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UK Employment Opportunities for International Students

UK’s new work visa policy changes things.

It is natural for some international students to want to taste employment while studying in the UK. Whether it’s working part-time or seeking a full-time job after graduation, it is useful to know what some of the current employment measures are.

Post-study Work Visa

With the new Post-graduate work visa policy in place, students enrolling for the 2020/21 academic year will be eligible to work for 2 years after finishing their studies. Graduates will be allowed to apply for jobs and stay in the UK regardless of their skills or the subject they studied.

This is very useful for students who wish to stay on in the country and continue to pursue their career goals.

Part-time Work

Working part-time while studying in the UK can be a great way to help with the cost of living, as well as helping you interact more with the locals and adjusting to a new way of life.

If you have a Tier 4 (general) or a Tier 4 (child) visa, you can work during your studies and holidays if you:

  1. are studying at a publicly-funded higher education institution
  2. are studying a short-term study abroad program with an overseas higher education institution
  3. are over 16
  4. are studying a course at NQF level 6 (degree level) and above


However, there may be limits on the type of work you can do and your working hours. To find out more, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website. You must not work if your passport sticker or identity card says ‘No Work’ or ‘Work Prohibited’, as you will breach your immigration conditions, which is against the law in the UK.

Working after you graduate
If you want to stay and work in the UK after you finish your study, you’ll need to get a new visa first, or apply for a visa extension.

The three most common visas available to international students are the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 2 (General) and Tier 5 (Temporary Worker). You can find out whether you’re eligible for one of these visas – and how to apply – on the UK Government website.

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