Working on a student visa

Last updated 31 May 2024

Overview of the University’s work restrictions during studies

Students on a student visa should ensure they are familiar with the restrictions on the type of work permitted as it is their responsibility to ensure that any work restrictions are adhered to.  They should be aware that the University is required to report any breaches to the Home Office which could have serious consequences and result in the curtailment of their student visa.  Students should check the conditions stated on their visa/BRP and the full explanation provided in the student visa policy guidance.

Any student visa holders who are working both for the University and for an external employer should make their School/departmental contact and hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk aware of the other work they are undertaking to ensure that they remain compliant with the working restrictions before any work is allocated to them.

Students employed on a student visa are not allowed to be employed as a professional sports person including coaches nor take up any full time permanent vacancy.  In addition, subject to a right to work check:

  • Further Education students are eligible to work a maximum of 10 hours in a set 7-day period (Monday to Sunday) during standard University term times in all UK employment.  There are no hourly restrictions during the vacation periods.

  •  Undergraduate students are eligible to work a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7-day period (Monday to Sunday) during standard University term times in all UK employment.  There are no hourly restrictions during the vacation periods. Students employed on an assessed placement as part of their programme are not subject to an hourly limit.

  •  Postgraduate Taught Students (Masters) are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7-day period (Monday to Sunday) during standard University terms times in all UK employment.  In line with University policy, they can work without restriction during the Christmas and Easter vacation periods but are limited to working a maximum of 20 hours per week during the summer vacation period.

  •  Postgraduate Research Students (PhD) are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7-day period (Monday to Sunday) all year round as there are no set term times for research students.  The working restriction also applies when research students are on annual leave. This is University policy which also overrides Home Office rules around the flexibility to work full time after completion of their studies.  This means that research students will be unable to work more than 20 hours per week unless they hold a Graduate visa and have received a letter from the Doctoral College Office confirming the award of their PhD or have switched to another immigration category. 

  • Graduate visa holders can work full time without restrictions.

Eligibility to work during visa renewal process (3C leave) is not automatic.  Students will only be employed when their visa has expired if the University has a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office which confirms that they have the right to work whilst the visa renewal application is being processed.  Students wishing to work during this period should contact Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk if they are employed on a casual contract or their HR Adviser if they are employed on a salaried contract and provide their visa application reference.  Human Resources will then submit an Employer Checking Service application to the Home Office.  They will be notified once a response has been received within 3 – 5 working days and sent the Positive Verification Notice which can be handed to the relevant administrator to prove their continued right to work.  Once their new visa has been received, they should inform the Student Enquiries desk on the ground floor of the Rutland Building.  If they are undertaking casual work, they should also present it to the relevant School/Departmental contact or their HR Adviser if they are on a salaried contract.

If student visa sponsorship is withdrawn a student will no longer be allowed to work at the University regardless of whether any visa permission remains.

Casual work - process for the recruitment of students on a student visa

The University encourages overseas students to undertake part time work as permitted under the terms of their student visas and University policy. 

However, there is a strict process in place to ensure that the number of hours allocated to students on a student visa is monitored.  The steps within the process are as follows:

a)    The student completes a right to work check with the school/departmental contact who is allocating the work.  This check is  subsequently uploaded to a central workspace and approved.  See further guidance on right to work checks for prospective employees.

Please note that students are unable to work until a compliant right to work check has been undertaken.

b)    School/departmental contact sends a casual staff portal link to the student.  The student enters their personal details.

c)    School/departmental contact requests the production of an appointment letter by HR.

d)    Student accepts terms contained in the appointment letter via a link contained in the letter which includes providing bank details.

e)    School/departmental contact allocates working hours via a central casual worker system.

It is imperative that all students on a student visa are recruited via this process in order for the University to be compliant with Home Office requirements. 

Students should not undertake any work until the above process has been followed.

Any immigration queries regarding the recruitment of students on a student visa should be sent to Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk.  If your query is related specifically to the casual worker system or the process of the recruitment of students on a student visa, please contact the HR Claims Support Team via Claims.Support@lboro.ac.uk.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Casual work

I am a student on a Student visa and intend to work. Do I need a National Insurance Number?

