Can I work while studying in the UK?
Following the 2016 European Union (EU) membership referendum in the UK, on 29 March 2017 the UK provided notice to the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. At the time of writing (in March 2019), the date and terms of the UK’s departure from the EU have not yet been finalised. Therefore, please note that the guidance below reflects the law as it applies before the UK’s departure from the EU.
Whether you can work in the UK while you are studying depends on what country you are from and your immigration status. It can be a complex area and so you should seek advice for your specific circumstances. The following applies as a general rule.
- If you are from a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can work in the UK while studying and do not normally need permission to work in the UK. You need your passport or identity card, and may need to show this to your employer as proof of identity.
- If you are from outside of the EEA – the position varies from country to country. We recommend consulting the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs to check the position for the country you have come to the UK from.
The UK earnings of international students will, except in rare circumstances, be taxable in the UK, whether they are from part-time jobs in the UK during term time or a full-time job during the vacation.
Whether or not you actually pay tax, and at what rate, will depend on how much income you have and whether or not you are eligible for the personal allowance.
The tax rules applicable to the earnings of students are set out in the working section of this website.
Some double taxation agreements may provide that small amounts of UK income are exempt from tax for certain students. The only way to check is to examine the particular agreement for the country concerned. The current double taxation agreements are listed on GOV.UK.