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Information for managers of Student (Tier 4) students

Under current immigration rules Student (Tier 4) visa holders can work up to 20 hours a week in term time (or 10 hours if they are on a foundation course) and full time in vacation time. The hours will be detailed on their visa.

Vacation time

What counts as vacation time for postgraduate taught students and postgraduate taught research in the UKVI regulations is less clear than it is for undergraduate students. The University of Exeter has outlined our in house guidance to ensure that we are giving students a clear steer on the balance of dedicated time to enable them to study (their primary focus of being in the UK) and the freedom to support themselves during these years.

To ensure consistency across the University, these explanations to our students are the ones used by both Student Services and People Services. The University of Exeter guidance is outlined in the International Student pages. Please do take the time to read them.

Working hours and term dates

While the hours stated on their visa are obviously the UKVI limits for that student, the University strongly advises that students work no more than 15 hours per week (undergraduate) and 6 hours per week (postgraduate – full time), as extra work may adversely affect their studies.

We understand that these two factors can cause confusion as to when a student may have breached their working visa conditions and when the University needs to report this.

For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to clearly set out that provided students (UG,PGT and PGR) do not work more than the hours stated on their visa (for most this is 20 hours but it is important to check) there is no breach of visa conditions and therefore no report will be submitted to UKVI. However, any working above the hours stated on their visa in term time is a breach which will be reported. This is likely to have serious repercussions for both the student and the University and must always be avoided.

It is really important that all term time dates are noted: even where a student finishes their exams earlier than the end of term they must not work more than term time hours until the beginning of the vacation.

If you have any questions please contact BEFORE the student carries out the work.