Staff Immigration

Working whilst studying

We recognise that students fulfil a number of important roles within the University.  There are working restrictions placed on some international students, and considerations for the Home students to manage a work/study balance should be made.

Home Students (UK, EEA and Swiss Nationals): Although there are no working restrictions placed on Home students by UKVI, we should ensure that studying remains their priority.  To allow students time to engage fully in their studies, a maximum of 20 hours work per week is recommended during term time.

Students with restricted right to work in the UK

A student with restricted right to work in the UK may be permitted to obtain employment to supplement their studies.  It is important to remember that the leave to remain was granted to study in the UK, and this must remain the focus of their stay.

The below information should be followed when employing individuals holding a Tier 4 (general) visa. Students may hold another UK visa and which may not impose work restrictions.

Tier 4 Student Workers - Important Information

From January 2016 new processes will be implemented when employing Tier 4 Student Workers including the centralisation of issuing of timesheet contracts.

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Can I employ?

Work permitted during the student’s studies is stated on the visa which may be an endorsement in the passport or a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

If permitted to work, there are restrictions placed on the number of hours which may be worked per week.  The number of permitted hours will depend on the level of study for which the Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) was granted.

As a Line Manager, it is important that you understand the visa conditions and do not offer work outside of the restrictions.

What type of work can the student do?

Students can do most kinds of work, but must not:

  • be self-employed
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • be employed as an entertainer
  • take a permanent full-time job
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

There is a difference between unpaid employment and volunteering.   Time spent carrying out unpaid employment counts towards the maximum number of hours of work permitted a week.

Additional evidence

UKVI introduced the requirement to obtain evidence of term and vacation dates as part of the right to work in the UK check.  This will ensure we do not employ students outside of their visa conditions.

UKVI consider acceptable evidence to be one of the following:

  • A printout from the student’s education institution’s website or other material published by the institution setting out its timetable for the student’s course of study, (you should check the website to confirm the link is genuine); or
  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student from their education institution confirming term time dates for the student’s course; or
  • A letter addressed to you as the employer from the education institution confirming term time dates for the student’s course.

Foundation level students

Unless otherwise stated on the visa, foundation level students who are studying below degree level may work up to 10 hours per week during term time and full time during vacation.

It is important that you understand the term and vacation times so you do not offer work outside of the maximum number of permitted hours.

Undergraduate students

Unless otherwise stated on the visa, undergraduate students who are studying at degree level or above may work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacation.

It is important that you understand the term and vacation times so you do not offer work outside of the maximum number of permitted hours.

University term dates can be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/academic/University-term-dates/Menutermdates.html

Postgraduate students

Unless otherwise stated on the visa, postgraduate students may work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacation. The University of Kent has confirmed that postgraduate students do not have vacation time, so work must be restricted to 20 hours per week for the duration of the study.

Postgraduate courses have varying term and vacation dates and do not follow the standard University terms.  You must understand the terms dates associated with the students study to ensure you do not offer work outside of their visa conditions.

University term dates can be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/academic/University-term-dates/Menutermdates.html

Work placements

Students studying on a Tier 4 visa may be entitled to undertake a work placement as long as the placement is an integral and assessed part of the course of study. Employment as part of a course-related work placement is restricted to no more than one third of the total length of the course undertaken in the UK unless:

  • the student is following a course at degree level or above and is sponsored by a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or by an overseas HEI to undertake a short-term Study Abroad Programme in the UK, in which case the work placement can form no more than 50% of the total length of the course; or

  • there is a statutory requirement for the course to include a specific period of work placement which exceeds this limit.

Student visitors and child visitors are not permitted to undertake work while they are in the UK. This includes work placements that form part of a course/period of study undertaken as a student/child visitor.

Completing studies early

Students are given a short period of time to stay in the UK after their course ends, often referred to as ‘wrap up period’, and the person may work full time during this period. If the student completes their course early UKVI will normally vary the student’s permission so that the ‘wrap up period’ runs from the new course end date. If their permission to be in the UK has not been varied but the person is found working beyond the wrap up period that would apply to their new course end date they will be in breach of their immigration conditions.

Switching

Students may be eligible to switch out of their Tier 4 (Student) visa, in to another UK immigration category.

For further information please refer to the switching guidance page

Doctorate extension scheme

If studying a PhD or other doctorate level qualification, students may be eligible to apply for a Doctorate Extension Scheme.  This allows students who are nearing completion of a PhD to apply for a visa for a 12 month period to look for work, set up as an entrepreneur or gain practical work in their field. 

If the Doctorate Extension Scheme application is approved, the student will be subject to new work conditions once successfully completed their course. Under the new conditions, there will be no restrictions on the type of employment except for as a Doctor or Dentist in training or a sportsperson (including coaches).

Further information for Kent students can be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/student-records/students/des.html

 

Immigration - © University of Kent

The Registry, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 824998

Last Updated: 19/05/2016

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