First of all, we congratulate you on making the right decision to study at a UK university. Undoubtedly, the UK has world-class educational institutes to help you map your career and achieve your goals. This country gives you the flexibility you search for to thrive well. However, to make sure your stay in the UK is smooth, you need to know your do’s and don’ts on the UK Study visa. So, let's read this breakdown thoroughly to learn the updated rules of 2023 what you can and can't do while staying in the UK as a student.
Do’s on a UK Study Visa: Activities That Won't Affect Your Stay in the UK
Getting a UK study permit and staying in this country can be a breeze as long as you know how to settle in. Here are some of the do’s to transition into your life as a student in the UK smoother!
1. Register for a GP and NINO Number
If you want to study and stay in the UK, registering for a GP and having a NINO number is a must. FYI,“GP” stands for a general practitioner, while the NINO refers to the National Insurance Number.
Let's talk about why you must register for a GP. GP enrollment as an NHS patient enables you to visit a doctor when you fall sick. And the best thing about having a GP is that you can visit your doctor without cost.
As part of your UK visa application process, you will need to pay the immigration health surcharge to access NHS services. You will then be able to access the following services for free:
- Accident & emergency services
- Hospital treatment
- General practitioner services
- Diagnosis and treatment of specific infectious diseases
- And more
How to Register with a GP Surgery
If you are enrolling for full-time study in the UK for a program longer than 6 months, you can register for with the National Health Service (NHS). Registering for a GP is fairly easy - you can do so online, based on your postcode and location.
Someone at your GP's surgery can attend to your medical matters, aside from dental issues. If at any point during your stay, you need consultant or specialist opinion for a medical or health issue, you will need a GP referral to access this through the NHS. This is why it's best to sign up for a GP as soon as you get to the UK!
To register, you will need:
- Proof for the duration of your course (e.g. letter from your university confirming your enrolment)
- Your passport
- Additional immigration and visa documents
- Birth certificate
- Accommodation registration or mail forwarding letter
You can look up a GP in your area through NHS' service search tool. This resource helps you locate GP surgeries by postcode, with guides on how to register.
How to Register for NINO
A National Insurance number is a must-have if you want to work part-time in the UK on a study visa.
All students must have NI numbers to let HMRC record students' National Insurance contributions or taxes they pay. You need an NI number to qualify for paid work in the UK. Alongside this, you can lose your study permit if you don't have a NI number. Hence, you must register for a NI number to study in the UK.
Don't worry though - your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) should contain a NINO number. If it doesn't, we're breaking down how to apply for one below!
How to Apply for a NINO Number
You must apply online to get a NINO number. While applying, you must submit the following documents:
A NID card from an EU country or Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein
You can still apply for a national insurance number if you don't have the above documents. But in that case, you must attend an in-person interview to prove your identity.
2. Open a Bank Account
After entering the UK for study purposes, one of the first things you will need to do is to open a UK bank account. Having a UK bank account can provide you with numerous benefits. For example, you can easily make payments at merchants with the help of a debit card you will get from a UK bank.
Besides, when you need to extend your study visa, you can benefit greatly from this UK bank account. In addition, if you work part-time in the UK, your employer can credit your salary to your bank account. You can make any purchase within and outside the UK in a cinch. So, you must open a UK bank account.
3. Work Part-Time
After registering for a GP and a NI number and getting a UK bank account, you might be interested in searching for a part-time job. You can find many part-time work opportunities in the UK and choose your preferred one to gain work experience and support your educational and living expenses.
Suppose you’re wondering how many hours you can work in the UK on a study visa, according to the terms of your Study visa. In that case, you are eligible to work for 20 hours a week during the term time if you study a full-time undergraduate degree or are an above student.
If you enroll in a study program below degree level, you can work 10 hours a week during the term time. During semester breaks, you can work full-time as a Study visa holder!
Explore the United Kingdom
Indeed, you won't spend your entire stay in the UK studying your course and doing a part-time job.
You will visit different attractions in your spare time in the UK and freshen your mind to work at a full pace to achieve your academic and career goals. And the good news is that you can do that as a UK study visa will allow you to visit and discover the wonders of the UK.
