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Working during and after studies

Many International Students are allowed to do some work whilst they study in the UK. On this page you can find information about working in the UK during your studies. This section does not apply to students from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

    Can you work?

    In most cases students who are in the UK on a Tier 4 visa can expect to receive a stamp on their visa which allows work with restrictions. Students in the UK with a Short Term Study Visa are prohibited from working.

    In some cases students are prohibited from working. To see if this is the case for you check your visa. Normally there are two types of stamps in your visa which prohibit any work. These may be:
    • 'No work or engaging in business' or
    • 'No work or recourse to public funds'

    If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 visa and you have a prohibition stamp on your visa, please contact ISA and we may be able to request an amendment to a restriction on work in place of prohibition on your behalf.

    What kind of work can you do? 

    Work usually permitted for Tier 4 visa holders at UEL:

    1. Part time and vacation employment - up to 20 hours a week during term-time for students enrolled on a course at degree level or above, and full time during vacations. Students enrolled on a course below Bachelor’s degree level will be able to work up to 10 hours per week during term-time. A 'week' is defined as 'a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday'. Students must ensure that their working pattern and hours fits this definition.

    2. Work placements which are part of a 'sandwich course' - Sandwich courses are courses which include the work placement as an integral part of the course in which the work placement is clearly defined and approved by the University, and the work placement must not extend beyond the end of the course

    Work NOT permitted for Tier 4 visa holders at UEL:

    1. Students must not engage in business, be self-employed or work as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.

    2. Students must not pursue a career by filling a permanent full time vacancy. 

    You are only able to work up to 20 hours a week (or 10 hours in some cases) during official term time. The official UEL term times and vacation periods are as defined in the Academic Calendar on the UEL website.

    If you are a Research student (PhD/ Prof Doc), then the term dates will not apply to you.

    You can request a copy of the term dates from The Student Hub or by emailing the hub with your name, student number and address.

    Your employer may request evidence of your term dates and official vacation dates which may be the above mentioned letter.

    You are not allowed to work full time during the summer vacation period, until you have completed your exams/ resits.

    If you are currently part time because you are re-sitting a module, you are not allowed to work full time.

    When you have completed your course, you can work full time hours for up to four months, as long as you have sufficient leave on your Tier 4 visa.

    If you have completed your course and received your results you can request a letter from the Student Hub or by emailing thehub@uel.ac.uk confirming that you have been awarded.

    Note: Completion of course means either the end date of your course as stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) or if you complete your course later than that date, the date that the award board agrees your award.

    You are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week in the summer vacation period if you are supposed to be working on your dissertation. A 'week' is defined as a 'period of 7 days beginning with a Monday'. Tier 4 (General) students must ensure that their working pattern and hours fits this definition.

    If you have submitted an in-time visa application under another qualifying Points Based System (PBS) visa category, the conditions of your previous leave will continue until you receive a decision on your visa application. This means that if you previously held a Tier 4 (General) student visa, you are entitled to work 20 hours per week during term time, full time in vacations (if you are not doing re-sits) - see full conditions above ('What kind of work can you do?').

    A copy of your visa and passport would normally be acceptable evidence, but if your visa has expired you will need to provide proof that you are awaiting the outcome of your visa application. You can provide your employer with a copy of your acknowledgement letter from the Home Office that confirms they have received your application or cover letter when you submitted your application online. In addition, the Home Office ask that your employer use the Employer Checking Service. You can find further details on the Government website

    Please note: this service is only to be used whilst you have an outstanding visa application.

    First of all your employer should check that you are on a Tier 4 visa and have a restriction rather than a prohibition.

    Both you and your employer have a legal responsibility to make sure that you are working within the immigration rules. Therefore your employer may want you to provide extra evidence to satisfy them as to whether you can work full time at certain periods.

    UK Visas and Immigration would expect your employer to keep a record of the evidence that you can work. The Student Hub can give you a letter confirming your term dates. However, UEL is not able to provide a letter stating that you can work as this is not a UEL decision. A letter from UEL relating to the work conditions of your visa would not be deemed sufficient evidence by UK Visas and Immigration.

    Usually you can show your employer your current passport and your current biometric residence permit. 

