International students on a Student visa are entitled to work part-time in the UK during their studies. Your visa/BRP/conditions letter will clearly state the working hours permitted. It is the responsibility of you and your employer to ensure that you do not exceed these hours. If you do, you can both face serious penalties.

How to apply for a National Insurance (NI) Number

National Insurance (NI) Number

Every person working in the UK must have a National Insurance number. If you are an International or EU student you will need to apply for this in order to work while studying. You need to apply by phone.

If you’re moving to the UK you can only apply once you’re here. You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number. Further information can be found on the website 

If you lose or forget your National Insurance number you can find it from a number of sources. Further guidance is provided on the website: Find a lost National Insurance Number

National Insurance number application line
  • Telephone: 0800 141 2075 

  • Textphone: 0800 141 2438

  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

How many hours per week can I work whilst in UK?

You need to check your own visa conditions to check how many hours you can work during either term time or vacation time.

student visa issued for full-time degree level studies allows you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time. This is a maximum of 20 hours in total in any one week, including paid or unpaid work (including voluntary work) and for one or more organisation.You can work full time (maximum 40 hours per week) during vacation time according to the University Semester Calendar. This does not include weeks when you may not have classes. If your programme operates outside the normal calendar dates please check with your Programme Leader for the vacation dates.

You shoud be aware your studies are not completed until the CAS End Date for working conditions to change, regardless to when you sat your last exam, submited coursework or your dissertation. The Home Office cannot track every individual student to confirm they have finished their studies and the HMRC use this date too for tax purposes. 

If you use your Grace Period of your visa to complete your studies then the end of your course is the deadline date given by the Assessment Board to submit your outstanding coursework/dissertation (even if you submit before this) or the end of the next exam diet, not the date of your last exam, whichever is relevant.

Working more than 20 hours before this is in breach of your visa's working conditions which may impact your future immigration in the UK.

Working hours are calculated for a 7 day period beginning on a Monday.

Standard Visitor visa holders are not allowed to work, paid or unpaid.

If you stop studying before completing your course you will no longer be entitled to work and will be in breach of your conditions of leave if found working.

More information

For more information about your working permissions please see a VISA Advisor. You can find further advice to protect your student visa status in our leaflet Protecting Your Student Visa Status 2019 

You can also find further information and guidance for working and employment regulations on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website and within the Government guidance.