Working on a visa in the UK

Important information on working during and after your studies

It's important to understand what work you are able to do in the UK if you have a visa.

Working on a Student visa - Undergraduate Students

When can I work as an Undergraduate student?

Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work.  If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students. A week is Monday to Sunday.

  • full time work is permitted during official vacations - this does not include reading weeks or any time between your last exam and the start of a vacation. Full time is defined by your employer.

  • you cannot take a permanent contract unless your  have applied for the Skilled Worker visa  or your was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have an application in place for a Graduate Route.

These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

When is 'vacation time'?

IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.

All students can work full time during the Winter and Spring breaks. Undergraduate students also benefit from an official summer vacation between academic years, which starts at the official end of term. 

What type of work can I do as an undergraduate student?

There are restrictions on the type of work you are able to undertake on a Student visa for a full time programme. These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

  • no self-employment or business activity (including freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder or if the company is not based in the UK). You can usually tell if you are self-employed if you have to invoice the employer to receive payment or you are required to calculate your tax and report this to HMRC. 

    If you have a formal contract of employment, your taxes will be deducted from your salary under "Pay as You Earn". Do not assume that because you have to submit a self-assessment in your home country, that the system is the same in the UK.  If you are self-assessing your tax payments, you are self-employed.

    You can find out more about paying taxes in the UK on the UKCISA web pages or in the international student section of the Tax Guide for Students.

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) 

  • no work as a professional entertainer

  • no permanent, full time work unless you have applied under the Skilled Worker Route or if your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have applied for the Graduate Route.

Unlike in some other countries, you are not restricted to only working on campus or in 'student' vacancies. However, you must ensure you are not working in one of the areas which are not permitted on your visa.

UKCISA have produced a helpful blog on working in the UK including gig-economy positions and working remotely for an overseas employer.

The working conditions apply even if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work (check you have the right working conditions on your visa).

If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources will complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your student visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

BSc Actuarial Science students on the work placement route

BSc Actuarial Science students who will be undertaking a work placement as part of their degree must contact the Student Advice and Engagament Team directly for advice on their individual circumstances.

LSE Careers Internships for Undergraduate Students

If you have been selected by LSE Careers to take part in a Micro-internship, you will need to have a valid visa that allows you to work in the UK for example a Tier Student visa.

All students will need to evidence their right to work in the UK either to the employer or to LSE (details to be confirmed).  Therefore, if the internship requires you to be in the UK, you will need to ensure you have immigration permission allowing you to work.  Students returning for the exam period on a Standard Visitor visa are not permitted to work in the UK as no work is allowed on this visa.

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid/unpaid work.  To avoid any problems, you should not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre.

If your employer asks you to work additional hours beyond your contract but within the same week and says that it is 'volunteering', this is often not the case.  It is unpaid work and counts towards your 20 hour limit per week.  You should not 'volunteer' to do excess hours without being paid as this is likely to be a breach of your visa conditions, as you will be completing unpaid work.

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Enrolment will confirm this information for your employer. 

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK to provide them with a statutory excuse. However, the Certificate of Enrolment includes all the required information for your individual circumstances.  

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

Working on a Student visa - General Course Students

When can I work as a General Course student?

Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work.  If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students. A week is Monday to Sunday.
  • full time work is permitted during official vacations - this does not include reading weeks or any time between your last exam and the start of a vacation. Full time is defined by your employer.
  • you cannot take a permanent contract unless your  have applied for the Skilled Worker visa  or your was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have an application in place for a Graduate Route.

These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

When is 'vacation time'?

IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.

All students can work full time during the Winter and Spring breaks. The additional time at the end of your visa, after your official programme end date, is also considered as vacation by the Home Office. You can work full time during this period as it is considered outside of term-time.  However, you will be unable to extend your visa for any employment that exceeds the length of your visa unless you have further studies.

What type of work can I do as a General Course student?

There are restrictions on the type of work you are able to undertake on a Student visa for a full time programme. These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

  • no self-employment or business activity (including freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder or if the company is not based in the UK). You can usually tell if you are self-employed if you have to invoice the employer to receive payment or you are required to calculate your tax and report this to HMRC. 

    If you have a formal contract of employment, your taxes will be deducted from your salary under "Pay as You Earn". Do not assume that because you have to submit a self-assessment in your home country, that the system is the same in the UK.  If you are self-assessing your tax payments, you are self-employed.

    You can find out more about paying taxes in the UK on the UKCISA web pages or in the international student section of the Tax Guide for Students.

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) 

  • no work as a professional entertainer

  • no permanent, full time work unless you have applied under the Skilled Worker Route or if your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have applied for the Graduate Route.

Unlike in some other countries, you are not restricted to only working on campus or in 'student' vacancies. However, you must ensure you are not working in one of the areas which are not permitted on your visa.

UKCISA have produced a helpful blog on working in the UK including gig-economy positions and working remotely for an overseas employer.

The working conditions apply even if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work (check you have the right working conditions on your visa).

If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources will complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your student visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid/unpaid work.  To avoid any problems, you should not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre.

