Working during your studies

Check what your passport sticker (entry clearance or residence permit) or biometric residence permit (BRP card/visa card) says; it should tell you if you can work or not and if so how many hours you can work and when you can work them.

The rules about working during your studies are very strict and you must not work more than you are allowed. You also must understand what term-time means and what your term dates are. We would advise you to read the explanation provided by UKCISA here. From 16 May 2014, employers have a legal obligation to check your term dates before you can start work.

Follow this link to UKCISA’s website where they discuss in detail who can work in the UK, they also discuss what kind of work you can do as well as tax and national insurance. We’ve also provided links below to specific sections of their website which you might find useful:

If you have any questions about working in the UK during your studies please attend our drop-in which happens Monday-Friday between 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. If you are unable to attend you can email International Advice Team.

If you are looking for work we would advise you to speak to the Careers and Employability Department. They have a drop-in Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm which happens in the Students’ Union. Alternatively for more information from Careers and Employability Department you can email them at careers@lincoln.ac.uk.

Working after your studies

This topic has been discussed in the news a lot recently and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided the following response to some inaccurate news reporting, ‘contrary to some recent reports, the latest changes to the Immigration Rules announced on 13 July 2015 will not prevent all international students from applying in the UK to stay under a work category.’

If you are coming to the end of your studies in the UK, you might start thinking about the possibility of staying in the UK to work. There are a few different routes you can take. We have listed some of the options you may have below with links to further information on UKCISA’s website.

If you decide to apply under any of the following categories of visa, it is extremely important that you read the relevant Home Office guidance before you make your immigration application. If you do not provide the documents specified in the guidance, it is very likely that your application will be refused. If you are not sure whether you meet the requirements perhaps you can talk to the employer who has offered you a job and/or an immigration lawyer who specialises in that particular area.

  • Tier 2 Visa – this is the main way to take up employment in the UK. The lowest wage for this scheme is £20,500, but this depends on the job and can be higher. In most cases, employers are not required to show that they advertised the job and that no one else could do it (resident labour market test) before they can offer it to you. In 2013, 4,175 students were granted leave to stay in the UK under Tier 2 (figures from UKCISA).
  • Doctorate Extension Scheme – If you are studying for a doctorate, the doctorate extension scheme might be of particular interest to you. This allows you to spend one year in the UK after you have completed your studies to look for and start work in the UK. You have to apply before you finish your doctorate. Between April 2013 and June 2014, just under 2,000 students were granted leave under this scheme (figures from UKCISA).
  • Tier 1 High Value MigrantUp to 1,900 graduates a year who have been awarded a degree in the UK and who would like to set up a business can apply under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). These graduates need to be endorsed by a UK institution, which from 6 April 2014 need not be the college or university where they studied. Up to 100 graduates of institutions in other countries can also apply under this route, endorsed by UK Trade and Investment. In 2013, around 1,600 students were granted permission to stay in the UK under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) (figures from UKCISA).
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) - There are 5 sub-categories to this scheme. These schemes allow you to undertake specific types of work in the UK for a period of one year or for two years, depending on the scheme. In most categories of this scheme you must have a Tier 5 sponsor under the scheme of relevance to you. In most circumstances your Tier 5 sponsor must issue a certificate of sponsorship to you before you can make your immigration application.
  • Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme - Under the Youth Mobility Scheme, you can work in the UK for up to two years. This scheme is available to nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan, and to British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas). The Home Office also summarise the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme quite clearly on their website.

The details of the schemes we have discussed change frequently. Also we do not provide a list of all schemes. For full details of all the options that may be available to you, check the Home Office website. On the Home Office website you will also find links to the relevant Immigration Rules, guidance for applicants  and the appropriate application forms.

If you have any questions about working in the UK after your studies please attend our drop-in which happens Monday-Friday between 12pm-2pm in the Student Support Centre. If you are unable to attend you can email International Advice Team.

If you are looking for work we would advise you to speak to the Careers and Employability Department. They have a drop-in Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm which happens in the Students’ Union. Alternatively for more information from Careers and Employability Department you can email them at careers@lincoln.ac.uk.