student visa

December 4, 2017, by Manuela Cabrera

Student Visa? Don’t Panic: You Still Can Work in the UK!

By Manuela Cabrera, masters student, studying structural engineering

As an international student, you may be thinking about finding a job while studying in UK. I know I was. I was also concerned about what legal procedures I might need to know about. While at the beginning it seems complex, I promise you, it’s not that hard. Mainly you need to be aware of what you can and can’t do, and this largely depends on what type of visa you have.

Today, I am going to talk about the Tier 4 (General) student visa, which is what I have. If you are an overseas student accepted for a full-time position at a UK educational institution, you should have this type of visa too – but it’s always worth checking with the Visa and Immigration Team who are experts on all of this.

So, let’s start with some basic things that you can and cannot do.

What can you do?

  • Work part-time during term time
  • Work full-time during vacations
  • Do a work placement as part of your course
  • Work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised foundation programme
  • Work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to two years

What can’t you do?

  • Get public funds
  • Work in certain jobs, for example professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • Study at an academy or a local authority-funded school

My top tips on looking for opportunities

1.  Check if the position you are applying for matches your ‘can do’ options

Some institutions will consider your application even though you don’t fulfill their requirements, but once they check your work rights, they won’t process your application further. If it’s not in the ‘can do’ list, don’t apply: it will save you (and them) a lot of time and effort.

2. Look if the advertised job matches your academic schedule

Be conscious of your free time and how to distribute it. If the hours are going to put pressure on your studies, maybe it’s not the right opportunity for now. You came here to study, so remember to balance your academic life and career carefully.

3. Search recruitment agency’s websites

There are lots of job search engines available on the internet, which will allow you to filter through different vacancies by location. However, I particularly like Unitemps because it links you to job opportunities at the University of Nottingham and with local commercial businesses. The platform is easy to navigate and the process is really simple: you create an account and they send you notifications about available jobs. It’s how I got this job as student blogger!

To register, you only need your passport or biometric residence permit, your National Insurance number, bank account details, and term dates. You’ll then be asked to fill a form in at the Unitemps office. That’s it: no complicated process and no long wait!

You can find out more about Unitemps here.

Working in the UK is a unique opportunity, so don’t miss the chance to take up this valuable chance to try out some work experience.

If you want to read more about Tier 4 (General) student visas, there’s lots of information on our website and on As as student at Nottingham, you also have free access to the specialists in the Visa and Immigration Team who can offer one-to-one support about finding work in the UK. 

Posted in International StudentsStudent Bloggers