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Running a business as a Tier 4 student visa holder

If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa, you may wonder if you are allowed to run your own business in the UK. In this article, we look at the rules surrounding work and student visa holders.

Can I run my own business on a Tier 4 student visa?

In short, no. Many believe that this is open to interpretation, but the rules are clear that you cannot be self-employed in the UK on a student visa. There are a lot of jobs that you can do on a student visa, so it is better not to take the huge risk of trying to get around the system.

Many job descriptions such as freelancing may indicate that the work is part-time, but you must be careful to ensure that this is indeed the case. Many occupations that involve freelancing will result in you being self-employed and in contravention of the rules.

Why can't I work for myself on a student visa?

Mainly because it cannot be proven how many hours you are working. The Tier 4 visa is intended for genuine students to come to the UK to study at high-level institutions, not to work. That is why there are such strong restrictions on students working on a Tier 4 visa.

There has, in the past, been a lot of issues with students coming to the UK to work and not study, the British Government has tried hard to eradicate the practice and hands down severe punishments to rule breakers.

How many hours can I work on a Tier 4 student visa?

Your allowance for working will be made clear on your Biometric Residence Permit. This is so that you and a prospective employer can be sure that you are remaining within the law.

Please be careful to stick to your hours. It may be tempting to pick up a little more here and there, but it really isn't worth the risk that you would be taking by doing this.

Where can I go for more information?

There are a few places that offer some excellent resources for students on a visa. Some of our choices are https://manunicareersblog.com which is based at Manchester University and is a trove of great information for students.

Also, https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Working/What-kind-of-work-can-you-do is worth checking out and is also full of helpful information aimed at students looking to work on a visa.

We also have significant experience in helping students with visa queries so get in touch for more information.

How we can help

As we have shown above, the rules around Tier 4 students and working are pretty strict. If you are having any problems with your visa or need any help or support then please get in touch. Our experienced team can help you with your individual needs, so get in touch and let us help.

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