Student Route Visa & Employment Rules
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Employment rules for a student visa (student route)
Who is this information for?
This information is for Student Visa (Student Route) (previously Tier 4) students studying at the University of Chichester at degree level or above. The information can also help line managers to understand the regulations they need to take into consideration when employing Student Visa holders.
If you are a student and require more information on visas and working regulations please contact the International Student Advisory Service. If you are a manager and have questions about employing a Student Visa holder please contact the HR department.
Frequently asked questions
The UKVI stipulate that the main purpose of your stay in the UK is to study. However you are allowed to work * during your studies provided that your visa is valid. You can work part-time during term-time and full-time during vacations. You are also allowed to work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years.
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.
(Work = paid and unpaid work)
Students: If you are found breaching the Student Visa (Student Route) working conditions your visa may be curtailed and may be removed from the UK before you complete your studies.
Managers: If the University is found employing an illegal worker we may be subject to a significant fine. Breaching the rules would also impact on the University’s ability to sponsor international students and workers in the future and/or could result in criminal convictions.
- Students studying at degree level or above at an HEI are allowed to work up to 20 hours* per week during term-time; and
- full time during vacations.
*(10 hours if studying below degree level e.g. pre-sessional English language course)
- Term-time is when you are required to study. This includes writing up, assessment and re-assessment periods.
- Master’s and PhD level students cannot work full-time during their dissertation/research write-up period as this is considered term-time
- More information on what is considered term-time can be found on the UKCISA website.
This depends on your programme of study. You should refer to the semester pattern on the university’s website. By law your manager will need to check your term-time & vacation dates. If you are unsure what your semester dates and vacation dates are please contact your academic department.
PhD students are given an annual leave allowance, and this is agreed with the supervisor/PGR support team. If you book a part of week off, you are still restricted to 20 hours in that week. If you book Monday to Friday in any given week off, you are eligible to work unrestricted hours until the following Monday.
- Your work permission is printed on your Biometric Identity Permit (BRP) or Entry Clearance Vignette. Your manager needs to be satisfied that your permit is valid and you may be asked to provide a student status letter for this purpose.
- If your current entry clearance sticker is in a passport that has now expired you will need to apply to transfer your leave into your new passport. You cannot work until the transfer has taken place.
You are allowed to work full-time from your course end date (as stated on your CAS). You will be asked to provide a letter to confirm that the course has ended before starting full-time employment.
As a Student Visa (Student Route) holder you are prohibited from the following types or work:
- self-employment and business activity
- services as a sportsperson including as a sports coach (paid or unpaid) unless it is part of your university work placement or if you are taking part in a sports activity as an amateur in a charity game.
- a permanent full-time job
- doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.
For more information on the above categories, please visit the UKCISA website .
Student Visa (Student Route) visa holders are allowed to take part in a work placement (full-time or part-time) provided that it is an integral and assessed part of the course and is not more than 50% of the total length of the course. Dance/music/drama/art work placements are allowed (despite the above restrictions) as long as the placement is arranged by the university and meets the above criteria. Since October 2019 the Home Office has included an exception for sports persons/sports coaches at HEI providers doing work placements as part of their degree-level course. For more information on this exception please visit UKCISA.
Our work placement guidance is available on Moodle.
If you decide to withdraw or intermit from your course the UKVI will be notified and your visa will be curtailed to 60 days. Your permission to work depends on your following a course of study and therefore you must stop working if you withdraw or intermit from your studies.
You are able to continue working if you complete your course early. Your new course end date is reported to the UKVI and your visa end date should be varied to allow for you to have the extra time at the end of your studies i.e. 2 months if your course is longer than 6 months and less than 12 months long and 4 months if your course is longer than 12 months.
- If you submitted your Student Visa application before your previous visa expired using a CAS given to you by UoC you will be permitted to work in line with the current conditions which are attached to your permission to study once you have started your new course.
- You should provide evidence of your valid visa application and proof of postage/booked appointment to your manager. Your manager can also use the UKVI employer checking service to check your status if you give your permission for them to do this.
Our Careers and Employability Service can assist you in all your employment and future career related questions. You can book an appointment via the Support and Information team.
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.
Income tax is deducted from your pay by your employer. Each employee has a personal allowance which tells you how much you can earn before paying tax. If your earnings are below your personal allowance then you do not pay any tax. For more information on income tax please visit the UK government website . UKCISA also has a lot of useful information on tax and NI.