Careers Service

International Students

Work While Studying

Before you apply for a job there are important things you must check.

As an international student you may have restrictions on the numbers of hours you can work and the type of work that you can do while you study. Visit the Student Progress website for information about working while studying.

It is your responsibility to check for any restrictions before applying for jobs.

The Careers Service is not authorised to give any advice on work permits and visas. You can talk to the Visa Team in Student Progress who are happy to help.

You can also read information and advice from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) about working in the UK during your studies.

National Insurance

National Insurance

It's likely that you will be asked to provide your National Insurance (NI) number when applying for jobs. This is your personal account number for working in the UK. It ensures that any National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded.

If you haven’t got a National Insurance number, you can apply for one by phoning the NI number application line on 0800 141 2075

Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, they are currently operating a reduced service. If you are:

  • offered an application form to fill in, you will be able to apply now
  • required to attend an appointment, you will need to wait until face-to-face appointments are available again

Whether you require a face-to-face appointment or not depends on your personal circumstances. In general, applicants from outside of the EU may be offered an application form and EU applicants are usually required to attend an appointment.

You can work in the UK without your NI number, however it is something employers often ask for. If you are currently unable to apply, the NI number application line recommends that you fill in the Prove your right to work to an employer to reassure employers of your eligibility to work in the UK.

Visit for more detailed information.

Finding opportunities

Finding opportunities

Our part-time jobs page offers information and resources to help you find work while you study - see also Opportunities on campus. You can also attend one of our part-time job workshops for international students during September and October. 

See our work experience section for opportunities related to your degree. You can also read guide to job hunting for international students (TARGETjobs).

Our advice about making applications, includes information on equivalence of qualifications and improving English communication skills.


How to find a part-time job in the UK

Our 21 minute presentation on 'How to find a part-time job in the UK' covers:

  • current part-time work regulations and entitlement
  • where to look for jobs you can do while you study
  • schemes we run to help you find part-time jobs

To view the presentation with subtitles, click the cc button in the player. You can also view a full screen version


Work After Studying (UK)

If you are thinking of working in the UK after your studies there are important things you must check.

Working in the UK

Before applying for graduate jobs in the UK, we recommend you consult UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Be sure to check regularly as government regulations are subject to continuous change.

Understanding your visa options

The Careers Service is not authorised to give advice on work permit or visa applications.

The Visa Team offer a range of resources to help you make sense of the available immigration routes into graduate employment, including:

  • a monthly workshop in partnership with the Careers Service, called "Immigration routes into graduate employment"
  • 10 minute video covering the different immigration routes available to international graduates
  • a detailed guide to the Graduate route

Frequently asked questions

You can find answers to international students’ frequently asked questions in the AGCAS Working in the UK guide (PDF: 478KB). This contains useful information on the immigration routes available and how students can explain their immigration status to prospective employers.

Further information on immigration and visas 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is an excellent source of information about Working in the UK after your studies. This includes:

For the most up-to-date visa guidance, go to

Finding opportunities

Finding opportunities

There are many options open to you in finding opportunities to work in the UK after you graduate. 

To get started, see our Graduate jobs and Explore Occupations web pages.

You also have the option to work for yourself after you graduate. Our START UP team can offer advice and support for anyone wanting to develop a business idea in the UK. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for our START UP Visa Endorsement.

International student specific resources 

The resources on our website are for all students to access, regardless of nationality.

There are also schemes and resources which are specifically aimed at or are useful for international students:  

  • Student Circus - only advertises jobs and internships from employers who are registered to sponsor Skilled Worker visas. You can browse opportunities, and sign up for a 30 day free trial to apply for them
  • UKhired - search for UK jobs with visa sponsorship, though not all vacancies are aimed at graduates
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) - three-way partnerships involving a business, a graduate and an academic institution, lasting between 1-3 years. These paid projects require research in specialist areas, and welcome applications from international graduates View current opportunities
  • TARGETjobs - guide to job hunting for international students
  • Prospects - work in the UK 
  • prepare2getahead - career planning guide for Chinese students from The University of Warwick

Register of licensed sponsors

With the Graduate route option, you don’t need to be sponsored by an employer to work in the UK. 

If you’re interested in working in the UK via the Skilled Worker route, you can check the Home Office Register of licensed sponsors to find out if a company is able to sponsor your visa.

When using this register, be aware that organisations may only sponsor:

  • experienced hires, not recent graduates
  • specific roles
  • for some of their offices, not across the UK
  • internal transfers, not new entrants

If an organisation is on the list, it means they have previously, or are currently, sponsoring a migrant worker. It is not necessarily a commitment to sponsor in the future.

If an organisation is not on the list, you could still apply to work for them.

Job search and application tips

Try to start your job search as early as possible. Deadlines for students requiring a sponsored visa are sometimes earlier than general deadlines.

We've produced a 10 minute video on how international students can enhance their chances during the graduate job selection process in the UK.

For more information about equivalence of qualifications and improving English communication skills, see Making applications: international students. 

You could consider including information about sponsorship in your application. For more information, see UK visa sponsorship for employers.

Returning Home

Find information and advice on returning to your home country after your studies.

Covid-19 update

Covid-19 update

You might have questions about how your career plans are being impacted during the Covid-19 crisis, as an international student at a UK university. The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) has put together a Frequently Asked Questions [2.27MB] document to provide you with some answers.

If you require information, advice and guidance from the Careers Service, please log onto MyCareer and submit a query via Resources. Our team will be working to get back to every query as soon as possible.

Returning to your home country

Returning to your home country

Use the following resources for information about finding work in your home country, or worldwide.

How to get started

How to get started

Our 15 minute online masterclass on returning to your home country covers:

  • how to market your international experience
  • how to plan and research international opportunities and recruitment processes
  • what to expect when you return home and how to prepare for this

To view the presentation with subtitles, click the cc button in the player. You can also view a full screen version


Work For Yourself

Talk to our Visa Team for help and advice about your visa conditions and whether you're allowed to set up a business in the UK.

If you are in the UK on a student visa, you're not authorised to work on a self-employed or freelance basis. This means you can’t set up a business while studying.

If you want to develop a business idea in the UK, you may be able to apply for the Start-up visa route. This will enable you to set up a business in the UK after you have graduated.

Visit our Start-up visa endorsement page for further information.


China Career Gateway

Large numbers of Chinese students are studying at UK universities, and in 2020 over 800,000 Chinese students returned to China after studying overseas.

So how can you stand out from the competition?

We've created an exclusive career development programme for Chinese students studying at Newcastle University to help you prepare for the UK and Chinese job markets.

China Career Gateway aims to help you:

  • understand the graduate job market in the UK and China
  • learn how to make effective applications for graduate roles in the UK and China
  • connect with Newcastle University graduates and hear about their experiences in finding employment in the UK and China after university

China Career Gateway 2021/22 will be delivered as a five week programme via Canvas, with new content, quizzes and tasks being released each week from Monday 4 October 2021. The programme is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate Chinese students or students interested in working in China.

You’ll also get the opportunity to join live webinars and WeChat sessions to connect with Chinese alumni and employers. Students who complete the programme will receive Newcastle University’s China Career Gateway certificate.

To register for the programme, please follow this link:

You must be registered as a Newcastle University student in academic year 20201/22 to access the content.

China Career Gateway logo

China Career Gateway online masterclass

You can also watch our 12 minute online masterclass for Chinese students, which covers how to:

  • describe key features of the Chinese graduate labour market
  • sell your Newcastle University experience to a prospective Chinese employer on your CV
  • explain where to search for graduate job opportunities in China

To view the presentation with subtitles, click the cc button in the player. You can also view a full screen version