Careers Service

International Students

Working 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

Everyone who works in the UK needs a National Insurance (NI) number. This ensures that any National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded.

To apply, phone the NI number application line on 0800 141 2075. They will either post you an application form, or arrange a brief interview with you.

We recommend applying for your NI number as soon as you start to look for work. 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. 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.


Working on Campus

Many international students work for Newcastle University while studying.

Working for Newcastle University with a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you are an international student with a Tier 4 (General) study visa, there are very strict conditions affecting any work you undertake while studying in the UK. These conditions cover both paid work and unpaid work.

Students on a Tier 4 (General) visa can only work for Newcastle University via one of three routes at a time:

If you are a Tier 4 (General) visa holder and work on campus, you need to:

  • only work one role at a time, via the routes set out above
  • ensure that you do not work more than your visa allows during term-time, either 10 or 20 hours per week - term dates differ for undergraduate and postgraduate taught and research courses, make sure you’re aware of these dates
  • provide the university with your visa and/or biometric registration card to confirm your right to work in the UK - you need to do this before starting work
  • respond to weekly emails from your manager about planned working hours
  • make your manager aware of any other paid or unpaid work you are undertaking off campus

Find out more

The Visa Team in Student Progress offer further visa-specific information and guidance on working while studying.

Visit our working while studying page for more information about working in the UK during your degree. 

If you have questions about working on campus with your Tier 4 (General) study visa, please get in touch.  

Working After Studying

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.

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

The Visa Team provides information about the main immigration routes available to international students. They hold a workshop every month, in partnership with the Careers Service, called "Immigration routes into graduate employment for international students". 

More general information on immigration, visas and work permits can be found at:

Finding opportunities

Finding opportunities

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

See Graduate jobs for where and how to look for opportunities, and our Sector-specific Information.

TARGETjobs and Prospects both offer guides to job hunting in the UK for international students.

The University of Warwick have produced prepare2getahead a career planning guide for Chinese students. 

You can also read our information about making applications, including equivalence of qualifications and improving English communication skills.

Register of licensed sponsors 

The Home Office has produced a register of licensed sponsors (PDF: 2.56MB) to employ migrant workers. You can use this list to check if a company is able to sponsor your visa.

If you’re using the register of licensed sponsors to check organisations be aware they 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. The employer may be willing to become a registered sponsor to hire you, if you are the best candidate for the job.

You could consider including information about sponsorship in your application. For more information, see:

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.



Starting a Business

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 Tier 4 visa you are 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 Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) visa. This will enable you to set up a business in the UK after you have graduated.

Visit our international entrepreneurs page for further information.