If your employer asks you to work additional hours beyond your contract but within the same week and says that it is 'volunteering', this is often not the case.  It is unpaid work and counts towards your 20 hour limit per week.  You should not 'volunteer' to do excess hours without being paid as this is likely to be a breach of your visa conditions as you will be completing unpaid work.

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Enrolment will confirm this information for your employer. 

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK to give them a statutory excuse. However, the Certificate of Enrolment includes all the required information for your individual circumstances.  

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

Working on a Student visa - 9/10 month MSc and Diploma Students

How do I know if I am a 9/10 month MSc or Diploma Student

9/10 month MSc and Diploma students official programme end date is usually the last day of Summer Term in June and you do not have a dissertation to submit after this date.  

When can I work as a 9/10 month MSc and Diploma student?

Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work.  If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students. Please note that if you are initially here on a visa for a Language Centre/Summer School pre-sessional programme, you will only be able to work a maximum of 10 hours until you have obtained your visa for your main degree.

  • Full time work is permitted during official vacations - this does not include reading weeks or any time between your last exam and the start of a vacation. Full time is defined by your employer.

  • you cannot take a permanent contract unless your  have applied for the Skilled Worker visa  or your was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have an application in place for a Graduate Route.

These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

When is 'vacation time'?

IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.

All students can work full time during the Winter and Spring breaks. The additional time at the end of your visa, after your official programme end date, is also considered as vacation by the Home Office. You can work full time during this period as it is considered outside of term-time. 

You will be unable to extend your Student visa for any employment that exceeds the length of your visa unless you are a Department of Finance student who has transferred onto the Work Placement Pathway to complete a work placement in the UK.  Most students opt for the Graduate Route or are able to find sponsorship under the Skilled Worker, especially as the majority will be able to take a permanent position once their application is in place.

What type of work can I do as a 9/10 month MSc and Diploma student?

There are restrictions on the type of work you are able to undertake on a Student visa for a full time programme. These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

  • no self-employment or business activity (including freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder or if the company is not based in the UK). You can usually tell if you are self-employed if you have to invoice the employer to receive payment or you are required to calculate your tax and report this to HMRC. 

    If you have a formal contract of employment, your taxes will be deducted from your salary under "Pay as You Earn". Do not assume that because you have to submit a self-assessment in your home country, that the system is the same in the UK.  If you are self-assessing your tax payments, you are self-employed.

    You can find out more about paying taxes in the UK on the UKCISA web pages or in the international student section of the Tax Guide for Students.

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) 

  • no work as a professional entertainer

  • no permanent, full time work unless you have applied under the Skilled Worker Route or if your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have applied for the Graduate Route.

Unlike in some other countries, you are not restricted to only working on campus or in 'student' vacancies. However, you must ensure you are not working in one of the areas which are not permitted on your visa.

UKCISA have produced a helpful blog on working in the UK including gig-economy positions and working remotely for an overseas employer.

The working conditions apply even if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work (check you have the right working conditions on your visa).

If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources will complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your student visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid/unpaid work.  To avoid any problems, you should not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre.

If your employer asks you to work additional hours beyond your contract but within the same week and says that it is 'volunteering', this is often not the case.  It is unpaid work and counts towards your 20 hour limit per week.  You should not 'volunteer' to do excess hours without being paid as this is likely to be a breach of your visa conditions as you will be completing unpaid work.

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker. 

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Enrolment will confirm this information for your employer. 

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK to provide them with a statutory excuse. However, the Certificate of Enrolment includes all the required information for your individual circumstances.  

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

Working on a Student visa - 12 month Masters Students

Am I a 12 month Masters Student?

Most students studying at Masters level at LSE are a 12 month Masters student.  The length of your programme is based on your official programme end date and not when teaching and assessments finish.  It is important that you understand when your official programme end date is to ensure that you do not breach the conditions of your visa.

When can I work as a 12 month Masters student?

Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work.  If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students. Please note that if you are initially here on a visa for a Language Centre/Summer School pre-sessional programme, you will only be able to work a maximum of 10 hours until you have obtained your visa for your main degree.
  • Full time work is permitted during official vacations - this does not include reading weeks or any time between your last exam and the start of a vacation. Full time is defined by your employer.
  • Full time as long as you are on integral and assessed work placement that forms part of your degree programme as approved by the School - contact the team to check if your degree meets the requirements
  • You cannot take a permanent contract unless your  have applied for the Skilled Worker visa  or your was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have an application in place for a Graduate Route.

These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

When is 'vacation time'?

IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.

All students can work full time during the Winter and Spring breaks.If you are a 12 month you do not benefit from a summer vacation. You are still academically engaged with writing your dissertation at this point. This means you are unable to take a full time position starting before the official end date of your programme as stated on your CAS.

The additional time at the end of your visa, after your official programme end date, is also considered as vacation by the Home Office. You can work full time during this period as it is considered outside of term-time. 

Important: Your dissertation submission/Capstone project date is not the official end date of your programme. Do not assume you can start working full time once you have submitted your dissertation/capstone project. If you are unsure, check with the Student Advice and Engagment Team before you start working full time. 

Can I request a vacation?

If you are a 12 month Masters student, your academic department is able to authorise a single, four week vacation during your dissertation period. During these four weeks, you will be able to work in excess of 20 hours per week.  