    Although you can travel using your old and new passports, employers cannot accept an entry clearance sticker in an expired passport, even if your period of leave has not yet expired. In this case you will need to apply to transfer your leave into your new passport by making a transfer of conditions application. For full details of the documents employers can accept, see the Home Office's guide to Acceptable right to work documents

    The university can confirm some information about you and your studies, which your employer can use to ascertain whether you can work (including periods when you can work full time):
    • your student status (letter from the Student Hub)
    • the standard university term dates (letter from the Student Hub)
    • if you have completed your course and been awarded (letter from the Student Hub)
    If your employer is unsure of anything he/she can check by contacting the UK Visas & Immigration employers' helpline.

    If you have submitted a visa application within the UK and are awaiting the outcome – see the section on students with a pending visa application.
    WARNING: Do not breach your prohibition or restrictions on working. UK Visas and Immigration are getting stricter in their application of the regulations with potentially very serious consequences for the employee and the employer. It is classified as a criminal offence to breach these regulations which can lead to a fine of £20,000 and/or up to 6 months in prison and the possibility of removal from the UK.

    National Insurance

    As an International student, you and any dependants must pay National Insurance (NI) contributions if you work in the same way as UK citizens. National Insurance contributions only commence when you start earning in excess of £155 per week. If you are working in the UK you will need to apply for your unique National Insurance (NI) number.

    National Insurance card

    You may apply for an NI number while you are looking for work. You may even begin work without an NI number, but once you have started then you should apply for an NI number if you haven't already got one. Your NI number will be issued to you in the form of a card (similar size to a credit card).

    For more information on National Insurance and how to apply for an NI number click here.

    Income Tax

    There is a Personal Allowance (PA) for workers where income is not taxed until the PA exceeded. International students and their dependants who work will be liable to pay income tax if they earn over the threshold of over approx £203 a week. This is based on the assumption that you will earn over £10,600 in a tax year (which starts and ends in April each year). The tax rates for 2015/16 are

    • No tax (Personal Allowance - PA) - 0% on earnings below £10,600
    • Basic rate - 20% on earnings above the PA and up to £42,385
    • Higher rate - 40% on earnings over £42,386 but below £150,000
    • Additional rate - 45% for earnings over £150,000

    More information on UK tax rates, changes and updates can be found at the HM Revenues & Customs website.

    If you are only working during the vacations and you don't expect that your annual salary will be over £10,600 then you will need to fill in form P38(S), available from your employer. More information on the HM Revenues & Customs website.

    If you have paid tax and have stopped working, you can claim tax back, by completing the P50 form available from HM Revenues & Customs.

    Remember: The fiscal (tax) year runs from April to March every year. You should therefore base your yearly calculations based on the fiscal year and not the calendar year.

    Minimum Wage

    There are three rates of minimum wage according to age. You should not be paid at any rate lower than those quoted below, as this is a legal requirment on employers. (correct as at April 2015).
    • Main rate: £6.50 per hour (21 years and over)
    • Development rate: £5.13 per hour (18 – 20 year olds)
    • Young workers rate: £3.79 per hour (for workers under 18 who are above school leaving age)
    • Apprentice rate: £2.73
    For more information on the National Minimum Wage click here.

    National Minimum Wage Helpline 0800 917 2368.
    Some people who are granted a visa for the UK as a dependant of a student are able to work, whilst others are not. It depends on when they applied for their visa, the level and length of the programme of study of the main applicant, and whether you are government sponsored. For detailed information about this see UKCISA information on dependant working conditions

    If your dependant applied on or after 4 July 2011 or has not yet applied, they are permitted to work if you are studying a postgraduate level course for longer than 12 months, or are government sponsored and taking a course longer than 6 months. If your dependants are eligible to join you or remain with you in the UK but you do not meet these conditions, they will only be able to work if you are applying for leave for 12 months or more and your course is at degree level. 

    If the dependant applied before 4 July 2011, the working conditions will vary. Please see UKCISA information on dependant working conditions.

    Examples of the type of stamp in your dependants visa, allowing work, could be:

    • "Limited Leave to Remain in the UK. No recourse to public funds" or
    • "Leave to enter for until (specified time). No recourse to public funds"

    Examples of the type of stamp in your dependants visa which prohibit work could be:

    • "Limited leave to remain in the UK. No recourse to public funds. No work or engaging in business" or
    • "Leave to enter for/ until (specified time). No recourse to public funds."
    If you are in the UK on any other type of visa other than 'Tier 4' or 'Tier 4 dependant', you should check whether or not you are able to work. Broadly speaking, if you are in the UK on any type of visitor visa, you will be prohibited from working.

