Regulations for international students
Working in the UK
If you are an international student and not from the European Economic Area
(EEA), it is important to check what your passport sticker (entry clearance or
residence permit) or identity card says before seeking employment.
If you are able to work whilst you are studying in the UK, the hours and type
of work you are able to do will be restricted.
Eligibility to work
If you have a Tier 4 visa the amount of hours you can work will be restricted
during term time and you must ensure you know what term time means for you, paid
or unpaid work counts towards this 7 day rolling limit. You won’t be able to be
self-employed, engage in business activity, a professional sportsperson
including a sports coach, an entertainer, take a permanent full-time job or work
as a doctor or dentist in training. Your employer will need a letter from the
University to help prove your right to work. Breaching the conditions of your
visa is an offence and has very serious consequences.
Short-term students cannot do any type of work in the UK including unpaid
work and work placements as part of a course.
Please read the information on
immigration pages to find out more including, how to obtain a letter from
the University for your employer and how to seek further advice from our
International Services Team.
If you have a non-student visa check your eligibility to work in the UK
Home Office website.
National Insurance Number
To apply for a National Insurance number, you need to contact Jobcentre
National Insurance Number Allocation Service
Telephone 0345 6000 643 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am -
You will be advised to either:
- complete and return the Fastpath Application Form
- attend an interview at a Jobcentre Plus office
The closest Jobcentre Plus office which handles National Insurance Number
applications to both our Colchester and Southend Campuses is Gemini House, 88
New London Road, Chelmsford CM2 0PD.
The International Students'
Association, part of the Students' Union, arrange National Insurance number
interviews at our Colchester Campus at various points in the year.
Applying for work
Many international students face challenges in explaining the qualifications
they have obtained to UK employers. We offer a useful guide on
international qualifications (.pdf).
National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC)
provide a service whereby you can apply for a Statement
of Comparability, for a small fee, which would provide
suitable clarification about your previous
qualifications when making work applications.
Further advice and information
Working outside the UK
Make use of our information and
resources for job seeking outside the UK.