Before starting your work, you will need to request a letter. You cannot work in excess of 20 hours without this letter and it cannot be issued retrospectively. You cannot request this letter yourself, you must follow the process below:

  1. You will need to speak to your department to request a four week vacation - most students speak to their Programme Manager;
  2. The member of staff who authorises your vacation must email the visa compliance email address of the Student Advice and Engagement Team providing your full name, LSE ID number, the dates of the vacation period they are willing to authorise.  This cannot be in excess of four weeks and there are no exceptions to this rule.
  3. You cannot request the letter once they have authorised it - they must submit the authorisation
  4. You cannot start the full-time work until you have this letter

Any full time work completed during the dissertation period without permission is a breach of your visa conditions. As a Student visa sponsor, LSE is legally required as part of our sponsor licence agreement to report any students we are aware have breached the conditions of their visa.  A breach of the working conditions could lead to deportation and a ban on future visa applications in the UK as a minimum.

Please note that disruption to studies resulting from a vacation period cannot be used in an appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners. 

What type of work can I do as a 12 month Masters student?

There are restrictions on the type of work you are able to undertake on a Student visa for a full time programme. These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

  • no self-employment or business activity (including freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder or if the company is not based in the UK). You can usually tell if you are self-employed if you have to invoice the employer to receive payment or you are required to calculate your tax and report this to HMRC. 

    If you have a formal contract of employment, your taxes will be deducted from your salary under "Pay as You Earn". Do not assume that because you have to submit a self-assessment in your home country, that the system is the same in the UK.  If you are self-assessing your tax payments, you are self-employed.

    You can find out more about paying taxes in the UK on the UKCISA web pages or in the international student section of the Tax Guide for Students.

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) 

  • no work as a professional entertainer

  • no permanent, full time work unless you have applied under the Skilled Worker Route or if your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have applied for the Graduate Route.

Unlike in some other countries, you are not restricted to only working on campus or in 'student' vacancies. However, you must ensure you are not working in one of the areas which are not permitted on your visa.

UKCISA have produced a helpful blog on working in the UK including gig-economy positions and working remotely for an overseas employer.

The working conditions apply even if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work (check you have the right working conditions on your visa).

If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources will complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your student visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid/unpaid work.  To avoid any problems, you should not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre.

If your employer asks you to work additional hours beyond your contract but within the same week and says that it is 'volunteering', this is often not the case.  It is unpaid work and counts towards your 20 hour limit per week.  You should not 'volunteer' to do excess hours without being paid as this is likely to be a breach of your visa conditions as you will be completing unpaid work.

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School, with the exception of 12 month Masters students during the summer.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Enrolment will confirm this information for your employer. 12 month Masters students must inform employers that the official end date on the Certificate of Enrolment is the end of your programme.

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK to provide them with a statutory excuse. However, the Certificate of Enrolment includes all the required information for your individual circumstances. 

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

Working on a Student visa - 21 and 24 month Masters Students

Am I a 21/24 month Masters Student?

  • Two year MSc Economics and MPA students studying the whole of their programme at LSE are 21 month students for visa purposes.
  • GMiM students are 24 month students

This information does not apply to double/dual degree students where you spend a year of your programme overseas

When can I work as a 21/24 month Masters student?

Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work.  If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • A maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students. Please note that if you are initially here on a visa for a Language Centre/Summer School pre-sessional programme, you will only be able to work a maximum of 10 hours until you have obtained your visa for your main degree.
  • Full time work is permitted during official vacations - this does not include reading weeks or any time between your last exam and the start of a vacation. Full time is defined by your employer.
  • You cannot take a permanent contract unless your  have applied for the Skilled Worker visa  or your was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have an application in place for a Graduate Route.

These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

When is 'vacation time'?

IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.

All students can work full time during theWinter and Spring breaks.

  • If you are a 21 month  Masters student, you benefit from a summer vacation between years one and two of your studies;
  • If you are a 24 month Masters student, you benefit from a vacation between years one and two of your studies. BUT you do not benefit from a summer vacation in year two. You are still academically engaged with writing your dissertation at this point. This means you are unable to take a full time position starting before the official end date of your programme as stated on your CAS.

The additional time at the end of your visa, after your official programme end date, is also considered as vacation by the Home Office. You can work full time during this period as it is considered outside of term-time. 

Important: Your dissertation submission date is not the official end date of your programme. Do not assume you can start working full time once you have submitted your dissertation. If you are unsure, check with the Student Advice and Engagment Team before you start working full time. 

Can I request a vacation?

If you are a 24 month Masters student, your academic department is able to authorise a single, four week vacation during your dissertation period in year two of your degree. During these four weeks, you will be able to work in excess of 20 hours.  