If you do not already have a National Insurance number, you will need to apply for one if you intend to work.  You may start work before you receive your National Insurance number if you have proved your right to work.

How do I prove my right to work?

Please see the link below to the right to work check process.

 

I am a student on a Student visa and have been offered some casual work on campus, what should I do?

The University encourages overseas students to undertake part time work as permitted and stated in your visa conditions and University policy. A strict process must be followed to allow you to undertake casual work to enable the allocation of working hours to you in advance. The process will be explained to you by the member of University staff offering you work, and you should not undertake any work until this process has been followed. Further information on working on a student visa is linked below.

How many hours can I work at Loughborough University?

Further Education student: 

You can work a maximum of 10 hours in a set 7-day period during standard University term times in all UK employment. The working week is defined as Monday to Sunday and all hours worked in each week must be 10 hours or less. Your working restrictions are not an average per week, but a maximum per week. There are no hourly restrictions during the vacation periods.

Undergraduate student:

You can work a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7-day period during standard University term times in all UK employment. The working week is defined as Monday to Sunday and all hours worked in each week must be 20 hours or less. Your working restrictions are not an average per week, but a maximum per week. There are no hourly restrictions during the vacation periods.

Postgraduate Taught Masters student:

You are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7-day period during standard University term times in all UK employment. The working week is defined as Monday to Sunday and all hours worked in each week must be 20 hours or less. Your working restrictions are not an average per week, but a maximum per week.

In line with university policy, you can work without restriction during the Christmas and Easter vacation periods but are limited to working a maximum of 20 hours per week during the undergraduate summer vacation period.

Postgraduate Research PhD/MPhil student:

In accordance with university policy you are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7-day period all year round as there are no set term times for research students. The working week is defined as Monday to Sunday and all hours worked in each week must be 20 hours or less. Your working restrictions are not an average per week, but a maximum per week. The restriction on working at the University also applies when you are on annual leave. This is University policy which also overrides Home Office rules around the flexibility to work full time after completion of studies. You will be unable to work more than 20 hours per week unless the Doctoral College Office have confirmed you have been awarded your PhD, you hold a Graduate visa or have switched to another immigration category.

 

I am a final year PhD student and wish to extend my visa to enable me to find work. What can I do?

The Graduate visa route enables students to apply for further leave to remain in the UK for at least 2 years once they have completed their studies (3 years for PhD students. You will require a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) to apply for a Graduate visa.

Once your Graduate visa has been granted you can commence working full-time without any weekly hours restrictions. 

If I am working for an external employer off campus during my studies, what do I need to do?

If you are undertaking work solely for an employer other than Loughborough University, it is your responsibility to inform the employer of your Student visa working restrictions and comply with these. It is important you keep a record of the hours you are working each week (Monday to Sunday) as evidence.

If I am working for an external employer off campus during my studies in addition to casual work for Loughborough University, what do I need to do?

You must ensure that the combined number of hours worked each week does not exceed the relevant visa restriction. Please record in the casual working system the hours you have been allocated to work in advance.

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure the terms of your visa are not breached.  Loughborough University has an obligation to notify the Home Office of any student on a Student visa overworking which could result in the withdrawal of your Student visa sponsorship and curtailment of your visa.

What will happen if I work over my restricted hours in a week i.e. breach my visa conditions?

As a student on a Student visa, it is your responsibility to ensure that all your paid, unpaid or voluntary work does not exceed your visa working restrictions and that all hours worked in each week must be 20 hours or less if you are studying for a degree level course or above. For information on students working on a visa please visit the UKCISA website link below. 

HM Revenue & Customs record your pay, tax and national insurance, and that data is sent to the Home Office every month. It is possible for them to identify students on a Student visa who are working in excess of 20 hours per week. It is important to make sure you do not breach your visa restrictions.

