Employment

EmploymentThere may be occasions when you wish to undertake employment or a work placement during your studies.

It is important before you start any employment or work placement that you are certain your visa permits this, so please read the information below carefully.

If you need any further advice regarding employment please contact either UNITEMPS, HR, the Registry or the Student Welfare Team.

Who can work

Not everyone studying in the UK has a right to work. Some visas which permit work still have restrictions on the:

  • type of work you can do
  • amount of hours you can work.

To know whether you are permitted to work you must check what your visa states. This might be a BRP or a vignette (sticker) in your passport. You cannot work if it states, ‘No work, or ‘Work prohibited.’ If your visa states this and you do work, this is considered a serious breach of your visa conditions and a criminal offence.

In order to work:

  1. Your visa must state that work is allowed usually with a statement such as, ‘Work limited to max 20 hrs per week’, ‘Work as in Tier 4 Rules', ‘Restricted work’.

    If you believe work permissions have been omitted in error from your visa (vignette or BRP), you should contact the Student Welfare Service on welfare@le.ac.uk who can advise and help you to correct this.
  2. You must have a valid passport and visa and any vignette (sticker in your passport) must be held in the current passport.

If your visa is in an expired passport, you must make a TOC (Transfer of Conditions) application and transfer the visa to your current passport. You can get advice and guidance on this from welfare@le.ac.uk

Voluntary Work and Volunteering

It is important to note that all work with all employers counts towards any cap on hours including work of a voluntary nature. This means if you work for more than one employer you must ensure your hours do not add up to more than your visa allows in any given week. You should note however that there is a difference between voluntary (unpaid) work and volunteering.

Voluntary Work

The main difference is ‘Voluntary workers’ will usually have a contract which states hours of work and duties assigned.

Volunteering

Students who are volunteering do not have a contract. Volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation. Volunteering is permitted on a Tier 4 visa.

The University of Leicester offers many volunteering opportunities.

If you wish to participate but are still unsure please contact welfare@le.ac.uk

Visa Types and Work

Short-term Student Visa

Work is not permitted on any short-term or visit visa. You are also not permitted to undertake a work placement.

Tier 4 visas

International Students who are studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa can work in most jobs, but are restricted to working 10 or 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holiday periods defined by the University. Please note the University Senate Regulations have additional restrictions to prevent excessive paid employment adversely affecting your academic performance.

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

International students on the Doctorate Extension Scheme are subject to new, more flexible, work conditions once the University has awarded your degree. There will be no restrictions on the type of employment you may take except for as a Doctor or Dentist in training or a sportsperson (including coaches). You may be self-employed once you have been awarded your degree

Dependant Visa

Dependants have no restrictions on work other than as a doctor or dentist in training or a sportsperson. The University of Leicester may place restrictions on how many hours you can work.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

This visa permits most types of work, however, you should be mindful your work does not affect your studies.

Tier 2

You can both work and study on a Tier 2 visa, as long as your studies do not interfere with the job you are sponsored for. You would likely not be permitted to undertake a work placement as part of your course.

Tier 4 Students and Work

The main purpose of the Tier 4 visa route is for you to come to the UK to study as a full-time campus based student.

Where you are permitted to work, the intention is that this should only be to supplement your income whilst studying. The main purpose of your visa is study. The UKVI expect work in most cases to be a part-time role or as part of a work placement which is an integral and assessed part of your course.

Types of Work

Work you cannot undertake whilst studying

Whilst studying on a Tier 4 visa you may not :

  • be employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised foundation programme);
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson (including a sports coach);
  • be employed as an entertainer;
  • be self-employed or engage in business activity; or
  • fill a full-time, permanent vacancy (except on a recognised foundation programme or as a students’ union sabbatical officer).

When you can Work

If you are on a Tier 4 visa there are limits on the amount of hours you can work. These depend on when you applied for permission to come to or stay in the UK, the type of course you study and what type of sponsor you are studying with. The University sets its own limits on how many hours it considers you can work without interfering with your studies. See the detailed guidance below for further advice on when you can work according to your level of study.

Most Tier 4 students have immigration permission that starts up to one month before the course start date and extends for up to four months beyond the end of their studies. If you are allowed to work, you can work before your course starts and after it ends.

