Non EEA Nationals
If you enter the UK on a Short Term Study visa then you are not permitted to take employment in the UK. This includes unpaid employment or work placements even if they are part of your course.
If you enter the UK with a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa then this will feature either a Prohibition or Restriction condition relating to employment. If you are prohibited from taking employment your visa will clearly state that you are not allowed to work, or engage in any business or profession.
In practice most Tier 4 student visa holders are given a Restriction work permission, which is usually worded "Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State" or "Work (and any changes) must be authorised". Despite the wording used, holders of visas with either of these conditions can work within these conditions without needing further permission, but they must not work more than the maximum hours they have been granted.
This restriction employment condition allows Tier 4 Student Visa holders to work up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations if they are studying at degree level or above, or studying a foundation degree (course that leads to a qualification at level 8 of the SCQF). Students studying any other course will only be able to work up to 10 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations. The maximum number of hours that can be worked per week (either 20 or 10) will be clearly shown on the student visa.
The UKVI definition of 'week' is 'a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday'.
Please note that term time covers all periods of your course when you are doing academic work and includes, for example, preparing for examinations, time spent producing MSc projects, dissertations and writing up research thesis until final submission.
For more information about working during your studies please visit the UKCISA website.
Your family members will be able to come to the UK as a Tier 4 Dependant, and therefore work, if you are either:
- a government-sponsored student taking a course that is over six months long, or
- taking a postgraduate course that is at least 12 months long and you are studying at an institution that meets the UKVI's definition of a higher education institution.
For more information about dependants, please visit the UKCISA website.