Careers Advice for International Students
If you want to work in the UK during your studies or after graduation, you need to check your visa regulations. We can't give you immigration advice personalised to your circumstances, but the information below can point you in the right direction.
Working in the UK during your studies
If you're an international student on a Tier 4 student visa/Student route visa, you can do paid, unpaid or voluntary work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and your vacation restrictions will depend on your course structure.
For more information on your Tier 4 visa/Student route visa working restrictions for term-time and vacations, please see the MyPort article: Working hours guidance – International/EU/EEA/Swiss students.
Tips for non-UK students working part-time at uni
- You'll need to wait until you arrive in the UK to secure a job, so use the time before you arrive at university to prepare and research what you'll need when you get here
- Once you're registered at the University, you can search for part-time jobs on our online jobs board, MyCareer
- You may need to apply for a National Insurance number – find out how to do this in our guide to finding part-time work
- The Careers and Employability Service run careers workshops specifically for international students looking for work in the UK – find our events listing online at MyCareer
Find out how to summarise your skills and work experience in a targeted CV in the best format for your application.
Find out how we support you to find part-time work in Portsmouth while studying, and what you should know about National Insurance and Income Tax.
Working in the UK after graduation
If you're an international student looking to work in the UK after graduation, it's important you research the options and check the visa regulations.
Use the following websites to get advice on working in the UK after you graduate:
- Targetjobs – international students guide to job hunting in the UK, plus advice and tips about gaining work experience in the UK
- Targetjobs – international student visa and permits for working in the UK
- UKCISA – the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK's national advisory body serving the interests of international students and this link provides a useful summary of visa routes for international students
- UK Visas and Immigration – the UK Government's official visa and immigration information for working in the UK
- List of accredited immigration advisers – search by region to find immigration advice near you and immigration advisers specialising in particular types of immigration, asylum or nationality cases
Graduate Route Visa
The Graduate Route visa was introduced in 2021 and allows those who have graduated from a UK university from the summer of 2021 to live in the UK for a further two years in order to work although no employment contract is required to be eligible. It is important to note that there remains a sponsored route - the Skilled Worker visa, which has replaced the old Tier 2 visa. Understanding the visa rules for working in the UK after graduation are key to your chances of success, but there are many other factors to consider when planning your approach.
Business startup advice
The Careers and Employability Service can also support you if you wish to explore options regarding business startup and enterprise. Our Student Startup team can offer a range of support. For more information see below.