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number. It is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Every person who works in the UK is assessed for the amount of national insurance they have to pay. The amount depends on how much you earn. If you are an International Student and you have the right to work in the UK you will need a National Insurance number so that you can be assessed correctly.

You should call the National Insurance Number helpline to apply for an NI number. You can start work before you get your NI number and can work up to 3 months without it. You should tell your employer that you have applied for a NI number and give it to them once you receive it.

Can I work in the UK after my studies?

EU/EEA and Swiss students and their family members

EU/EEA and Swiss students and their family members have an automatic right to look for work in the UK. For more information on the possible changes UK’s exit from the EU might introduce after December 2020 please see our EU Settlement Scheme section.

Tier 4 (General) visa students

Non-EU/EEA students on a Tier 4 visa can work full-time once they have completed their studies. There are certain restrictions on the type work they can take on. For more information, please see the ‘Can I work’ section above.

If you wish to remain in the UK to work beyond the expiry date of your Tier 4 visa you will need to consider applying for further leave under a different category, for example Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5, Doctorate Extensions Scheme etc.

Short-term study visa students

Short-term Study visa holders are not allowed to work and cannot switch to any of the above categories, so they will need to leave the UK to apply under a new visa category for work.

For more information on the different types of work visa categories please visit UKCISA and Home Office websites.

Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Doctorate Extension scheme (DES) allows students who have almost completed their UK doctorate* qualification to stay in the UK for a further 12-month period on a Tier 4 visa in order to look for employment. During the 12-month period students are sponsored by the University of Chichester. Once you have completed your doctorate you are able to work full-time for an employer or to be self-employed.

*see acceptable qualifications in Tier 4 Policy Guidance, Annex 4

Who can apply for this?

Students interested in the scheme need to meet the UKVI doctorate extension scheme criteria in order to apply. University of Chichester students interested in this option should contact the Postgraduate Research team or visit the International Student Advisory Service Moodle pages.

For general information about this scheme, please see UKCISA and the Home Office websites.

Further information and advice

Please note that the above information is for guidance only. If you wish to discuss your visa options with a member of staff, please contact the International Student Advisory Service or drop-in to see us on campus. Our availability and locations are available on Moodle pages (Student Support and Wellbeing > International Student Advisory Service).

The Careers and Employability Service can help you plan the next steps in your career, whether you are looking for volunteering or part-time opportunities during your studies, or full-time work in the UK on graduation. Explore their webpages for more information, or get in touch with them.