Before starting your work, you will need to request a letter. You cannot work in excess of 20 hours without this letter and it cannot be issued retrospectively. You cannot request this letter yourself, you must follow the process below:

  1. You will need to speak to your department to request a four week vacation - most students speak to their Programme Manager;
  2. The member of staff who authorises your vacation must email the visa compliance email address of the Student Advice and Engagement Team providing your full name, LSE ID number, the dates of the vacation period they are willing to authorise.  This cannot be in excess of four weeks and there are no exceptions to this rule.
  3. You cannot request the letter once they have authorised it - they must submit the authorisation
  4. You cannot start the full-time work until you have this letter

Any full time work completed during the dissertation period without permission is a breach of your visa conditions. As a Student visa sponsor, LSE is legally required as part of our sponsor licence agreement to report any students we are aware have breached the conditions of their visa.  A breach of the working conditions could lead to deportation and a ban on future visa applications in the UK as a minimum.

Please note that disruption to studies resulting from a vacation period cannot be used in an appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners. 

What type of work can I do as a 21/24 month Masters student?

There are restrictions on the type of work you are able to undertake on a Student visa for a full time programme. These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

  • no self-employment or business activity (including freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder or if the company is not based in the UK). You can usually tell if you are self-employed if you have to invoice the employer to receive payment or you are required to calculate your tax and report this to HMRC. 

    If you have a formal contract of employment, your taxes will be deducted from your salary under "Pay as You Earn". Do not assume that because you have to submit a self-assessment in your home country, that the system is the same in the UK.  If you are self-assessing your tax payments, you are self-employed.

    You can find out more about paying taxes in the UK on the UKCISA web pages or in the international student section of the Tax Guide for Students.

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) 

  • no work as a professional entertainer

  • no permanent, full time work unless you have applied under the Skilled Worker Route or if your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have applied for the Graduate Route.

Unlike in some other countries, you are not restricted to only working on campus or in 'student' vacancies. However, you must ensure you are not working in one of the areas which are not permitted on your visa.

UKCISA have produced a helpful blog on working in the UK including gig-economy positions and working remotely for an overseas employer.

The working conditions apply even if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work (check you have the right working conditions on your visa).

If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources will complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your student visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid/unpaid work.  To avoid any problems, you should not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre.

If your employer asks you to work additional hours beyond your contract but within the same week and says that it is 'volunteering', this is often not the case.  It is unpaid work and counts towards your 20 hour limit per week.  You should not 'volunteer' to do excess hours without being paid as this is likely to be a breach of your visa conditions as you will be completing unpaid work.

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School, with the exception of  24 Month Masters students in year two during the summer.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Enrolment will confirm this information for your employer. Second-year 24 month Masters students must inform employers that the official end date on the Certificate of Enrolment is the end of your programme.

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK to provide them with a stautory excuse. However, the Certificate of Enrolment includes all the required information for your individual circumstances.  

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

Working on a Student visa - Research Degree Students

When can I work as a Research Degree student?

Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work.  If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:

  • a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students. Please note that if you are initially here on a visa for a Language Centre/Summer School pre-sessional programme, you will only be able to work a maximum of 10 hours until you have obtained your visa for your main degree.
  • Full time work is permitted during official vacations - this does not include reading weeks or any time between your last exam and the start of a vacation. Full time is defined by your employer.
  • you cannot take a permanent contract unless your  have applied for the Skilled Worker visa  or your was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have an application in place for a Graduate Route.

These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

When is 'vacation time'?

IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.

I am an MRes/PhD student.  Is it different for me?

One year MRes students do not benefit from a summer vacation so you should follow the same guidance as for 12 month MSc students.

If you are on a two year MRes programme, the summer between years one and two are considered as vacation and as such you can work full time under the immigration rules during LSE's official vacation period.

LSE Term Dates

What are the term dates for PhD students?

For all enrolled PhD students,  vacations are the Winter and Spring breaks in each year of enrolment.  However, you are considered to be continuing your studies during the summer vacation. 

PhD students do not benefit from a summer vacation and are not able to request a vacation during term time.  You may be able to request a vacation during the summer, but you must speak to your supervisor and the PhD Academy about this.

Can I request a vacation?

If you are a PhD student, your academic department is able to authorise a single, four week vacation during the summer period. During these four weeks, you will be able to work full time.  

Before starting your full time work, you will need to request a letter. You cannot work full time without this letter and it cannot be issued retrospectively. You cannot request this letter yourself, you must follow the process below:

  1. You will need to speak to your department to request a four week vacation - most students speak to their Programme Manager;
  2. The member of staff who authorises your vacation must email the PhD Academy providing your full name, LSE ID number, the dates of the vacation period they are willing to authorise.  This cannot be in excess of four weeks and there are no exceptions to this rule.
  3. You cannot request the letter once they have authorised it - they must submit the authorisation
  4. You cannot start the full-time work until you have this letter

Any full time work completed during the dissertation period without permission is a breach of your visa conditions. As a Student visa sponsor, LSE is legally required as part of our sponsor licence agreement to report any students we are aware have breached the conditions of their visa.  A breach of the working conditions could lead to deportation and a ban on future visa applications in the UK as a minimum.

Please note that disruption to studies resulting from a vacation period cannot be used in an appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners. 

What type of work can I do as a Research Degree student?

There are restrictions on the type of work you are able to undertake on a Student visa for a full time programme. These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer.  If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.

  • no self-employment or business activity (including freelance or consultancy work or setting up your own business, even if you are not the controlling shareholder or if the company is not based in the UK). You can usually tell if you are self-employed if you have to invoice the employer to receive payment or you are required to calculate your tax and report this to HMRC. 