    For more detailed information on working in the UK see the following websites 

    • www.ukcisa.org.uk - United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs for general information
    • www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas - UK Visas & Immigration the government department responsble for visas
    • www.dwp.gov.uk - The department for Work and Pensions for information on work, taxes etc
    • www.uel.ac.uk/eet - The Employability and Enterprise Team at UEL for help with employability issues
    • More Than Work - A useful resource for skills development and employment rights
    • International Careers - Cracking the Code - Country Guides with information about how to look for employment in various countries

    Working during studies

    This scheme is aimed at those who want to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the UK.
    • Initially 3 year visa. Possibility of extension for a further 2 years
    • Possibility to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after 5 years (or 3 years in some cases)
    • You can switch to Tier 1 Entreprenuers in the UK from most Tier 1 , Tier 2, Tier 4 or student visas.
    • Points Based System - 95 points required
      • 25 points - Access to £200,000 (or £50,000 in specfic cases)
        • If you have access to at least £200,000 in either your own name or from a third party
        • If you have access to at least £50,000 from venture capital firms, seed funding competitions and/or UK government departments
      • 25 points - The money is held in a regulated financial institution
      • 25 points - The money is disposable in the UK
      • 10 points - English Language (a degree studied at and awarded by UEL)
      • 10 points - maintenance (£945 for 90 days)

    More information available on UK Government website.

    Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

    Introduction

    1.  The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa route allows UEL graduates from outside the EU/EEA to remain in the UK for up to 2 years to develop an innovative and genuine business idea. 

    2.  For the purpose of the Immigration Rules, ‘business’ means an enterprise as a sole trader, partnership or company registered in the UK. 

    3.  Places are limited and will be subject to a competitive selection process through the Enterprise team at the University of East London (UEL). 

    4.  Students who are selected can apply to remain in the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) under this scheme for an initial 12 month period.  A further 12 month extension may be possible if a student is able to demonstrate that they have made sufficient progress within the first 12 months and meet all other criteria. 

    5.  Students are not eligible if they have previously spent time in the UK under the Tier 1 Post Study Work scheme.      

    Eligibility criteria

    6.  To qualify for the scheme, applicants must: 

    ·         have studied for an on-campus UEL course and been awarded a degree or PhD;

    ·         have maintained a good engagement record with UEL during their studies;

    ·         have attended a minimum of 3 workshops from UEL’s Enterprise Academy Programme

    https://www.uel.ac.uk/Connect/Enterprise/Academy

    ·         have an innovative and genuine business idea and provide evidence that you have with sufficient financial and other resources to develop the business;

    ·         demonstrate a clear commitment to spend the majority of your time  working time on developing your business idea;

    ·         have held a minimum of £945 (if applying in the UK) or £1890 (if applying outside the UK) in their bank account for a consecutive period of 90 days before the date of the visa application, in line with the requirements of the Tier 1 GE Policy Guidance; maintenance funds must also be shown for students who are applying with their dependants;

    ·         agree to keep the University’s International Compliance team pbs@uel.ac.uk

    informed of any changes to your circumstances which could impact on your visa;

    ·         agree to a minimum of four contact points per 12 month endorsement period with the Enterprise team.

    ·         if applying within the UK: have valid leave to remain in the UK (visa) in one of the following categories with a minimum of 3 months leave remaining;

    o   Tier 4 student

    o   Student (under the old student rules)

    o   Student re-sitting an examination

    o   Student writing up a thesis

    o   Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

    o   Tier 2 (General)

    ·         if applying from overseas: provide evidence of having left the UK prior to visa expiry date;

    •          if being sponsored by an official financial sponsor, e.g. government or international scholarship agency:  obtain unconditional consent in writing
    •     you must provide your permission to allow UEL to contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to confirm your immigration status   

    Application process for first year endorsement under Tier 1 GE scheme

    7.  Application for an initial 12 month grant of leave (visa) under this scheme can either be made in the UK or from abroad.  The International Student Advice team (ISA) can provide advice and guidance regarding the visa application process:  isa@uel.ac.uk

    The Enterprise team can assist you to develop your business proposal before you submit it:  enterprise@uel.ac.uk

    8. The University of East London has a limited number of endorsements for the scheme. The Enterprise Team have therefore restricted applications to businesses which can be supported by the university and which have potential to collaborate with our students and researchers.

