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Employing international students

Many businesses benefit from hiring international students, who can offer a mixture of specialist skills and general knowledge, in addition to speaking multiple languages and having proven their determination and motivation by moving around the world to follow their chosen path. The energy, enthusiasm and dynamism offered by many international students makes them very appealing to employers - but what restrictions are there on hiring students from other countries?

Many international students are allowed to work while they study, with some exceptions and considerations. While students from the Government's list of recognised bodies (GOV.UK - Recognised UK degrees: recognised bodies) may work, those studying at many private colleges are not entitled to. A general student visa allows international students to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during term time and full-time during holidays. International students must not take on full-time roles, become self-employed or work as an entertainer or sportsperson.

Students are also allowed to do work experience, providing the placement is approved by their university and does not take up more than 50% of the course's duration.

As an employer, you are legally obliged to check that an international student is eligible to work, either by checking their passport or by contacting the UK Border Agency, whose helpline number is 0300 123 4699.

Acas provides a wide range of Training and Business Solutions Training and business solutions, including courses on Human resources management for beginners. Training can also be tailored to suit your organisation and delivered at your premises.

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