    If you have a formal contract of employment, your taxes will be deducted from your salary under "Pay as You Earn". Do not assume that because you have to submit a self-assessment in your home country, that the system is the same in the UK.  If you are self-assessing your tax payments, you are self-employed.

    You can find out more about paying taxes in the UK on the UKCISA web pages or in the international student section of the Tax Guide for Students.

  • no work as a professional sports person (including sports coach) 

  • no work as a professional entertainer

  • no permanent, full time work unless you have applied under the Skilled Worker Route or if your Student visa was granted after 6 April 2022 and you have applied for the Graduate Route.

Unlike in some other countries, you are not restricted to only working on campus or in 'student' vacancies. However, you must ensure you are not working in one of the areas which are not permitted on your visa.

UKCISA have produced a helpful blog on working in the UK including gig-economy positions and working remotely for an overseas employer.

The working conditions apply even if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. 

Can I work for more than one employer?

You can have multiple contracts, but during term-time you must not work any more than 20 hours paid or unpaid work each week.  This means 20 hours in total rather than 20 hours per employer.

Working for LSE

When working for the School, you must ensure that you do not exceed your permitted number of working hours during term-time.  For degree programme students this is 20 hours per week paid or unpaid work (check you have the right working conditions on your visa).

If you are unsure of the conditions of you visa, please check with us before commencing any work at the School.

If you will be working for LSE, Human Resources will complete a right to work check to prevent illegal working for all students working for the School before they are able to start/continue with their contract.  You will not be able to begin your role until this is completed, so you should not undertake any work until this point in time.

If you are a student employed by the School and you need to extend your student visa, it is very important that you plan to do this well in advance of the expiry date of your visa. Whilst the conditions of your visa continue once you have an in-time application in progress (submitted before the expiry date of your visa), Human Resources will still need to conduct further checks with the Home Office to verify the status of your application, which will take up to five days to be confirmed.

Human Resources will require a Case ID number to be able to make this check, so applying as soon as you are aware you need to extend your visa e.g. due to an extension of your thesis submission date, will help both you and the School.

PhD students with multiple contracts

PhD students are advised to monitor the number of hours work they undertake, especially if they have a number of jobs with LSE.  The official programme end date for PhD students can change depending on whether you needed to extend your visa e.g. for corrections.  Check whether you can work full time with our team before taking a position. It is your responsibility to ensure you do not exceed your permitted working hours.

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid/unpaid work.  To avoid any problems, you should not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information visit the LSE Volunteer Centre.

If your employer asks you to work additional hours beyond your contract but within the same week and says that it is 'volunteering', this is often not the case.  It is unpaid work and counts towards your 20 hour limit per week.  You should not 'volunteer' to do excess hours without being paid as this is likely to be a breach of your visa conditions as you will be completing unpaid work.

When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?

You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.

The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.

Is it different for PhD students?

PhD students who submit as expected can start working full time after their thesis submission date as stated on their CAS has passed (even if they submit early). The exceptions to this are:

  • Confirmation of further studies for your viva - if your department confirms to the PhD Academy that you are in full time study preparing for your viva and need to extend your Student visa, you will be restricted to working 20 hours per week (paid or unpaid). This means that you will be required to finish any full time position you may hold.

  • Confirmation of further studies for corrections post viva - if your department confirms to the PhD Academy that you are in full time study completing your corrections post-viva and need to extend your Student visa, you will be restricted to working 20 hours per week (paid or unpaid). This means that you will be required to finish any full time position you may hold.

Any work of more than 20 hours would be a breach of their conditions.   If you are unsure if you are affected, contact us for advice.

The Home Office considers the extra four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.

More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.

We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.  

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.   Employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School, although MPhil/1 year MRes and PhD students will need to inform employers they do not benefit from a summer vacation.

  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Enrolment will confirm this information for your employer. 

  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK to provide them with a stautory excuse. However, the Certificate of Enrolment includes all the required information for your individual circumstances.  

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office Website

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

More information

For more information visit the UKCISA website

What type of work can I do on a Student visa? Part time degree programme

Part-time Student visa 

Whilst there is a provision to be able to study part-time under Student visa at Masters level and above, LSE will not sponsor new applicants under this route. Enrolled students will only be sponsored on a part-time basis if it is the only way that they are able to complete their degree in exceptional circumstances e.g. a disability that means a switch to part-time is more academically viable.   In most instances, students who request to switch to part-time may be advised to consider an interruption of studies.

The part-time Student visa is a much more restrictive route than the Student full time visa, but you are still required to meet the same as a full time student rules when applying for your visa:

  • You cannot start your programme on a full-time basis and then switch to part-time using the same visa.  To be able to study on a Student part-time visa, you would need to leave the UK and re-apply for a visa before you change your mode of attendance.
  • You cannot work on a Student part-time visa or undertake a work placement.
  • You cannot bring dependants with you.

Is it true that LSE is required to report to the UKVI breaches of the working conditions?

If LSE becomes aware of a student breaching the working conditions of their visa, whether this is for LSE or an external employer, we are required to inform the UKVI as part of our sponsor licence agreement. This could lead to your visa being cancelled and a potential ban from the UK. In the worst case, it can also lead to six months imprisonment and a fine of £5,000.

