Working during your studies
It is possible for many international students to work whilst in the UK, and London has more part-time work opportunities than anywhere else in the country. You should read the following information carefully so that you understand any restrictions that apply to you. It is also vital to ensure that any work you undertake does not interfere with your academic studies.
European Economic Area Nationals
The following EEA nationals, plus Swiss nationals, are allowed to work in the UK without permission: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
If your dependants are EEA citizens living in the UK, they may also work in the UK without permission. If your dependants are non-EEA citizens, they should still be able to work if they are planning to stay with you in the UK.
Nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia may have to register under the Worker Registration Scheme, and nationals of Bulgaria and Romania may be subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme. Further information about both of these schemes is available on the UKCISA website.
Non-European Economic Area Nationals
If you are a non EEA national you will probably have a stamp in your passport stating that you are restricted from working without the consent of the Secretary of State for Employment. Another stamp may say "No recourse to public funds. Work (and any changes) must be authorised". If you have either of these stamps then you may take the following three types of work:
- to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and as many hours as you want during vacations. Students should not however engage in self-employment or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer or pursue a career by taking a full time post.
- to take up a placement which is part of a "sandwich" course.
- to take up an internship
Students on courses of six months or less should ensure that they apply for a visa or entry certificate as a "student" rather than a "visitor" in order to be allowed to work (this includes voluntary work).
You may NOT work if you have the following stamps in your passport:
"No work or recourse to public funds"
"leave to enter the UK on condition that the holder maintains and accommodates himself and any dependants without recourse to public funds, does not enter employment, paid or unpaid, and does not engage in any business or profession"
All employment in the UK is subject to taxation and National Insurance (NI) regulations. You do not need an NI number to start work. However, once in employment you must apply for one at a Benefits Agency office.
The nearest one to UCL is located at:
1-6 Tavistock Square
Tel: 020 7200 6000
More information about working in the UK can be found on the UKCISA website, or you contact the International Office or the UCL Union Rights and Advice Centre. You can search for a wide range of work opportunities through the UCL Union Workstation and the UCL Careers Service.
Page last modified on 20 may 08 16:04