Employment of Non-EEA Students through the Employment and Recruitment Service (ERS) or HR (December 2018)

The University has a duty to ensure that our procedures in relation to the employment of non-EEA students (students on a tier 4 visa) are compliant and operating in line with legislation and good practice. We need to remind you of your obligations as an employing manager and also apply more checks to ensure that the University is compliant with the terms of our licence. As you will be aware the retention of our licence is critical as without it the University will not be able to recruit non-EEA students and/or staff.

Under the conditions of their visa (tier 4), non-European Economic Area (EEA note1) students are subject to a number of restrictions and requirements. These include:

1)      Evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK must be provided to ERS or HR before they start work (this applies to all staff);

2)      A limit on the number of paid hours worked each week applies during term time (normally 20). This limit is the total number of hours worked each week not the number of hours worked per job;

3)      Information relating to their correspondence address and phone number(s) must be provided to the University and updated following any changes.

Actions required of you.

a)       Before appointing a student on a Tier 4 visa (non-EEA national), determine, by asking the individual, whether s/he holds other paid employment either in other Departments within the University or is currently being employed outside the University;

b)      Advise the individual that they must provide evidence of eligibility to work in UK to ERS or HR before starting work;

c)       If evidence of eligibility to work in the UK has not been provided to either ERS or HR, you must not allow the individual to commence work. You must be completely certain that the individual has provided this information – if in doubt please contact recruit@lancaster.ac.uk (ERS ) or hr@lancaster.ac.uk (HR);

d)      Advise the individual that they have a responsibility for ensuring that they do not exceed the number of working hours permitted by their visa (this number will be printed on their Biometric Residence Permit);

e)       Advise the individual that timesheets should be submitted for approval weekly;

f)        Authorise timesheets for these individuals on a weekly basis;

g)       Do not authorise timesheets which exceed the weekly limit;

h)      Advise the individual that they must inform you of any changes to their employment status which may impact on the number of hours you want them to, or are permitted for them to work;

Please remember that non-EEA students are covered by UK legislation in a way that EEA nationals are not. It is therefore acceptable to ask about their employment and compliance with their visa. Asking these questions of all non-EEA nationals will not constitute discrimination. If you are in any doubt or require clarity please do seek advice.

What happens if a non-EEA national does not comply with the terms of their visa?

If an individual fails to comply with 2) above, then they will not be allowed to undertake any work. If they do not comply with 3) above, s/he will be breaching the terms of their visa which could result in its cancellation and their removal from the UK.


Failure by the University to undertake the right to work check (1) above), exposes it to civil penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker found to be working for the University.


The discovery of illegal working and/or imposition of a civil penalty or failure to comply with 2) and/or 3) above could also result in the Home Office revoking the University’s Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsor licence for recruiting international students and staff. It is therefore essential that all managers and employees fully comply with 1), 2) and 3) above.


Communications reinforcing the importance of compliance with the terms of the UKVI licence for employment on Non-EEA nationals are also being sent to eligible students and employees. Details of this communication is set out in appendix 1 below. We appreciate that this may cause inconvenience to managers and students in certain situations, however we are sure that you will appreciate that compliance with the licence is a priority for the University, especially given the risk to reputation and our ability to attract the best students and staff from overseas.


Paul Boustead                                                   Heather Knight

Director of Human Resources                                    Director of Students, Education and Academic Services

Note 1: EEA Countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom


Contact Us

We are open for emails and phone calls weekdays 9am until 5pm. We also have a drop-in desk that is open 10am till 4:30pm weekdays in the Base.

Email us at: recruit@lancaster.ac.uk.

Telephone: 01524 5 10853