The points based immigration system put into place by the Government in 2008 to control migration into the UK included several criteria that must be met before an individual was able to take up work in the UK.

The system is constantly under review and consequently the criteria required to ‘pass the test’ and continually changing. From 4th July 2011, further restrictions were placed on the employment of overseas students.

Read more to find out exactly what has changed.

For applications made on or after 4th July 2011, the Government placed further restrictions on the employment of foreign students entering the UK under Tier 4 of the points based immigration system.

Individuals entering Tier 4 are sponsored by an education establishment to come to the UK to study. Although these individuals may be allowed to work in the UK, there are certain restrictions on the hours of work they can do in any one week.

Tighter restrictions have now been placed on their work, with the effect that such individuals will not be granted permission to work in the UK if he or she is studying at an institution which is neither publically funded nor has UK degree awarding powers.

This means that employers should be aware that an individual who has entered the UK under Tier 4 does not have permission to work in the UK unless on the following terms:

• If the student is doing a course of degree level and is sponsored by either:

i. a Recognised Body (ie an institution with UK degree-awarding powers); or
ii. a body in receipt of public funding as a higher education institution from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council or the Department of Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland; or
iii. an overseas higher education institution to undertake a short-term Study Abroad Programme in the UK

then he/she may work for no more than 20 hours of work per week during term time (this upper cap does not apply during non-term time)

• If the student is following a course of below degree level study and is sponsored by either:

i. a Recognised Body (ie an institution with UK degree awarding powers); or
ii. a body in receipt of public funding as a higher education institution from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council or the Department of Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland

then he/she may work for no more than 10 hours per week (this upper cap does not apply during non-term time)

• if the student is following a course of study at any academic level and is sponsored by a publicly funded further education college they may work for no more than 10 hours per week (this upper cap does not apply during non-term time).

If the student does not fit into any of the above categories, (i.e. is studying at a privately funded college) they are not entitled to work in the UK.

For more information on employing overseas students please contact Peninsula’s 24/7 Advice Service on
0844 892 2772.