    We are currently encouraging businesses in the following areas:
    -Environment
    -Health
    -Computing and Engineering
    -Digital and Creative

    We are not able to support retail, wholesale or education services business.

    9.  Follow the process below to apply once you have a) been awarded and b) attended a minimum of three workshops from UEL’s Enterprise Academic Programme, as outlined above under the eligibility criteria:

    ·         submit an initial ‘business interest’ form;

    o   this will be assessed by the Enterprise team;

    o   if the business idea is deemed to be viable, you will be asked to complete and submit a full ‘business plan’ with evidence to support their ‘plan’, e.g. market research; contact with businesses, bank statements;

    ·         you will then be invited to present your ‘business plan’ to a formal panel who will assess your plan; the panel will ask you further questions about your business;

    ·         the panel’s decision is final and successful students will be put forward for endorsement under the scheme. 

    ·         provide the maintenance documents required for your (and dependents if applicable) Tier 1 GE application as outlined above; these will be checked against the requirements of the Tier 1 GE Policy Guidance by the ISA team;

    ·        complete and return the Tier 1 GE Agreement

    ·         an endorsement letter will then be issued; you will need to include this with your visa application as your application cannot be made without this letter.    

    10.  There is no appeal process if your application for endorsement is unsuccessful for the first or second endorsement application.  However, you can use UEL Student Compliant Procedure if you believe that the advertised procedures were not followed:  www.uel.ac.uk/qa/studentsarea/studentcomplains/

    Claiming points for Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

    11.  To be granted a Tier 1 GE visa, you must score 95 points and provide the documents listed below in your application to UK Visas and Immigration:

    Attributes -75 points

    Evidence

    Points

    Endorsement by a UK Higher Education Institution (UEL)

    Tier 1 letter

    25

    UK Higher Education Institution (UEL) has awarded a recognised  Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree or PhD

    Tier 1 letter

    25

    UK Higher Education Institution (UEL)  has assessed you & your business idea

    Tier 1 letter

    25

    English Language- 10 points

    If you score 75 points for attributes, you automatically satisfy this requirement

    No evidence required

    10

    Maintenance – 10 points

    £945 if applying in the UK (or £1890 if applying from outside the UK) held for 90 consecutive days in your bank account and the closing balance must be no more than 31 days before the date of application.

    Original bank statements

    10


    Application process for second year endorsement under the Tier 1 GE scheme

    12.  You will need to demonstrate that you have made sufficient progress with your business idea in the first 12 month period and provide valid reasons why a further 12 month extension is required.  You will be asked to present this to a formal panel for assessment and you will be asked questions as well.  In addition, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the Tier 1 GE maintenance requirements as outlined above. 

    13.  The University reserves the right to refuse your application if you are unable to meet these requirements. 

    Monitoring and compliance once Tier 1 GE visa granted

    14.  Once you receive your Tier 1 GE visa, you must take this to The Hub so that the University can take a copy of the original document.    

    15.  The University requires you to attend a minimum of four meetings with the Enterprise team throughout the duration of each 12 month period of the visa, to support you to develop your business and meet our monitoring responsibilities to UKVI. 

    16.  You will need to attend all scheduled meetings and complete a contact form which will review the progress made to date and set goals for the following meeting. 

    17.  The University reserves the right to request additional contact points which will be agreed with you. 

    18.  Failure to attend scheduled meetings may result in the University withdrawing sponsorship.  This would be reported to UK Visas and Immigration, in line with our licence responsibilities, which in turn is likely to result in your visa being curtailed (cancelled).

    19.  You must spend the majority of your time in the UK developing and growing your business.  

    20.  It is important to discuss with the Enterprise team if your business idea is likely to change significantly during your period of sponsorship as this could affect your visa.  This will be discussed with you to determine whether it is appropriate to continue to sponsor you under Tier 1 GE.

    21.  The University will keep copies of all documentation used as part of your application for endorsement under this scheme, evidence of progression of your business and copies of your visa. 

