Other Visa Routes

Below is information on other routes by which an individual can work in the UK.

Frontier Worker Permit

The application system opened on 10 December 2020, Frontier Workers have until 30 June 2021 to apply.
European citizens who live outside the UK but have been travelling back and forth to work here before 31 December 2020 may be 'Frontier Workers'. They can now apply for a 'Frontier Worker permit' to evidence their right to continue working in this way.

Frontier Workers can still travel to the UK as normal until 30 June 2021 but will need to have applied for and been granted a 'Frontier Worker permit' to enter the UK to work from 1 July 2021 onwards. A digital permit will be issued rather than a physical document. It will be valid for 5 years, or 2 years for retained rights if they are currently not working, and can be extended as long as work in the UK is continuing.

There is no application fee and the application can be made from inside or outside the UK, but there are specific requirements including that they must not spend more than 180 days in the UK in any 12-month period, and the work they carry out in the UK must be 'genuine and effective'.

Please visit the Government guidance on frontier worker permits.

PBS Dependants

Family members of Global Talent, Skilled Worker, Student/ Tier 4, and Tier 5 visa holders can apply for a Dependant visa. The only restrictions on employment for Dependant visa holders is that they cannot undertake work as a doctor or dentist in training, a professional sportsperson, or a sports coach.

It is possible to switch out of a Dependant visa into another visa route from within the UK. It is also possible to switch from most visa routes to a Dependant visa from within the UK (but not from a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, or Domestic Worker visa or a visa granted Outside the Immigration Rules).

Please visit the Government guidance on PBS dependants.

Working in the UK while Studying

Information for Student/Tier 4 visa holders wishing to undertake casual/part-time work at the University while studying.

Students  may wish to take on part-time work to meet new friends and earn extra money while studying in the UK, however as an international or EU student there are some important rules and regulations to be aware of.

The Student visa replaced the previous Tier 4 visa in October 2020.  The student route is very similar to the Tier 4 system but now includes EU/EEA and Swiss nationals starting study on or after 1 January 2021 who have not applied under the EU Settlement Scheme. Current Tier 4 visa holders do not need to take any action and their Tier 4 visa conditions remain the same. Any further application for study would be under the new student route.

Most international students studying for more than six months are given student visas allowing them to work part-time. This means up to 20 hours work a week during term time and full-time work during your vacation periods. Students on a part time part time University course are not eligible to work.

NHS Surcharge Rebate

When applying for the NHS Surcharge rebate, students are to declare their intention to work or not when applying for their visa, please note if students have applied for the NHS Surcharge rebate they are not entitled to work.

European students

If you have obtained 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the UK's EU Settlement Scheme, then you can live, study and work in the UK freely with this immigration status, and you will not require a student visa. The EU Settlement Scheme was available to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by the end of 2020. Applications for the scheme closed on 30 June 2021.  If you do not have settled or pre-settled status, you will require a student visa during your studies.

Irish nationals have the right to live and work in the UK, under the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area arrangements. Irish students will not need to apply for a student visa or the graduate immigration route.

Working after your studies

In some cases, students can stay in the UK after completing a degree course and take on paid employment. The UK launched a new graduate immigration route in 2021 (also known as the 'post-study work visa'). This will allow international students to work in the UK for up to two years after their degree (three years for PhD students), please click on the link for further information: https://www.gov.uk/graduate-visa

Employing Student/Tier 4 student visa holders

Please note that most student visa holders are restricted to work on a fixed basis for up to 20 hours per week. Before employing a student, recruiters must ask them to complete the Student Employment Declaration form to check whether they are working for another employer and whether their visa permits them to work full time outside term. 

Where a Student/Tier 4 visa holder is applying to switch into Skilled Worker, they are permitted to start work during their application for a Skilled Worker visa.


Please visit the Government guidance on student visas.

Other visa routes

There are a variety of other routes through which you can gain the right to work in the UK. However, gaining a visa through one of these other routes is contingent upon an individual having strong links with the UK, either through family, ancestry or due to the length of time already lived in the UK.

Please visit the Government guidance on other visa routes.

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