Whilst LSE always considers the individual, we have a responsibility to maintain our sponsor licence and protect all students sponsored by the School.

Can I work on a Standard Visitor visa? 

Standard Visitor Visa

Work is not permitted on a Standard Visitor visa unless it is one of the permitted activities:

UKVI Standard Visitor visa caseworker guidance 

If you are using a Standard Visitor visa for your studies e.g. a short-term exchange or Summer School, you will not be able to work part-time.

Can I work remotely for an overseas employer whilst I am in the UK?

Yes, you can work remotely for an overseas employer whilst you are in the UK, as long as the visa that you hold allows you to work.  You are bound by the conditions of your visa on the type of workl you can undertake and the hours you can complete even if the employer is overseas and you are being paid into an overseas bank account.

Even if you breach the conditions of your visa when working for an overseas employer, LSE is required to report this to the UKVI. 

UKCISA has a helpful blog that covers this and other non-standard formats of work to help you stay compliant during your studies:

UKCISA Blog: A working definition

Taxes and National Insurance

You will not automatically be issued with a National Insurance Number (NINo) to be able to work in the UK.  You will need to apply for this and will need to obtain one when you find a job.

You can find more information on taxes and National Insurance Numbers on the following web page:

UKCISA: Employers, income tax, National Insurance

If you are working as an employee of a company, your taxes should be arranged through Pay as you Earn (PAYE).  This means all of your taxes are deducted when you receive your pay.  If you are advised by the employer that you have to submit a tax return to HMRC, this means you are self-employed and will be in breach of your Student visa conditions.

What options do I have at the end of my programme? Graduate Route

 LSE Specific FAQs on the Graduate Route

We have produced an FAQ info sheet based on what we have learned so far from the route and the frequently asked questions we have received since its launch.

 Infosheet: Graduate Route FAQs

As with other non-LSE sponsored working routes, we will be unable to provide detailed advice on the route and the application.  Once your visa is issued we will no longer be able to support you with any immigration queries you may have as per our published service standards.

You may also find UKCISA's information helpful, but please take into consideration this is general advice written for the whole sector and is not specific to LSE's own processes. 

FAQ: I want to travel, will this affect my Graduate Route application?

We have noted that the highest level of concern on this area is from our Indian student community. Having spoken to some students and from the text of the queries, we are aware that it is because students are seeking advice from social media, immigration forums and hearsay from 'friends'.  

This is usually because:

  • Someone has heard about someone facing difficulties at the border - you can carry a certificate of enrolment in your hand luggage and other evidence that you are still a student 
  • A 'friend' said that they should do this - people may try to help but each case is individual
  • You read it on a forum - forums are full of bad advice from people who have no immigration experience, are seeking to create business for their company, or are basing it on their own experience. 
  • Someone has told you that you need a certificate of no objection - this letter does not exist at LSE

We appreciate that the immigration rules are not straightforward and many of you have invested money into studying at LSE now the Graduate Route exists, but if you rely on the methods of obtaining advice above, you are more likely to complicate matters.

The UKVI have confirmed that short-term travel e.g. vacations should not affect your eligibility for the Graduate Route, as long as LSE does not need to withdraw sponsorship of your visa.  There is no definition of short-term travel but if you are out of the country for a prolonged period your visa will be withdrawn by LSE before this is an issue for the Graduate Route. 

If you intend to be overseas for a prolonged period of time e.g. the Spring vacation, exam period and dissertation period, then LSE reserves the right to withdraw sponsorship of your Student visa because you do not require it to complete your degree. In this case, we would withdraw sponsorship of your visa and you would not be eligible for the Graduate Route both because you no longer have a valid visa and potentially because you have not met the minimum period in the UK requirement.

If you intend to complete research overseas as part of your dissertation, you only need to inform your department and do not require a vacation letter to authorise this. No action will be taken on your visa.  The time after your official end date of your programme on your CAS does not count for this purpose.

Please do not ask us to definitively confirm your application will not be affected because we are unable to do this.  We can never guarantee any visa application. 

FAQ: I received a scholarship from LSE. Do I need permission from LSE to apply?

You only need permission to apply if you were fully funded (tuition fees and living costs) by an international scholarship agency or a government. If you were sponsored by LSE, you do not need a letter from us because we do not meet the categories above.

US Federal loans do not count as government sponsorship because they are an educational loan system and not a scholarship. 

FAQ: I plan to apply for the Graduate Route just before the expiry date of my student visa.  Can I stay in the UK whilst I am waiting for the outcome of my visa application?

As long as you apply for the visa before the expiry date of your current visa, your Student visa is automatically extended until the outcome of your Graduate Route application, even if the original expiry date has passed.

This is known as 3C leave and you continue to benefit from the conditions of your student visa e.g. work, whilst your application is in progress.

If your Student visa was granted after the 6 April 2022, you will be able to take a permanent position once your appplication is submitted. You may therefore find it more beneficial to apply once you are eligible rather than remain on the 'no permanent position' condition of the Student visa.