    University’s reporting responsibilities 

    22.  The University is are required to report the following in line with our responsibilities to UK Visas and Immigration for providing this scheme.  This is likely to mean that your visa will be curtailed (cancelled). 

    ·         the University becomes aware that you are not engaging with your business and spending sufficient time developing it; 

    ·         miss a scheduled contact with the Enterprise team without reasonable explanation and if we are subsequently unable to make contact with you;

    ·         you notify the University that you have changed visa category;

    ·         you notify the University that you are permanently leaving the UK;

    ·         the University becomes aware that you are breaching the conditions of your  visa.

    Work conditions as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

    23.  If you apply in the UK, you are allowed to work and be self-employed if:

    • you have successfully completed your degree studies at UEL;
    • you have been supported with an endorsement from UEL;
    • you have made an application for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa before your Tier 4 visa ended;
    • you have yet to receive a decision on your Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa application.

    You are allowed to work unrestricted hours but ensure that the majority of your time is spent working on your business idea. 

    Last updated March 2017

    More information on Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur can be found on the UK Government website.

    Allow high net worth individuals to make substantial financial investment in the UK and to live in the UK.
    • Initially 3 year visa. Possibility of extension for a further 2 years
    • Possibility to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after 5 years (or after 2 or 3 years in some cases)
    • You can switch to Tier 1 Investors in the UK from most Tier 1 , Tier 2, Tier 4 or student visas.
    • Points Based System - 95 points required
      • 75 points - Minimum amount to invest £2,000,000
      • 10 points - English language (requirement waived and points issued automatically if you obtain 75 points)
      • 10 points - Maintenance (requirement waived and points issued automatically if you obtain 75 points)

    More information available on the UK Government website.

    This scheme has been newly created but is not yet available for applications. The scheme is designed to attract those who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world leaders in the fields of science and the arts and who wish to work in the UK. Applicants must be internationally recognised as world leaders in their fields by a UK Visas and Immigration specified Competent Body (in the field in which you are recognised as a world leader).

    • Initially 3 year visa. Possibility of extension for a further 2 years
    • Possibility to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after 5 years (or after 2 or 3 years in some cases)
    • You can switch to Tier 1 Entreprenuers in the UK from most Tier 1 , Tier 2, Tier 4 or student visas.
    • Points Based System - 85 points required:
      • 75 points - Endorsement by a 'Competent Body'
      • 10 points - English language (only for extension applications. Otherwise requirement waived)

    More information available on the UK Government website.

    Tier 2 (General) is a scheme designed for people coming to/or applying to remain in the UK with a skilled job offer. Tier 2 (General) is a visa linked to a specific job with a specific employer. The employer must be on the UK Visas and Immigration Sponsor Register for Employers and must be willing to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) if you meet one of the five routes to Tier 2 (General). You cannot switch job or employer with a Tier 2 (General) visa.

    Summary of Tier 2 (General):
    • Initially visa can be granted for up to 3 years
    • Possible to extend Tier 2 (General) visa up to 6 years in total
    • You can switch into Tier 2 (General) in the UK from PSW, Tier 4 and old style student visa amongst other visas. (Please see below for "Additional requirements for those switching from Tier 4 (General)"/student visa)
    • Requires a job offer - the visa is linked to the job, and is only valid for that specific job with that employer
    • Employer must be a licensed sponsor (on the UKVI sponsor register for employers)
    • Employer must issue a COS based on one of the five routes to Tier 2
    • Job must be at graduate level (see Code of Practice)
    • Salary must be at £20,800 or the industry equivalent (see Code of Practice)
    • If you discontinue your Tier 2 (General) job, your visa will be curtailed to 60 days
    • Time in this category will not count towards the qualifying period for settlement in the UK unless salary is at least £35,000

    There are currently six possible routes to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa:

    • Switching from Tier 4 (General) (see additional requirements) OR
    • Switching from Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) if applying in the UK and continuing to work in the same occupation for the same sponsor OR
    • Shortage Occupations - As listed on UKVI list on website OR
    • Resident Labour Market Test - Employer has advertised in UK/EEA but no suitable UK/EEA worker can take job OR
    • Job offer with salary of £155,500 per year or more OR
    • Extension in same role, for the same employer (including switching from Post Study Work)

    Tier 2 (General) visa requires you to obtain 70 points. This is made up from: 50 points for attributes, 10 points for English and 10 points for Maintenance.

