5 Things to Know When Employing International Students

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With an increase in the number of audits and enforcement letters for those employing international students, it pays to be aware of the following points.

  • Check the student’s passport and identity card (if applicable). Check the visa sticker or biometric residence permit to ensure that permission to study and work has been granted. This will also give the number of hours of work the student is allowed to carry out.

  • Don’t allow the student to work in excess of the permitted number of hours. For degree level study and above, a total of 20 hours per week during term time is allowed. For study below that level it is 10 hours. Make sure that the number of hours is not exceeded in any one week. For example, it is not OK to average the number of hours over a period of time. If less than 20 hours are worked in one week, the maximum amount allowed the next week is still only 20 hours.

  • During the holidays a student may work full-time, but unless they have applied for Leave To Remain and complied with all of the conditions of that application they may not fill a permanent full-time vacancy, even at the end of their stay.

  • Check whether the work is being assessed as part of the student’s course. If so, keep the necessary information on file.

  • Keep full records of everything. Details of the student’s documentation giving the right to work should be noted. A system should be in place to continually monitor the number of hours worked to ensure that the permissible number is not exceeded in any particular week. UKVI officers are looking particularly at this point and requiring evidence of the employer’s control process.

If the above points are complied with a company can benefit from the advantages international students bring, including a wide range of skills, experience, diversity, initiative and knowledge of the global market.