Are you entitled to be working in the UK?

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If you’re a non-UK citizen and want to find out whether you have the right to work in the UK, please refer to this section before continuing through this tax guide.


If you are not aBritish citizen or a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, or a Swiss national, you may need a visa before you can visit the UK.

You can apply for a visa at a British Overseas Mission in your own country. If you are approved, the visa will be put in your passport.
Having a visa does not always mean you can work in the UK. If the visa says ‘prohibited’ on it you will need a work permit to work in the UK.

Find out if you need a UK visa and how to apply at the British Government website for visa services

Work permits

You don’t need a permit to work in the UK if you are any of the following:

  • A British citizen
  • An EEA citizen
  • A Swiss national

EEA countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, 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 and the UK.

If you are from another country you will need a work permit before you can work in the UK.

You can’t apply for a permit yourself - your employer (the person you work for) in the UK has to apply for you. How long your permit lasts depends on the work you do and the type of permit.

Find out more about work permits at the Home Office UK BA website.


If you’re an international student you may be allowed to work here when you’re studying.

If you have a student visa you can work here:

  • Outside term time
  • Up to 20 hours a week during term time (but you can work more than 20 hours if the work is part of your course or is an internship)

If you do work, you can’t work here:

  • Provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
  • Take a permanent, full-time position
  • Run a business
  • Work for yourself (self-employed)