Can I work in the UK?
If you have permission to stay in the UK – for example, you are in the UK on a work visa, have refugee status, humanitarian protection, limited/discretionary leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain – then you can do paid work in the UK.
If you apply for an extension of your leave before your permission to stay in the UK runs out then you can keep on working whilst your application is being considered.
In most cases you cannot work in the UK if you are an asylum-seeker or a failed asylum-seeker.
If you are in the UK on a student visa, you may be allowed to take up paid employment (up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during your holidays), a work placement or an internship.
See Your status for further information on types of immigration status.
To show your employer that you are allowed to work in the UK, you should present the document that shows you have permission to stay in the UK. This will usually be a Biometric Resident Permit. If you have lost this, you need to report it lost or stolen to the Home Office.
If you have made an application for an extension of your limited leave, you should keep a copy of the Biometric Resident Permit before you send your application and also get a letter from your solicitor saying that you have made an application.
To be able to work you will also need a National Insurance number.
If you do not have one of these, you can phone the Job Centre National Insurance number helpline on 08456 000643, or if you are in care your social worker can apply for one for you.
Can I volunteer?
You can do unpaid volunteering for a charity or public sector organisation whatever your immigration status. You may get your lunch and travel paid for when you do volunteering. You can find more information about rights to volunteer here.
Can I do an apprenticeship?
If you have refugee status, humanitarian protection, limited/discretionary leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain and you are no longer at school you can do an apprenticeship.
If you are an asylum-seeker you cannot usually do an apprenticeship, but if you are an asylum-seeker and you are being looked after by children’s services you may be able to. See Your status for further information on types of immigration status.