This country enables you to visit famous places in the UK, such as Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Cheddar Gorge, Hadrian's Wall, and more. So, seize the opportunity and explore the UK as a student.
These are all the DOs your UK study visa permits you to perform. Now let's talk about what you can't do on a UK study visa.
Don'ts on a UK Study Visa: Activities That Can Affect Your Stay in the UK
Although the UK allows you to accomplish various activities, it won’t let you carry out certain endeavors described below.
1. Don't Overstay On Your UK Student Visa
Staying in the UK beyond the validity of your Study visa is illegal. Overstaying in the UK can make you face regrettable consequences. For instance, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) can deport you and ban your re-entry for at least 12 months. Also, UKCISA can reject your future immigration applications.
So, keep an eye on when your student visa is about to expire. You must apply for a visa extension if your course requires you to stay in the UK for longer.
2. Ensure You Aren't a Self-Employed Person
According to the UK student visa requirements, you can't be self-employed while living in the UK on a study visa. Instead, you are eligible for part-time jobs, but you mustn't get a job as an entertainer, whether this job is paid or unpaid.
Also, remember that you can only work part-time for up to 20 hours a week during term time if you enroll in a study course at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. If you take work pressure and do more work than you are permitted to, you will breach the student visa rules, leading you to leave the UK. The Home Office counts your 20 hours starting on Monday and ending on Sunday. So make sure you don’t go over the 20-hour limit for the calendar week!
3. Don't Drop Out of Your Course to Pursue Other Opportunities
You must continue your course after obtaining a UK study visa. If you don’t continue your study course, you will lose the permit to enter and stay in the UK on a student visa.
We know that there can be instances where you feel like dropping out of your course. Before making this decision, reach out to an academic counselor or mentor who can give you a proper perspective and guidance on your situation. Understand the consequences of dropping out of your course - including having to leave the UK.
You cannot drop out of your course to pursue work opportunities. In fact, if immigration officers detect that your intentions are not that of a genuine student who plans to complete their course fully, you may not even get the visa in the first place.
The UK government prioritizes issuing visas to genuine students, who will complete their course in its entirety upon entering the country. Doing otherwise can jeopardize your student status and your rights to stay and work in the UK.
4. Avoid International Traveling During Semester-Time
If you have enrolled in a full-time course at a UK university, you must attend classes regularly as per the rules of your visa requirements. Hence, if you plan to travel outside the UK during term time, you can face difficulties on your return as the UK Border Agency will ask you many questions and may decline your entry if they suspect you are using your UK visa to travel rather than fulfill the purpose of its issuance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I work in the UK with my student visa?
With the UK Study visa, you are able to work part-time during term-time, and full-time over the holidays! To be sure that you don't violate the terms of your work rights, be sure to stick to the mandated work hours:
- 20 hours a week while you have classes
- Full-time when you're on semester break
The UK Home Office counts one week as 7 days starting Monday. Be sure not to go over the work hour limit, as you might lose your study rights in the UK.
Can I travel to other countries while I'm in the UK?
One of the perks of studying in the UK is being able to explore the country as well as more of Europe! However, be sure not to keep your travelling for the holidays. If immigration officers suspect you are using term time to travel, you may lose your student visa.
How much does the UK Study visa cost for Bangladeshi students?
For Bangladeshi students enrolling full-time for a program in the UK, visa application fees for you and your dependents is BDT 47,822 at the time of writing.
How much is the UK student visa application fee for Indian students?
For the Visiting Academic visa, the application fee is INR 20,657. This visa applies to students visiting the UK for longer than 6 months but up to or less than a year.
Our Concluding Thoughts
Living in the UK as a student is amazing, and you can make your stay hassle-free and comfortable by being a little careful and following do’s and don’ts on the UK Study visa shared in this article. We hope you found what you were searching for and will utilize this information while pursuing your studies in the UK. That's all for this content. You may read UK Student Visa Guide & Student Guide UK to make your study abroad journey effortless.