FAQ: I intended to go to USC as part of the Global MSc Media and Communications,  but now wish to transfer/have transferred to the Classic track. Will I be eligible for the Graduate Route?

MSc Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC) students who transfer to the Classic Track MSc Media and Communications will not be eligible because their visa will expire before results are officially released. 

It is not possible to extend your visa to receive your results, because you are only able to transfer because you can complete the Classic Track MSc Media and Communications on your current visa. An application to extend for a longer programme is not permitted by the UKVI and we cannot sponsor you on this basis.

The visa issued for these students was correct for the programme they applied for initially because you have an earlier end date at LSE and your visa was correctly issued for a programme of less than 12 months.  This cannot be challenged if you change your plans. We strongly recommend that you consider transferring to the MSc Media and Communications at admissions stage and before you get your visa, if you no longer wish to attend USC.

FAQ:  I am a postgraduate/undergraduate student. If I defer assessments or have resit exams in January, will my eligibility for the Graduate Route be affected?

You are not required to take any action if the following applies to you:

  • You haven't deferred any assessments to RDAP to January of the year you need to attempt the assessment
  • Your results have been confirmed in November and you need to resit
  • Your student visa is due to expire in January

If all of the above points apply to you, your student visa should already cover the RDAP period for your re-takes. However, you are now eligible for a visa sponsorship extension based on your new expected end date. 

If you would like to extend your visa on this basis, please request a new CAS from here.

Please note that the length of your student visa may have an impact on your eligibility to apply for the Graduate Route and you can only be eligible for the Graduate Route visa if your student visa is valid when the final results are officially published. The School can only verify your award to UKVI after your final ratified results are released in March 2024.

9/10 month MSc students who have resit/deferred assessments in the January RDAP should note that the visa they will be granted for January 2024 is unlikely to be long enough to remain in the UK and apply for the Graduate Route in mid-March. This is because your official results will be released after the expiry date of your visa.

If you have deferred assessments to RDAP in January or the summer period you may be able to apply for a new student visa from overseas. Please request a new CAS here.

If you require individual advice and guidance after reading this information on resits and deferrals, please contact the Student Advice and Engagement  Team as outlined here

 

 What are the key points that you need to know?

  • Undergraduate and Masters students will be given a visa for two years from the date the visa is granted.
  • PhD students will be given a visa for three years from the date the visa is granted.
  • MPhil/PhD students or MRes/PhD students who exit at Masters level will be eligible because they are on an intergrated degree on your CAS and are exiting with a Masters degree. They will only get two years on their visa.
  • You cannot extend this visa.
  • You need to have been in the UK for the required period on a Student visa to be eligible and to have successfully completed your programme.

    If you are on a programme of 12 months or more you must have completed at least 12 months of your programme on a Student visa. If you are on a programme of less than 12 months, you must have completed the whole programme on a Student visa.

    Given that you need a valid Student visa in place to apply for the Graduate Route, those students on other routes e.g. dependants, may need to consider switching to the Student Route if the they wish to benefit from the a Graduate Route visa.
  • Successful completion of your programme doesn't mean you have submitted all your assessments/the end date of your programme has passed.  It means that the School exam boards have met and you have been informed on the official results release date that you have passed your degree. This cannot be expedited and there is no way to apply sooner.
  • After results are published, LSE must confirm your successful completion to the UKVI on an official UKVI database.  Only once this has been done and we email you to confirm the CAS number you require should you consider submitting an application. Applying without having been formally verified for the route is like applying for the Student Route before you have been issued with a CAS number.

    Do not apply for the visa until you have received the email confirming your verification.  
  • You cannot use a letter or transcript to confirm your successful completion. Provisional results do not confirm that you have been awarded your degree. The UKVI do not require your classification, just that you have been awarded your degree.
  • If you apply before you receive your final results have been verified you to the UKVI, you may be required to withdraw your application if you have applied too soon. 

    Students who have their results withheld due to a tuition fee debt with the School, have a misconduct case or have an appeal submitted will not be verified until you are able to receive your results.
  • We must verify all students who are eligible even if they do not intend to apply. If the UKVI contacts us about your application, we are required to respond with an accurate representation of your situation given it is the responsibility of the institution to verify eligible candidates. If the UKVI contacts us about your case, we are required to respond to this email, but will always inform you.
  • If you plan to do further studies at LSE, do not confuse the CAS number in this email with your CAS number for your new Student visa application.
  • Undergraduates and 9/10/21 month MSc students will be verified after the official results publishing date in July.

    Undergraduate students with IRDAP requirements will be verified after the official results publishing date in September.

    12/24 month MSc/MRes students will be verified after the official results publishing date in November.

    Postgraduate students with RDAP requirements will only be verified after the results release date in March.