You can also work full-time during your vacations. If you want to work more than your usual restricted hours, your employer is required by law to check that your education provider agrees that you are on holiday.

Registry@le.ac.uk can provide you with a Certificate of Employability which will inform an Employer of your term and vacation periods and confirm you are currently studying.

**If your course end date changes due to a change of course or academic extension you should request a new certificate. You have a responsibility to inform your Employer.**

Work restrictions according to level of study

ELTU Students

ELTU Students on a Tier 4 visa at the University of Leicester are restricted to working no more than 10 hours per week during the published University term dates and are permitted to work full time during vacations.

ELTU Students on a Short-term Study Visa are not permitted to work at all.

Visiting Students

ERASMUS, Visiting Researchers, Study Abroad - Students who are here studying on a Tier 4 visa can work in line with their visa and level of course.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Students on a Tier 4 visa at the University of Leicester are restricted to working no more than 15 hours per week during the published University term dates and are permitted to work full time during published vacations.

You are permitted to work full time at the end of your course during the two or four month wrap-up time on your visa. Your course end date is the date given on your CAS, or a revised course end date in the case of academic extension (resits/resubmission). You will need to obtain a Certificate of Employability from the registry@le.ac.uk which will confirm your course end date and vacations.

Postgraduate Masters Students

As a Postgraduate Masters Student with a Tier 4 visa the University term-dates do not apply to you and you must not work more than 15 hours a week for the entire duration of your course.

You are permitted to work full time at the end of your course during the two or four month wrap-up time on your visa. Your course end date is the date given on your CAS, or a revised course end date in the case of academic extension (resits/resubmission). You will need to obtain a Certificate of Employability from the registry@le.ac.uk which will confirm your course end date.

PhD Students

As Postgraduate Research Student you need the approval of your Head of Department to undertake paid employment which should not normally be in excess of 8 hours. Please note with a Tier 4 visa the standard course term dates and holidays dates do not apply to you and you must not work more than 20 hours a week for the entire duration of your course.

You are entitled to published University closure days and can normally request a further 24 days annual leave through your supervisory team. You are entitled to work full-time during these periods. An official record must be kept of these holiday periods which cannot be agreed retrospectively. Evidence that your department has approved your holidays must be provided before you undertake any employment.

You can work at the end of your course once you have attended your viva and submitted any corrections. The Graduate School Office will provide you with a letter confirming you have completed all academic requirements which you can provide to any employer.

Work placements and Tier 4

If you are a Tier 4 (General) student,  in certain circumstances, you will be permitted to undertake a full-time work placement as part of your course, providing it is an integral and assessed part of the course and your visa states you are permitted to work.

As an HEI any work placement you undertake must not be more than 50% of the total length of your course, unless, there is a UK statutory requirement for the course to contain a specific period of work placement which exceeds this limit.

If your work placement is based outside of the UK you will need to seek immigration permission from the country where you will work, unless it is your home country. Provided you will return to the University for further full-time study after completion of your placement, your Tier 4 visa will remain valid.

You can work in addition to your work placement within the boundaries of your visa – 20 hours maximum per week.

When you cannot work

If you stop studying

If you are on a Tier 4 visa and you stop studying before completing your course, and are no longer following a course of study, you will be in breach of your immigration conditions if you do work, even if you still have permission to be in the UK.

This applies whether:

  • we withdraw you from your programme of study OR
  • you withdraw yourself from your programme of study OR
  • you suspend your studies.

If you complete your course early

When your Tier 4 visa was issued it included a short period of time after your course ends during which you can remain in the UK and work full-time if you chose.  This is usually two or 4 months from the course end date on the CAS.

If you complete your course early, the Home Office will normally ‘curtail’ your leave in-line with your new course end date. If you are found working beyond the revised additional period of time applied to your ‘new’ course end date, you will be in breach of your immigration conditions if you continue to work.

You should obtain a new Certificate of Employability from registry@le.ac.uk and provide this to any employer.

Remaining in the UK after you are awarded your Doctorate degree
Did you know that you can apply under the Doctorate Extension Scheme to remain in the UK for up to one year after you are awarded your Doctorate Degree?

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Student Lifecycle - Project 'Go Live' Support

Information and contact details for all staff affected by changes being implemented to:

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