What Happens If I Work Over 20 Hours on a Student Visa UK?
In this article, we will show you how to apply, what you will need and what you can and cannot do once you are in the UK on a student visa. We will also discuss what may happen if you do not follow all the rules like only working for 20 hours a week.
Who can apply for a Student visa?
Firstly you will need to be 16 years older or over, apart from this you will be eligible to apply for a Student visa if:
- You have had a place on a course offered to you by a licensed student sponsor.
- You can read, write and speak English.
- You have enough money so that you can pay for your course and support yourself throughout your studies – the amount can be different depending on your personal circumstances.
- If you are 16 or 17 you must have consent from your parents. Evidence for this will be required in the application process.
If you are 16 or 17 and are wanting to study in the UK at an independent school you could be eligible for a Child Student visa instead so make sure to check out both so you will be sure which one will work best for you.
What can you do and what can’t you do on a Student visa?
Whilst living in the UK on a Student visa there are certain things that you are permitted to do and some that you are not.
- Work as a student union sabbatical officer.
- Depending on what you are studying and whether or not you would be working in or outside of term time you might be able to work.
- Work in certain job roles such as sports coach or professional sportsperson.
- Work as self-employed.
- Claim any public funds like pensions or benefits.
- Study at a local authority-funded school or an academy.
- Work more than 20 hours a week.
You cannot work over 20 hours a week in any capacity. Whether it is paid or voluntary it counts as working and will be part of your 20 hours every week. This applies during term time.
A week is defined by the Home Office as being 7 days long starting with a Monday. Your specific university may have more rules about working so make sure you double check those too.
How much does it cost?
The application process fee will be different depending on where you applying for your visa and your circumstances. If you are applying to extend or switch your Student visa the fee is £490. If you are applying for a Student visa from outside the UK the fee is £363.
You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge. This cost can vary depending on the length of your visa. Make sure you know what your healthcare surcharge will be so you are prepared.
Financially supporting yourself
Another step in the application process is proving that you can financially support yourself through your course and pay tuition fees. You will need to demonstrate that you can pay for 1 academic year (up to 9 months) of your course, you can find this amount on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.
For this, you will need to know about the 28-day rule.
The amount you will need to prove that you can support yourself varies depending on where exactly you are going to be studying.
- If you are studying in London you will need £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months).
- If you are studying outside of London you will need £1,023 per month.
- If you are going to be boarding at a residential independent school you will need to pay for boarding fees instead and this amount will be found on your CAS.
There are some circumstances where you may not be required to prove that you have enough money to support yourself. Ensure you check out gov.uk/student so that you will know if this applies to your circumstances or not.
How long does it take to get a Student Visa?
When the Home Office assess your application it should take around 3 weeks to hear back with their decision.
If you live in the UK the earliest that you can apply for a Student visa is 3 months before your course is due to start. If you are applying from outside the UK you can apply up to 6 months before your course begins. You should receive a decision within 8 weeks.
You must ensure that you apply before the expiration of your current visa and your new course has to start within 28 days of your current visa expiration.
You should aim to have all of the documentation you need about 3 months before you begin your application so that you can ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork that you are going to need.
What documents do you need in the application process?
There are a few different documents that are required of you to apply, these include the following:
- A (CAS) Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies – this is your proof that you have been offered a place on a course by a licenced sponsor.
- Your current passport – or another valid travel document.
- Proof of your ability to pay for your course and financially support yourself for the duration of the course.
- If your course and nationality require it you may need a valid ATAS certificate.
- If you are under 18 you will need proof of parental consent or consent from a legal guardian.
- If you are under 18 you will also need proof of your relationship with your legal guardian or parent.
- Tuberculosis test results (which must be negative) if they are required of you. Check out this page to find out if this applies to you.
- If you have received sponsorship for your course fee and or living costs in the last 12 months you will need written consent from your financial sponsor.
Knowledge of English
The level of English that you can read wrote and speak depends on what level of study your course is. The level of English is measured using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
If the course that you are studying is degree level or above you will need an equivalent to CEFR level B2.
If the course that you are studying is below degree level then you will need an equivalent to CEFR level B1.
How long can you stay in the UK on a Student Visa?
There is, like with most visas, a time limit to how long you can stay in the UK on your Student visa. The length of time that your visa allows you to stay will vary depending on what your course is, how long it lasts and if and what study you have already completed in the UK.
Generally, if your course is at degree level and you are 18 years old or over you will be able to stay for up to 5 years. If it is below degree level you are normally able to stay for up to 2 years.
You of course may be able to stay longer by extending your visa or switching it for a different one. If you are eligible you may be able to switch to a Graduate visa and stay in the UK for at least 2 years after finishing your course.
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