Working on a student visa after study

Information about working after your studies on a Tier 4 or Student Visa.


The following advice has been revised from 15 November 2023. This follows UKVI clarification about when they will consider a student to have completed their course.


If your Tier 4 Student Visa remains valid once you’ve completed your course you can work full-time, within the following limits:

  • You cannot fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme)
  • You cannot be self-employed
  • You cannot be employed as a professional sportsperson, coach or entertainer
  • You can work unlimited hours once you’re considered to have completed your course, but not in a permanent role.

Most students will be granted four months 'wrap up' time after the end of their course. This is usually the course end date as stated in your last CAS. For most students this will be the same as your course end date on your student record. You’re allowed to work during this time as it’s considered vacation time.

You can get a letter from SSiD which will confirm your official course end date which you can use to prove your right to work full time to employers.

When will you be considered to have completed your studies

  • For PhD students, course completion means you have submitted your final E copy of your thesis after corrections.
  • For Masters students, this will be the official course end date as per your last CAS. This is normally the registration end date as shown on your official student status certificate. It is not the date you submit your final dissertation, which could be sooner.
  • For Undergraduate students this will be the official course end date as per your last CAS. This is normally the registration end date as shown on your official student status certificate.

An employer's guide to right to work checks also confirms your right to work after you have completed your course. This can be useful to refer to if employers are unsure about your right to work.

Repeating studies

If you later fail your exams and are repeating any modules or coursework during the wrap up period, you will be a term-time student and you should only work 20 hours per week.

If you are working, you should inform your employer as soon as possible, as you will no longer have the right to work on a full time basis.

If you complete your course early

If you complete your course early we have to report this to UKVI. This could result in your visa being curtailed to 4 months after the new course end date.

You should work for a maximum of 4 months after the completion of your course or until the end of your student Visa, whichever comes soonest.

The University can only report early completion when you have completed all academic studies and received your official results. We will inform you by email if we are doing this and you can start full-time work from that point.

Taking a permanent role

You cannot start a full-time permanent role whilst holding a Student visa.

You may be able to start work full time for an employer in a permanent role if you’ve completed your degree and have made a Skilled Worker visa application. Check with your employer/sponsor.

Course completion in this scenario means the official course end date as per your CAS.

PhD students can apply for a skilled worker visa after 24 months of study but should only start working full time for the sponsor when the Skilled worker has been granted

If your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022, you can also start work full time in a permanent role if you have:

Successful completion is the date that you receive your official results not the course completion date.

If your student visa was granted before 6 April 2022, you must not start full-time work until your Graduate Route visa has been granted.

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Information for students

The Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) answers a range of general student related enquiries