    • Attributes - 50 Points
      • 30 Points for one of six routes listed below (see more information above)
        • Switching from Tier 4 (General)
        • Switching from Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
        • Shortage occupation list
        • Resident Labour Market Test
        • Job offer with salary £153,500 or more
        • Extension (continuing in the same role for the same employer, including switching from PSW)
      • 20 points for prospective salary of a minimum of £20,800 per year or the industry equivalent  (see Code of Practice)
    • English Language Skills - 10 points
      • If you have a UEL degree, you can claim points for English Language as you have completed a degree in the UK in English.
    • Maintenance - 10 points
      • £945 held for consecutive 90 day period or certified by A rated sponsor 

    Financial Evidence must meet the requirements in the Tier 2 Policy Guidance.

    Additional requirements for those switching from Tier 4 (General)

    If you have a job offer that meets the requirements outlined above (ie graduate level, salary of £20,800 or equivalent) then you are eligible for a COS if:

    • You have been awarded a bachelor‘s or master’s degree; a PGCE or PGDE from a UK recognised body; or completed a minimum of 12 months of study in the UK towards a PhD from a UK recognised body; and
    • You had valid immigration permission that permitted study throughout the above course; and
    • You have current leave as Tier 4 (General) or Student; and
    • You are applying from inside the UK

    If you meet these requirements your employer does not have to consider the other five routes outlined above.

    Working Conditions if switching from Tier 4 (General)

    If you applied for your Tier 4 (General) visa before 6 April 2012:

    The working conditions associated with that visa continue whilst you are awaiting a decision on your Tier 2 (General) application, including the condition that you do not take up a  permanent full-time vacancy. This means that if you have been offered a job and have used a COS for that job to apply for Tier 2 (General), you cannot take up that position until your Tier 2 (General) leave has been granted.

    If you applied for your Tier 4 (General) visa on or after 6 April 2012:

    You are permitted to take a permanent full-time vacancy if: 

    • you have made a Tier 2 application supported by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned by a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor before your Tier 4 leave has ended (and any appeal against that decision has been determined); and
    • you will be employed in the role for which that Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned; and
    • you have yet to receive a decision on your Tier 2 application

    More information on Tier 2 (General) can be found on the Home Office website.

    For students studying a PhD or other doctorate level qualification.  This is a 12 month work visa route and is called the Tier 4 Doctorate Extensions Scheme (Tier 4 DES) and is part of the Points Based System.

     
    Students working towards a lower level qualification are not eligible for this Scheme.

     
    The university or college where you are studying for your doctorate qualification must be your Tier 4 sponsor.  The University of East London will support students under this Scheme who meet the requirements of UEL and the Home Office as outlined below.

    In order to qualify for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme, you must:

    • hold a valid Tier 4 (General) visa or a student visa
    • be coming to the end of your PhD or other doctorate level studies but have not yet completed
    • hold a CAS from your Tier 4 Sponsor (UEL)
    • apply for your visa within 60 days prior to completing your studies (UEL will determine the end date of your studies once you have had your viva)
    • apply for a new Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you needed one for your PhD as you will not have fully completed your studies when you apply for your visa.  Explain on your ATAS application for ATAS clearance that you will intend to make a Tier 4 DES application and that all your research has been completed, providing details of your research. 
    • meet the maintenance (funds) requirements in line with the requirements of this Scheme.

    Information about this Scheme is available in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

    Maintenance (funds)

    As well having a CAS, you must provide evidence that you meet the Tier 4 funds requirement of £2530.  The funds must be held for a period of 28 days before you apply.

    Dependants

    If you have dependants in the UK, they will be able to extend their stay as your dependants providing that they meet the rules.  If your dependants are currently overseas, they can apply for entry clearance under the established rules for Tier 4 dependants. 

    Work

    If your visa application is successful, you will be given 12 months from the expected end date on your CAS.  You can work without restrictions from the time that UEL confirms to the Home Office that you have successfully completed your PhD to the standard required for the award of a PhD.  The only exceptions are that you cannot work as a professional sportsperson, a sports coach, a doctor in training or a dentist in training.  You can take employment at any particular level. 

