Working in the UK
If you wish to undertake paid employment while at Oxford, you must ensure that the work does not affect your studies or contradict the conditions of your visa.

Working while studying

If you wish to undertake paid employment while at the University, you must ensure that the work does not affect your studies or contradict the conditions of your visa.

Your right to work

If you hold a student visa you will normally be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and any number of hours during vacations.

To make sure that you are eligible to work, check that the sticker (Entry Clearance or residence permit) in your passport or Biometric Residence Permit states one of the following:

  • work (and any changes) must be authorised
  • able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State
  • work as in Tier 4 rules
  • restricted work (P/T term-time, F/T vacations)
  • restricted work term-time
  • work limited to max 20 hrs per week during term-time
  • work limited to max 10 hrs per week during term-time.

Depending on your course, you may need to seek approval from your tutor or supervisor for employment outside of your studies.

If you are a graduate student you are not considered to be on vacation (and therefore should not work more than 20 hours a week) during any period when you are expected to study or be working on your dissertation / thesis, even if this is outside term time.

If you are a student visa holder you must not take work that is filling a full-time permanent vacancy. Self employment or work as a professional sportsperson or entertainer is not allowed.

You are not permitted to work if the sticker in your passport or Biometric Residence Permit states:

  • no work, or
  • work prohibited

If you do not have a Tier 4 Student visa, but are in the UK as a Student Visitor, you are not permitted to work.

It is a breach of your immigration conditions and a criminal offence to work without permission, or work more than the permitted limit.

Obtaining a National Insurance Number

You must apply for a National Insurance Number (NINo) if you start working in the UK (including any form of teaching at Oxford). A NINo is an individual account number used for recording National Insurance and tax contributions from your pay.

If you are thinking about starting work you can apply for a NINo before you get a job.

To apply for a NINo, call 0845 600 0643. You will be told when and where to attend an appointment, and which documents to bring. Information is available from HM Revenue and Customs.

Dependants of student visa holders

If you have been given permission to stay in the UK for 12 months or more your husband, wife, unmarried partner or civil partner, will normally be given permission to work without restriction.

If your dependant applies for their visa separately rather than applying at the same time as you, you should include copies of the relevant pages in your passport with their application so that the immigration official can see you have been allowed to stay for 12 months or more. Your dependant should check that they do not have a work restriction or prohibition when their visa is granted.