UK Prime Minister to Increase International Students Working Hours

According to a report by the Daily Mail, the UK government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is considering proposals to either increase or completely remove the limit on working hours for international students. At present, students with a Tier 4 visa are typically restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time, with more hours allowed during holidays.

If this proposal were to be implemented, students could potentially work up to 30 or more hours per week. It should be noted, however, that this idea is still in its early stages and has yet to be formally approved.

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Why Is The Uk Suddenly Considering Increasing International Student Working Hours?

The UK is aiming to boost its economic growth due to a shortage of labor, with the unemployment rate standing at 3.7% and over 1.27 million people aged 16 and above being jobless, according to UK Labour Market Statistics.

To address this, the government is exploring ways to encourage both domestic and international students to take on more part-time work, especially in the hospitality and retail sectors. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged the urgent need for workers, and lifting the cap on international student working hours is one of several ideas being considered to remove barriers and promote employment.

Despite the challenges, the UK remains an attractive destination for studying abroad, with prestigious universities, and is ranked as the “Top Destination in the World to Study Abroad” by for 2023.

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How Do Other Countries Regulate International Student Working Hours?

The UK is among several countries that have increased working hours for international students, following in the footsteps of Canada. In 2021, Canada changed its working hour policy to allow full-time international students to work more than 20 hours a week until the end of 2023.

Canada also faced a similar challenge in filling job vacancies and successfully increased its labor force, with the unemployment rate dropping to 5% by December and over 104,000 new jobs created by the end of 2022, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

As a result of the increased working hours, international students were better able to provide for themselves and their families, according to Nicole Schmidt, the President of the University of Calgary Students’ Union. With the UK reportedly considering this same strategy, we can expect similar positive outcomes.

Increase In International Student Working Hours: How Will This Help?

During 2021-22, the UK welcomed 680,000 international students. The proposed increase or removal of the working hour limit would not only benefit the country’s economy but also these students. International students would be able to alleviate their financial burdens, which is especially important considering the rising cost of living and exorbitant tuition fees. Reports indicate that expenses such as rent, food, and travel are increasing.

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How many hours can international students work in the UK in 2023?

For most international students, this allows you to work a maximum of 20 hours a week during term time and work full-time during university vacation periods. However, the only way to know how many hours you can work is to check your student visa.

What happens if an international student works more than 20 hours a week in the UK?

If you are studying full-time at degree level, during term-time you may not work more than 20 hours per week. If you work more than 20 hours in any one week you will be breaching your visa and this could prevent you from obtaining a new visa in the future or completing your studies.

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