    Contact with your Tier 4 Sponsor (UEL)

    You do not have to stay and work in the area where your Tier 4 Sponsor (UEL) is based but you will be obliged to maintain contact with UEL as agreed in the terms and Conditions of this Scheme.   If you miss a scheduled contact without notifying UEL, we will be obliged to report this to the Home Office and this is could result in your visa being curtailed (cancelled).  You should also let the UEL International Compliance know if you leave the UK and do not intend to return before your visa expires or if you are granted a visa under a different immigration category.  You can apply only once under the doctorate extension scheme. If you want to stay in the UK for longer than this, you need to apply under a different route.You can apply in the UK for employment under Tier 2 or under any of the subcategories of Tier 1. If you are Turkish, you might qualify to stay for employment or self-employment under the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey. Check the details of the category that is relevant to you in order to ensure that you meet all necessary requirements for applying in the UK. If you do not, you can apply for entry clearance from the country in which you usually live.

    How to apply

    If you wish to apply for this Scheme, you need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the UEL International Compliance team.  In order to be eligible for a CAS, you must meet all of the requirements outlined above.  In addition, you must:

    • have made satisfactory progress during your studies and be completing your PhD within the earliest expected time-frame.  The UEL International Compliance team will liaise with the Research Degree Leader in your School and the Graduate School to assess overall progression during your studies, and in particular, consider information recorded in your annual reviews
    • register interest in the Scheme once you have received the date of your viva and prior to undertaking your viva by emailing casrequest@uel.ac.uk 
    • provide evidence of the maintenance documents required for this visa
    • complete the University’s Terms and Conditions confirming your agreement under this Scheme.

    Application form and cost

    You can apply by online with standard service (cost £457), priority service (cost £900) or in-person (cost £1,047) by making a premium appointment. For  information on how to complete your  application form please check here. You can find the Tier 4 Policy Guidance on the Home Office website.

    Visa advice

    Our International Student Advice (ISA) can provide advice and guidance with your Tier 4 DES visa application.  We can check your completed application and supporting documents to ensure that you meet all the requirements before you post your application. Email:  isa@uel.ac.uk

    UEL’s responsibilities under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

    The University sponsors an eligible student under the Doctorate Extension Scheme by issuing a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). In issuing a CAS, the University is confirming the following to the Home Office:

    • we are sponsoring a student under the Doctorate Extension Scheme
    • we expect the student to complete their course and gain a PhD on the  stated course end date on the CAS
    • we will continue to sponsor the student for 12 months after their course completion
    • the student is aware of their responsibility to abide by the conditions of their Tier 4 DES leave including that they will leave the UK when their visa expires unless they have switched to a different visa category.

    The University’s reporting responsibilities to the Home Office continue under the Tie 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.  We are required to report the following by updating your CAS:

    • when a student completes their PhD and the date of the award;
    • if a student finishes their course without successfully completing their PhD, or is awarded a lower qualification;
    • if a student misses a scheduled contact without reasonable explanation and we are subsequently unable to make contact with them;
    • the student notifies the University that they are permanently leaving the UK;
    • the University is aware that the migrant is breaching conditions of their leave.

    Student’s responsibilities under the Doctorate Extension Scheme

    In participating under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme, students will be required to:

    • agree to the University’s Terms and Conditions of being sponsored under this Scheme
    • maintain contact as determined and greed with the UEL International Compliance team and to keep us updated if you find and secure a employment
    • inform the UEL International Compliance team of any significant changes to your circumstances, including a change in immigration category or if you decide you no longer wish to participate in this Scheme and leave the UK.
    This visa is aimed at Commonwealth citizens, with UK ancestry, to come to the UK to work and look for work.
    • You must be a commonwealth citizen
    • You must be aged 17 or over
    • At least one of your grandparent's must have been born in the UK
    • You can only apply from your home country
    • Visa valid for up to 5 years
    • After 5 years on this type of visa, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

    More information on UK Ancestry visas can be found on the UKVI website.

    The European Union and Turkey have an agreement called the European Comunity Association Agreement (ECAA) which allows Turkish citizens to come to the UK to enter or stay in the UK to establish themselves in business. There are also concessions which allow Turkish workers to apply for restrictions on work to be removed after working legally in th UK for a period of years.

