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Information for Student/Tier 4 visa workers

Understand the restrictions of your Student/Tier 4 visa so you can work in accordance with the terms of your visa.


Student/Tier 4 working

Students with a Student/Tier 4 Visa are subject to working restrictions. It is the responsibility of both the manager and the student to ensure all work is carried out within the terms of the visa. Visa compliance is essential and takes precedence over any work commitments.

To help managers and Student/Tier 4 visa students work in accordance with the terms of their visa, we have an online Student/Tier 4 booking system in place.

Working restrictions

The majority of Student/Tier 4 visa students at the University of Bath are limited to a total of 20 hours of work per week outside of 'vacation time'.

However, for Pre-Sessional students under Student/Tier 4, the limit is a maximum of 10 hours per week outside of vacation time.

Restrictions apply to all working and voluntary working commitments.

The restriction on hours is an absolute maximum on the amount of work that can be done, which cannot be exceeded.

The restriction on hours is on the visa holder and applies to all roles. For example, if the student is restricted to 20 hours and has two positions of Casual Invigilator and Casual Demonstrator, they could do up to 20 hours across both roles, but not 20 hours in each role.


Vacation time will depend on whether the student is undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research.


Vacation time is the non-semester periods of the University calendar.

Postgraduates (Taught)

Until the end of Semester 2, vacation time is the same as it is for undergraduates.

Postgraduates (Research)

Vacation time is five weeks over the course of a year, from September to August (plus Bank Holidays and University closure days). Vacation must be agreed with the supervisor.

Students can work full-time during vacation time that has been agreed with their supervisor and authorised using the authorised absence form available on SAMIS online. The student must submit a request under the ‘vacation’ category.

Students can request a longer period of vacation in between submitting their thesis and completing their viva, but this must be authorised by their Director of Studies using the authorised absence form available on SAMIS online. The student must submit a request under the ‘post submission’ category.

During vacation time, students can work up to full-time hours (36.5 per week in the University) each week. However, everyone is encouraged to use vacation time, as part of a positive work-life balance.

Course status

Course status also affects the working hours restrictions. If studies are suspended, there is no entitlement to work.

Completion of course

A student is still limited to the working hours detailed on their visa even if they finish studies early. They cannot start a full-time role until after their official completion date on SAMIS.

Early completion of course

If a student completes their course early, their visa will be curtailed. They can work full-time after their new course end date for the amount of time they were given after their course end date on their original visa. This is usually four months, or six months for one year Masters students taking part in the Tier 4 pilot scheme.

For postgraduate taught students, a student cannot work full-time until their official end date on SAMIS. If a student submits their thesis early, they are not permitted to work full-time until their actual course end date.

For postgraduate research students, once a thesis is submitted the individual can work without restriction until the date of their viva. After this date, the restriction on working hours will be applied again.

Prohibited, restricted and unrestricted work

A Student or Tier 4 visa prohibits certain types of work (such as self-employment, business activity, paid sportsperson, sports coaching) and restricts other part-time work to a certain amount of hours per week. See the list of examples of work restrictions.

For prohibited work – both paid and unpaid – managers must ensure students are clearly told that the position is prohibited by Student/Tier 4 visa conditions.

For any restricted work – both paid and unpaid – managers must ensure that students are made aware of the limitations of their Student/Tier 4 visa conditions and signposted to the relevant webpage guidance.

Where the University is not the employer, but is instrumental in the student doing the work (such as providing a location to sell goods or advertising a voluntary work position), students should be clearly told whether the activity or work is permitted or restricted by their visa conditions. Managers must ensure that students are made aware of the limitations of their visa conditions and signposted to the relevant webpage guidance.

If you have any concerns or questions around work restrictions, please email as a matter of urgency before starting the work.

Working after your studies

Find out more about what work visas are available for international students after you graduate.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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