Am I allowed to work whilst on a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa?

BIC deals with a large number of student visas, and have compiled a list of issues, that interested persons must take note of, in order to avoid pitfalls, and to clear some issues on the topic of Tier 4 student visas. Last week we dealt with the issue of choosing the educational institution and avoiding bogus institutions. This week we discuss the issue of working whilst on a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

The minister of Immigration and Security made a statement to the UK Parliament on 24 June 2014, where he spoke about the abuse of student visas. It is clear from this latest statement that
the UK Home Office is very serious about cracking down on Tier 4 sponsors, as well as students, who do not adhere to the strict Tier 4 visa rules.

In the statement he said that work done by Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has identified a number of overseas students earning more £20,000 per year, despite the rule stating that they are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week, during term time. United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have also identified persons studying in London, whilst their home addresses were registered as restaurants in geographically far places such as Ipswich and Chichester. It is thus very clear, that the UK Home Office is doing cross checks to ensure that both Tier 4 sponsors and students adhere to the rules, and students should not take chances in this regard.

What are the current rules about working whilst on the Tier 4 (General) student visa?

This depends on where you study, what you study and how long your course that you are studying on is expected to take. You can contact BIC for more information in this regard.

We sadly often times come across cases where clients are told that they can work for 20 hours a week and when they receive their visas they might not be allowed to work at all. A lot of colleges would tell clients that they can work in order for them to enroll with the college. Be wary of colleges such as this.

It is also important to note that if you are allowed to work, it may not be as self-employment, as entertainer, or as a professional sportsperson or coach. There are various exceptions to
this rule, so please speak to your BIC consultant for more advice.

If you are a prospective student, and would like to apply for your student visa, or need help with your existing status as Tier 4 student, please contact your BIC consultant.