    More information on Turkish Business People/ Workers can be found on the UKVI website.

    Tier 5 is the temporary workers category, which includes the following:

    Tier 5 (Temporary worker - youth mobility)
    For young people from participating countries and territories who want to come and experience life in the UK. The countries and territories currently participating in the scheme are:
    Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco, Republic of Korea, Taiwan. Click here for more information.

    Tier 5 (Temporary worker - government authorised exchange)
    Approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice. Includes some work experience placements. To apply you must be sponsored by an overarching body. Click here for more information.

    Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting)
    For people coming to the UK to work or perform as sportspeople, entertainers or creative artists. Click here for more information.

    Tier 5 (Temporary worker - charity workers)
    For those coming to the UK to do voluntary (unpaid) work for a charity, that is directly related to that charity’s work. Click here for more information.

    Tier 5 (Temporary worker - religious workers)
    For people coming to the United Kingdom to temporarily fill a religious role. Click here for more information.

    Please see the UKVI website for more information.

    For more detailed information on working in the UK see the following websites:

    • CASE- Careers and Student Employability team at UEL for help with employability issues
    • UKCISA - United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs for information about working
    • UKVI - UK Visas and Immigration -forms, guidance & rules
    • DWP - The department for Work and Pensions for information on work, taxes etc

    Working after studies

    If you have a student visa with a work restriction instead of a prohibition, you can normally work full time in the following circumstances:

    • In official vacation times as per the University Academic Calendar (if you are not required to work on your dissertation on re sits)
    • When you have completed your course and have been awarded
    For more detailed information, or if your employer wants to make sure that you can work full time, please read the "Working during studies' section at the top of this page.

    Why Volunteer?

    In a time of huge demand for internships and work experience a key way for you to gain new skills and gain experience within your chosen sector is to volunteer.

    Volunteering can be based within a range of sectors and settings enabling you to boost your CV whilst developing you personal and professional networks.

    Did you know?

    • When recruiting 80% of employers value volunteering on a CV
    • 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills
    • 73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteering experience over one without
    • New research shows that volunteering work could be the added extra to make CV stand out from the crowd.

    If you would like to have a look at the current volunteering offers that are available please check on the Volunteering website:

    https://www.uel.ac.uk/secure/eet/students/volunteering/opportunities.htm

    If you cannot find a suitable opportunity or have a question for the team please email volunteering@uel.ac.uk.

    International Students and Volunteering

    The UK Home Office guidelines for work classed as Volunteering are: 

    • there should be no payment, other than reasonable travel and meals expenditure actually incurred (not an allowance for the same);
    • there should be no contractual obligations on the volunteer;
    • the volunteer is providing a service for a registered voluntary or charitable organisation (or organisation that raises funds for either);
    • the service is not a substitute for employment (i.e. fulfilling a role that a salaried worker would normally fulfil).

    Volunteering is distinct from work paid or unpaid.

    There is a difference between unpaid employment and voluntary work, and you should always check with the organisation which offers you voluntary work whether it might constitute ‘unpaid employment’. This is because most students in the UK have immigration permission which allows them to work during their studies but under strict restrictions, and any time you spend doing ‘unpaid employment’ counts towards the maximum number of hours of work you can do in a week.

    If you or your employer are unsure as to whether the volunteering constitutes unpaid work the UK Home Office has guidance and code of practice for employers which deals with this question.

    You must make sure that you comply with any work restrictions which apply to you. This is because the UK Home Office (the UK Government department which is responsible for immigration) treats working in breach of your conditions very seriously. It can refuse your immigration application or remove you from the UK if you work too many hours or if you do work which you are not allowed to do.

    If you have any queries please email the International Students Advice Team at isa@uel.ac.uk or see our web pages at www.uel.ac.uk/isa

    If you have finished your course and you wish to apply for a work visa, you should check the "Working after studies" section of this page,  and also attend one of our regular workshops for students interested in working in the UK after studies.

    UK Visas and Immigration define a working 'week' as 'a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday'. Tier 4 (General) students must ensure that their working pattern and hours fits this definition.

    It is important that you ensure that you do not exceed your permitted hours of work. 

    If you work irregular hours and/or have more than one employer, you should keep detailed records of the work that you do every day so be sure that you are not in danger of breaching your work condition. 

    Frequently Asked Questions