    Publication of results
  • PhD students will be verified by their individual award date on a rolling basis.
  • You can only be granted the Graduate Route once. If you do not use the visa, after it has been granted, you will lose the opportunity to apply again.
  • You cannot study a degree programme at an institution with a Student sponsor licence. For example, you cannot use a Graduate Route visa to work full time and study a Masters degree.  
  • The degree must have been completed wholly in the UK with some exceptions such as study abroad that is an integral and assessed part of the programme e.g. GMiM. This means that General Course students are not eligible for the visa.
  • The degree you have been awarded must be the one that was stated on your CAS, unless you have transferred to a programme that you can complete without having to extend your visa and this was officially reported to the UKVI.  
  • You must have a valid Student visa to be able to apply for the visa in the UK. 
  • Diploma in Accounting and Finance/Diploma in Economics students will not be eligible for the route because they are not exiting with a Masters degree.
  • Double-degree students where year one is at LSE and year two is overseas are not eligible because you will not have a UK Student visa for year two of your programme.
  • You will only be eligible to have your dependants with you if they are already in the UK on a dependant visa.  You cannot obtain the Graduate visa and then bring your dependants to the UK.
  • There will be no maintenance (financial) requirements and the English language requirement will be met by you being awarded your degree.

High Potential Individual Visa

Some LSE students may have the option of applying for the High Potential Individual visa rather than the Graduate Route.  The route itself is extremely similar to the Graduate Route but is only open to graduates from the top 50 international institutions as outlined by the Home Office.

Our team will not be advising on applying to this route, but you may wish to consider it if you need to start full-time in a permanent role before you are verified for the Graduate Route.

High Potential Individual Visa

As with the Graduate Route you cannot study on a programme that can be issued a CAS for. 

IMPORTANT: From 3:00pm on Monday 17 July 2023, you will not be able to switch into the High Potential Individual Route until your course completion date as stated on your CAS has passed or you have completed at least 24 months of your PhD programme.

What options do I have at the end of my programme? Skilled Worker Route

Tier 2 was replaced by the Skilled Worker Route in December 2020.  There have been a number of changes, which make applying for the route based on the individual and the role they are being sponsored for.  On the basis of this, your employer would be best placed to advise you on your eligiblity for the route.

You can also find advice on switching from Student onto the Skilled Worker route on the following web page:

UKCISA - Working After Your Studies

Depending on what level your role will be, it may be possible for you to apply for this visa on the basis of being a new entrant up to two years after your Student visa has expired or depending on your age. You can find more information in the New Entrant section of the following government guidance:

Skilled Worker - Caseworker Guidance

IMPORTANT: From 3:00pm on Monday 17 July 2023, you will not be able to switch into the Skilled Worker Route until your course completion date as stated on your CAS has passed or you have completed at least 24 months of your PhD programme.

 

Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder visa replaces the Start-up visa and is a quicker route to settlement.  Whilst you will be able to continue receiving the support of LSE Generate, LSE is not an endorsing body under this route. You will need to seek endorsement from one of the four, government approved endorsing bodies.  These endorsements are likely to come at a cost.

Further details on this route can be found on the folloiwng web page:

Innovator Founder

We will be unable to advise on the endorsement or application process for this route.

IMPORTANT: From 3:00pm on Monday 17 July 2023, you will not be able to switch into the Innovator Founder Route until your course completion date as stated on your CAS has passed or you have completed at least 24 months of your PhD programme.

We will continue to monitor those people we have endorsed on Start-up until your visas expire.

What options do I have at the end of my programme? Other routes

Applying for a Youth Mobility visa

The Youth Mobility visa is only available to nationals from the following countries:

  • Australia 

  • Canada 

  • Hong Kong

  • Japan

  • Monaco

  • New Zealand 

  • Republic of Korea

  • Taiwan

  • British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens, British Nationals Overseas

  • San Marino

The  Youth Mobility visa allows you to work in the UK for up to two years without a sponsor.  Some applicants may be eligible for a visa of up to three years depending on their nationality.

Study is permitted on this visa, but your main intention should be to use it for work.

You can find further details on UKCISA and Home Office web pages.

Applying for an India Young Professional Scheme visa

The India Young Professionals Scheme works on a similar basis to the Youth Mobility visa.  As with some countries in Youth Mobility, places are limited and you will need to apply as part of a ballot.  

More details of the scheme can be found on the government web pages:

India Young Professionals Scheme

Applying for a Temporary Worker visa 

There are five schemes under the Temporary Worker route:

  • Creative and Sporting;

  • Charity Workers;

  • Religious Workers;

  • Government Authorised Exchange;

  • International Agreement

These schemes allow you to undertake specific types of work from one to two years, depending on the scheme.  Most schemes only permit entry clearance applications, In certain circumstances, you may be able to switch to the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) in the UK.

Full details of all the schemes and when you can apply in the UK can be found on the UKCISA web pages.

Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa 

The Ancestry visa enables the following groups to take employment or set up a business in the UK:

  • You are a Commonwealth Citizen;

  • You are aged over 17; and

  • You can prove you have a grandparent who was born in the UK/the Channel Islands/the Isle of Man/ on a British registered ship or aircraft/ the Republic of Ireland (before 31 March 1922).

The Ancestry visa is valid for five years and you must intend to seek employment.  It can lead to settlement after five years.  Further details can be found on the UKVI web pages. You can study on this visa.


IMPORTANT: From 3:00pm on Monday 17 July 2023, you will not be able to switch into the Ancestry Route until your course completion date as stated on your CAS has passed or you have completed at least 24 months of your PhD programme.

For other options, please read the UKCISA web pages:

UKCISA:Working after Studies