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Working during your studies: guidance for EEA and Swiss students

Can you work in the UK?

All EEA and Swiss national students can work in the UK however; nationals of Croatia may be subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme and need to obtain the appropriate registration certificate before they can start work, unless they are exempt (see below).

If you are a national of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia, you no longer need to register your work under the Worker Registration Scheme and are free to take up employment without being subject to any special requirements.

If you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania you are no longer subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme, and are free to take up employment without being subject to any special requirements.

Work Authorisation Scheme for Croatian nationals

If you wish to work, you will need to obtain authorisation, unless you meet the criteria for any of the exemptions. These are outlined on the Home Office website.

If you have student immigration permission (Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4) which is valid beyond the 1 July 2013, you will be able to work (up to the maximum hours specified on your visa) until your visa expires, but you will only be able to work up to the maximum hours permitted by this visa. If you wish to work beyond this date, you will have to obtain authorisation, unless you are exempt. If you are not exempt from authorisation, you will not be able to work in the period between the end date of this visa and the date you are issued with your Yellow Registration Certificate. Therefore, it is advisable to apply for authorisation as soon as possible.

If you do not have student immigration permission, and are not exempt from authorisation, you will need to obtain permission before you can work. To do this, you will need to apply for a Yellow Registration Certificate on form CR1, available on the Home Office website. The application fee is £65. You are advised to apply for permission as soon as possible as you will not be able to undertake any work until you obtain this. Once you receive this, any employment is limited to 20 hours a week in term time, but you can work full time in your holidays and on work placements, and for up to four months after your studies end.

If you wish to undertake work as a sabbatical officer and do not have student immigration permission or are not otherwise exempt, you will need to apply for a Yellow Registration Certificate on form CR1 (as above). Once you receive this, you will be able to work for up to two years as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer if you were elected to the role, and the post is either:

  • at the institution at which you are enrolled as a student; or
  • a National Union of Students (NUS) position.

I am a self-employed Croatian national in the UK. What steps do I have to take in order to show that I am self-employed?

The Home Office has produced some useful guidance for those who are, or who wish to be, self-employed.

Family members: EEA and Swiss nationals

If your family member is a national of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Republic of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, they will be free to work in the UK.

If your family member is a Croatian national, they may, in some circumstances, be required to obtain authorisation before commencing work. Please see the Home Office website for more information.

Family members: other nationals

If you are allowed to work, your family member who is not an EEA or Swiss national can also work in the UK. Family members who can accompany you and work are usually your wife or husband or your civil partner, dependent children and, in many cases, unmarried partners and dependent grandchildren, parents and grandparents. The easiest way to prove to an employer that your family member has the right to work is by applying for a document, usually a residence card, from the UK Government.

If you are a Croatian national, please see the Home Office website for information on applying for permission to work for your family members. 

In all other cases, your family member can apply for a residence card on form EEA (FM).

More information

You can find general information application forms and instructions for immigration caseworkers.

If you want information about bringing your family to the UK, find out general informationapplication forms and guidance for entry clearance officers.

Contact us

Student Life Centre: Immigration Advisor
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7313

International students
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