Whether you are already studying in the UK, or simply considering it, you may be looking ahead at your options once you graduate.

The UK attracts a large proportion of all international students. It’s the second-most popular destination for international students after the USA and about 20% of those in higher education in the UK in 2017-18 were international students.


Your eligibility to work in the UK while studying depends on two major restrictions: those set by your university and those by state-run official institutions. First, you must ensure that your university doesn’t have any constrain pulling you back from working before dealing with state officials. For example, depending on your study course your university may limit working hours to you, aside from governmental restrictions.

In the UK, particularly in big cities like London, international students can easily find a part-time job. Some universities may only allow you to work inside the campus, but there is no need to worry because there are still many options available to you. However, before getting out to hunt part-time jobs you must check if you’re eligible for such work. It all starts with your Tier 4 visa, the official student visa in the UK. The first criteria you must check is your age. If you’re under 16 and don’t have a Tier 4 (General 4) you’re not qualified to work in the UK.

If one of the following is stated in that letter you can work in the UK:

  • Work must be authorized
  • Able to work as authorized by the Secretary of State
  • Work as in Tier 4 Rules
  • Restricted as in Tier 4 Rules
  • Restricted work – Part-time during term-time, Full-time during vacations
  • Restricted work time
  • Work limited to 20 hours per week at maximum during term-time
  • Work limited to 10 hours per week at maximum during term-time

Postgraduate work in the UK

Some students wish to remain in the UK after completing their undergraduate studies to gain some experience. Those ones are required to apply for a work visa in the UK.

These are types of visas you can apply for:

  • Start-up Visa: This visa option applies to all students who want to develop a business in the UK, however, the support and the endorsement of his/her university is mandatory. Moreover, this applies to all students graduating from any specialties.
  • Tier 2 Visa: This type of visa allows you to stay and work in the UK after completing your studies. It is open to fresh graduates with a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree from a well-known university. Before applying, you must have a job offer from a licensed employer and get a minimum salary of £ 20,800.

After five years of work, the Tier-2 visa holders can apply for an unlimited visa to stay in the UK. This is only in case they meet the salary requirements of £ 35,000 and other relevant eligibility criteria.

  • Tier 4 visa: This visa includes students who have completed their Ph.D. at a higher educational institution in the UK. These students will benefit from applying for a further 12 months after the completion date.

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