Understanding Work Rights for Indian Students
29th Oct 2023
Manisha Sharma

Understanding Work Rights for Indian Students in the UK

The UK presents immense working opportunities, so it's essential to remain informed and guided. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you better understand the working Rights of Indian Students in the UK.

As globalisation permeates education, there's a marked increase in Indian students venturing abroad for advanced academic pursuits. Notably, the UK has emerged as a prominent destination.

The attractions are clear: access to top-tier universities, rich cultural immersion, and global exposure. Notably, the UK's education system allows students to tailor their degrees by combining courses from different areas, catering to individual interests and needs.

Many Indian students in the UK want to gain international work experience during their academic stint. Therefore, understanding the nation’s working rights is crucial.

This blog will explore these rights and their implications for Indian students.

Working Rights for Indian Students in the UK

International students, including those from India, seeking educational opportunities in the UK often look forward to working alongside their studies. However, the type and terms of work they can undertake are determined by the type of student visa they hold. Here’s a brief overview:

1. Tier 4 (General) Student Visa:

Indian students on full-time degree-level courses from the best university in the United Kingdom holding a Student visa can work in the UK, but there are some restrictions based on the course level and the type of sponsoring institution. Here’s a brief overview:

Work Limitation During Term: Students on a Tier 4 (General) visa can work up to 20 hours per week during academic terms.

Vacation Periods: Students can work full-time during official university breaks without hour restrictions. However, after course completion, students are officially on 'vacation' status and can work up to 4 months or until their Student visa expires. To take a permanent full-time job post-study, a visa status change is required.

Types of Employment: Indian students in the UK can undertake various jobs but with limitations. On a student visa, they can't have a permanent contract, be self-employed, establish a business, or work as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.

2. Student Route Visa:

Although this new approach is more simplified and transparent about work licenses and post-study employment options, the basic working privileges are still comparable to those of the Tier 4 visa.

Introduction: In October 2020, the UK replaced the Tier 4 visa with the Student Route visa as part of its new points-based immigration system. Work Permissions: The fundamental employment rights afforded to students under the Tier 4 visa continue to apply, including the opportunity to work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during holidays.

Clarity: By providing more precise rules for working while taking classes, this way makes it simpler for employers and Indian students in the UK to comprehend the terms.

3. Graduate Route (Post-Study Work Visa):

Introduction: Launched on 17th July 2023, the Graduate Route has significantly enhanced post-study work opportunities for international students. Duration: The visa extension enables Indian students to stay in the UK for two to three years after graduation, giving them the opportunity to gain experience and look for a job. After completing their studies, graduates with a bachelor's or master's degree can work or look for a job for two years, while doctoral students have a three-year window.

Eligibility: To be eligible, students studying from the best university in the United Kingdom must have completed a course of study at the undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance.


**No Sponsorship Needed: **They no longer need a specific employer sponsorship, offering them the freedom to explore various sectors. Flexibility: The ability to switch roles, try diverse sectors, and even kick-start their ventures.

It’s a win-win situation. International students play a crucial role in contributing to the nation's academic and cultural diversity, and these visa provisions aim to enhance their experience while offering them avenues for professional growth. However, for the latest and most accurate information on visa regulations and rights, Indian students in the UK must always refer to the official UK government website or seek advice from legal professionals.

Guidelines and Support

Work Limits: Abide by the stipulated weekly work hours. Overstepping these limits may lead to severe consequences, including deportation.

Understand Your Rights: The UK has robust labour laws. Familiarize yourself with these to ensure that your rights as a worker are upheld and you're not subjected to exploitation.

Engage with Career Services: UK's top universities boast efficient career services departments. Leveraging these services can lead to opportunities in internships, part-time jobs, and, ultimately, full-time roles.

Consult overseas education professionals: For prospective students in India contemplating UK education, consulting with study abroad consultants can be incredibly beneficial. These consultants provide:

  1. University Selection Assistance: If you're targeting a premier UK university, these experts can help align your academic and career aspirations with the right institution.
  2. Visa Counselling: Stay updated and compliant with the UK's visa regulations. These professionals offer accurate advice, ensuring your stay, work, and study experiences are seamless.
  3. Career Counselling: The post-study landscape in the UK brims with opportunities. With proper guidance, you can secure roles that resonate with your career goals.


The UK, with its esteemed educational institutions and vibrant job market, is a top destination for Indian students. As such a student, understanding your work rights can enrich your UK experience, combining academic insights with practical exposure and career development.

Leveraging the expertise of study abroad consultants like Azent can simplify your journey. They provide updated information on visa regulations and help students navigate the UK job market while ensuring visa compliance.

Still, if you have any questions about working rights in the UK, please contact our team.

Start your 1:1 Counselling with Experts at Azent

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