MUB: Can I work while studying in the UK?

November 10th, 2005 · No Comments

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A common question many have is whether or not American students are able to work in the UK while studying. The answer is yes, but you have to jump through a couple hoops first.

The British Government, in most circumstances, will allow foreign students to work up to 20 hours per week while taking full-time classes and 40 hours per week during holiday breaks. However, you have to ensure you get a “Code 2” stamp in your passport from your immigrations officer when you enter the country.

If you are applying for a student visa (your entry clearance document), you can indicate on your application that you intend to work while studying and then make sure you get the “Code 2” stamp upon entry.

If you are not applying for a student visa because you will be in the UK for less than six months (most semester abroad programs), you MUST have proof that you will be attending an educational institution to show your immigrations officer. When I did a semester abroad with Syracuse University, they provided letters for those students who wanted to work, stating that they were students and fully enrolled in SU’s London Program.

The correct “Code 2” stamp will state, “No recourse to public funds. Work (and any changes) must be authorised.” This simply means you can work and/or intern wherever you please, but only up to 20 hours per week.

If your stamp says, “Work is prohibited,” you’re screwed.

If you wanted some good advice: have enough money/cash/loans/mom’s credit cards so you don’t have to work. It’s easier on yourself. You’re there to have fun, after all. The only reason I got the stamp was for an internship at a music pr firm. It was worth my time spent.

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