There are strict laws against illegal working in the UK. If we become aware that you have breached the conditions of your visa, as your sponsor, we are required to inform the Home Office. This could lead to your leave to remain being curtailed, your removal from the UK and the refusal of future visa applications.

I’ve accidentally breached my Student visa conditions, what should I do?

If you have accidentally worked more than 20 hours in a week you will need to inform Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk as soon as possible, and we will work together to follow the necessary procedures.

What else am I restricted from doing whilst on a Student visa?

You are not permitted to be:

  • Self-employed (including freelance or consultancy work) or engage in business activities
  • Working as a doctor or dentist in training (unless on a recognised Foundation Programme)
  • Employed as a professional sportsperson or sports coach 

Work placements

Can I take undertake a paid work placement at Loughborough University?

In certain circumstances you will be permitted to undertake a paid full-time work placement as part of your course. The work placement must be an integral and assessed part of your course and must not be more than 50% of the total length of your course. Evidence of this will be provided by your School or the Academic Registry before you are formally offered a work placement.

I want to change my course of study whilst also working. What should I do?

You should stop working immediately and inform Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk as your visa status may be affected if you discontinue studies.

I wish to take a break from studying. What should I do?

You should stop working immediately and inform Hrimmigration@lboro.acuk as your visa status may be affected if you discontinue studies.

Eligibility to work whilst Student visa is being renewed (3C leave)

If my student visa is in the process of being renewed am I still able to work?

You can only be employed when your visa has expired if the University has a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office which confirms that you have the right to work whilst your visa renewal application is being processed.

How do I arrange for the University to obtain a Positive Verification Notice (PVN)?

You should contact by email Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk and provide your visa application reference and a copy of your application. Human Resources will then submit an Employer Checking Service application to the Home Office. You will be notified once a response has been received, usually within 3-5 working days. You will be sent the Positive Verification Notice which can be used to prove your right to work.

When my new visa is received, where do I need to take it?

You should take your original visa to the Student Enquiries desk on the ground floor of the Rutland Building. If you are undertaking casual work, you should also come to Human Resources Reception, on the first floor of the Rutland Building, so that a right to work check can be completed.

Change of visa status

My visa status has changed, and I now hold an alternative visa. What do I need to do?

You should take your new visa to the Student Enquiries desk on the ground floor of the Rutland Building so that your student record can be updated accordingly. If you are also undertaking casual work for Loughborough University, you should also come to Human Resources Reception, on the first floor of the Rutland Building, so that a right to work check can be completed and update our records with your new immigration status.

Your passport or visa

I have renewed my passport or visa. What do I need to do?

If you have a new passport OR visa at any point whilst working you should take your new documents to the Student Enquiries desk on the ground floor of the Rutland Building so that your student record can be updated accordingly. If you are also undertaking casual work for Loughborough University, you should take your new documents to HR (first floor of the Rutland Building) and inform them of the change in your immigration status.

My passport has been lost or stolen. What do I need to do?

Please report any loss to the Home Office and the local Police as soon as possible, it is also important to inform HR Immigration if you are working. Student Advice and Support will be able to assist you with this:

I have changed my name, how do I get my passport and or BRP amended?

You will need to supply supporting evidence to the Home Office and guidance on this can be found below.

The International Student Advice and Support Centre may be able to assist you with this. 

Home Office - Use and Change of names guidance

Working after completing your studies

I am a PhD student and have been offered a full-time role. When can I start?

If you are being recruited to a full-time role at the University you would normally be expected to switch to a Graduate, Skilled Worker or Global Talent visa.  You will be unable to commence your full-time role until you have been awarded your PhD or have been granted further leave to remain in the UK in another visa category, whichever is sooner. 

Can I extend my Student visa after completing my studies in order to work?

After you have completed your studies, you cannot extend your Student visa, however, there are different visa types that you may be eligible to apply for and switch to, they are:

  • Graduate visa
  • Skilled worker visa 
  • Global Talent visa

Please discuss your options with the International Student Advice and Support Team well in advance of your visa expiry date.

If you are continuing to work please remember to inform Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk of any changes to your visa status and complete a right to work check at Human Resources Reception.