Can I work full-time in the summer as an international student in the UK?

04 Jun 2024, 10 mins ago

Study, work, rest. This is the mantra of student life that governs international student’s lives. While obtaining a first-class education is the primary purpose of being on a Student visa, many students may want, or will need to work to support themselves and have a little fun will attending school.

Work-Life Balance

The Student visa enables international students to study for their degrees, work and enjoy an active social life all. While you work on your degree, course or other educational pathway, depending on your type of study, you can earn money alongside your studies. Some work while studying can have many benefits – some disposable income, a break from the long hours in the campus library, or and building up a portfolio of transferable skills and capabilities that will be useful when you graduate.

Summer Work

After finishing an academic term, you may want to be productive by working more hours to help pay for your summer fun! after all. How does working while on a Student visa work? How many hours you can work, in term-time or otherwise, depends on the type of study you are completing in the UK.

For example, if you are on a full-time course at degree level or above, you will be entitled to work more hours during term-time than a student on a full-time course that is below degree level.

The breakdown generally works as follows:

  1. Full time students studying at degree level or higher:
    • You will be able to work 20 hours per week during term-time; and
    • You will be able to work full-time outside of term-time.
  2. Full time students studying below degree level, for example on foundation courses:  
    • You will be able to work 10 hours per week during term-time; and
    • You will be able to work full-time outside of term-time.
  3. Students on a short-term study visa:
    • You will not be permitted to undertake any employment.

What Work Can’t Students Do in the Summer?

Students face some limitations on their ability to take up work in general, which also apply to employment outside of term-time. For example, according to the Immigration Rules, students cannot be self-employed or engage in business activity. Students also cannot work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach), or work in a position which would fill a permanent full-time vacancy.


Different universities and educational bodies, however, may have additional restrictions on working conditions, often imposing guidelines for working hours that are even stricter than those established by the Rules.
This means you will need to be aware of the regulations which dictate the conditions of work that apply to the educational institution where you are enrolled.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, or send us an e-mail. Don’t forget to follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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