A person is planning to apply for a student visa this fall to study at a publically funded college and the chances are really good that their application will be successful.

They plan to arrive and begin their studies next January (2016). Will they be able to work part-time to help defray the cost of their education?

Also, if they do really well at their studies and a UK company wants to hire them after graduation, will they be able to make an in-country application for a work permit (Tier 2)?

This is posed as a single question because students invariably consider both as a single question when they contemplate applying for a student visa.

  • 1
    Is this supposed to be a canonical question? If not, the last question appears to be answered positively by gov.uk/tier-2-general/switch-to-this-visa Irregardless, I would think this should be split into two separate questions: working on a tier-4 visa and switching to a tier-2 after graduation.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 13, 2015 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


No, they will not be able to work. And no, they will not be able to make an in-country application for a work permit (Tier 2).

Yesterday, 13 July 2015, the UK government issued a ministerial statement announcing a change in the rules affecting students (T4) who are pursuing a course at a publically funded college. The statement reads in part...

New students at publicly funded colleges will be prevented from being able to work in the UK, in order to bring their working rights in line with those of international students at private colleges. In the autumn, college students will be unable to switch to a work visa or extend their study visa whilst they are in the UK, whilst protecting students at embedded colleges who will progress onto study at a higher education institution.

These new provisions will activate by the time Parliament rises in December. Transitional provisions for students whose applications are caught in the middle of the change will be published in about September or October.

As noted in comments, the UKVI site is now out-of-sync with the rules and it will take a while to get caught up. Students who are affected will need to read the legal briefing in order to stay current.

The full ministerial statement is at House of Commons: Written Statement (HCWS95)

See also: Annual Report

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