Work Permit Rights for International Students in European Countries

  • 2022-11-15
The right to work depends on the student's type of study permit. In most cases, international students can work on campus throughout their studies without applying for a separate work permit. On the other hand, if students want to work off-campus or need to change their conditions of stay, such as extending a study permit or changing it from one program to another, then they will likely need to apply for a work permit. This blog helps you to understand Work Permit Rights for International Students in European Countries.

Work Permit Rights for International Students in European Countries

1. Working Rights for International Students in the United Kingdom

Working while studying in UK: Students who are engaged in full-time degree-level programs are allowed to work in the UK for 20 hours per week while classes are in session and full-time during breaks. Studying part-time does not grant the ability to work in the UK.

Work after studying in UK: You would require to obtain UK Graduate Route. To obtain this Bachelor’s degree is Minimum credential required. You must study at least for 12 months in UK. The duration of this visa is 24 months for bachelor’s and master’s degrees and 3 years for Ph.D.

2. Working Rights for International Students in France

Working while studying in France: While studying abroad in France, international students are allowed to work up to 964 hours a year on or off campus.

Work after studying in France: Temporary Residence Permit allows international students to stay in France after the completion of their course to look for employment, on the condition that they have finished their bachelor’s/master’s degree from the Institute of France. The validity of this permit is 12 months. Once students find a job, they can apply for a 4-year work permit. 

3. Working Rights for International Students in Finland

Working while studying in Finland: Up to 30 hours a week of a part-time job are allowed, but it must be in the student's area of study. Students are permitted to work as many hours as they like throughout the holidays.

Work after studying in Finland: A residence Permit is required for students who are willing to stay back in Finland once their studies are over, and now looking to find a job in Finland. The international student must have completed at least Bachelor’s degree in Finland. The validity of this permit is 2 years.

4. Working Rights for International Students in Germany

Working while studying in Germany: Non-EU international students can work while studying for 120 full days or 240 half days per year.

Work after studying in Germany: You have to apply for and obtain a Residence Permit after your studies. The Minimum credential required is Bachelor’s degree from German University. The minimum study time must be 3 years. With this permit, your sole aim should be to find a full-time job related to your field of study in Germany. It provides you to stay up to 18 months on a Residence permit.

5. Working Rights for International Students in Ireland

Working while studying in Ireland: International students are permitted to work 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 40 hours per week from 15 December to 15 January and during June, July, August, and September.

Work after studying in Ireland: If you do not belong to EU or EEA countries, the most important scheme provided by the Irish Government to stay back in Ireland is the Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission. It is for students who have completed their Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Ireland.

The Third Level Graduate Stream is designed for graduates to look for work or apply for a Green Card. Green Cards are awarded only when a job pays over €60,000 per year, is on a list of specified occupations, or pays more than €30,00 per year and will last at least 24 months.
Students who have graduated from any renowned universities in Ireland can stay back with this permission for up to 24 months in search of employment.

6. Working Rights for International Students in Italy

Working while studying in Italy: International Students can work up to 1,040 hours per year. This equates to 20 hours of part-time work for 12 months.

Work after studying in Italy: To stay back and find a job in Italy you will need Permesso di Soggiorno (Residence Permit). Only students completing master's or Ph.D. degrees are eligible for it. Bachelor's degree is not counted towards it.  Based on the course and university, the stay back is allowed for up to 6 to 12 months.

7. Working Rights for International Students in Netherlands

Working while studying in Netherlands: Non-EU students are permitted to work part-time throughout the academic year for up to 16 hours per week and full-time during the summer months of June, July, and August. You will require a Work permit for this.

Work after studying in Netherlands: To stay back in the Netherlands after studies, students would need to obtain Orientation Year Residence Permit. It is valid for one year. The students will require at least Bachelor’s degree earned from Dutch University. You should have a minimum study time of 10 months. Once students have found a job, they can stay in the Netherlands for as long as they have that job and also apply for a 4-year EU Blue Card residence permit. 

8. Working Rights for International Students in Spain

Working while studying in Spain: While studying in Spain, international students are allowed to work 20 hours a week.

Work after studying in Spain: To stay back and work in Spain after studies, you will have to obtain Residence Permit. You will require at least Bachelor’s degree obtained for Spanish University. The Residence Permit is valid for 1 year.


Work permit rights are usually a topic of great interest to international students trying to find employment in European countries. However, there is much confusion about how this system works and what rights you have as an international student to work in your target country. We hope this guide has covered the most important aspects for you so that you can get your job and stay out of trouble with the authorities –or at least reduce the risk of being punished for doing something completely legal.

Read also:

6 Tips to Help You Apply to the Right College in Europe
The Ultimate Study Abroad Checklist Every International Student Needs
Do's and Don'ts When Studying Abroad
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