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There are frequent changes to the rules affecting international students and graduates wishing to work in the UK so for the most comprehensive and up to date information you should check the UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) websiteUKCISA presents changes to immigration rules in more student-friendly language.

If you are an international student wanting to work in the UK – whether vacation work during or after your studies - you need to be clear about the requirements and rules as applied by both the UK Government and the University. See the International Students webpages for how the UKVI rules are likely to apply to you as a Cambridge student and immediately after you have completed your studies.

This blog series explains the new visa options and how to explain them to employers.

Once you know how the rules apply to you the Careers Service can offer help in finding a job in the UK (if appropriate), in your home country or elsewhere.


You can use the Careers Service after you leave

After you have left Cambridge, wherever you are living, you can use the Careers Service. You will always have access to our website, the Handshake system, our enquiries staff and our advisers.  For the first two years after you leave you have priority in terms of booking an appointment. After two years you can have a careers appointment during the vacations.

National Insurance

If you are planning to work in the UK and don't already have a National Insurance (NI) number, we’d recommend that you read this brief summary of taxes, specifically written for International Students:

You can apply using the online form here:    You’ll then be asked to submit documents either online or by attending an in-person ID check, probably at your closest job centre. This may take several weeks or months, but you can start working without the number in place.

If a job application form requires an NI number before you can submit, contact their HR department and tell them that you have applied but do not yet have the number. You can direct them to this .gov website which confirms that you do not need an NI number to commence work - If you have any questions or problems, you can call the NI Helpline: 0800 141 2079

If you hold a student visa, you should check the work restrictions under this immigration permission: You can also contact the International Student Office for visa queries:


The Careers Service tries hard to advertise jobs outside the UK. Inevitably, though, most of the jobs you will find through us will be in the UK.

Nevertheless see the jobs listings on Handshake. You should select appropriate countries, as well as the industries/sectors you are interested in and the job roles you think you would enjoy.

GoinGlobal lists job vacancies around the world. You can select the country/city you want to work in and there is advice on how CV/resume styles differ internationally.

Gradlink UK is helpful for UK Educated international students looking for opportunities to work with global companies in their home country.

If you did your undergraduate degree in your home country your university there may well be a good sources of vacancies.


Talk to alumni via Handshake or LinkedIn. Use the Handshake community or Cambridge University LinkedIn group as other ways to contact Cambridge alumni in the countries, sectors or roles you want to work in.

Contacting the alumni groups in the countries where you want to work can be another useful way of making connections and finding out about the local job market. You can register with the Cambridge Alumni Relations Office to ensure that you receive news updates including notice of new groups or events local to you.