Can I volunteer using UK student Visa
You can volunteer on your UK student visa but the UK Home Office makes a distinction between volunteering and voluntary work. Voluntary work in UK is considered unpaid employment and is therefore restricted on a student visa, along with any other paid work, to 20 hours a week during term-time (note the University’s working restrictions are greater and information on defining term-time is outlined under ‘Working hours’ above). Even if the opportunity is advertised as ‘volunteering’, it could still be considered voluntary work.
The UK Home Office advises taking the following into consideration to help determine if it is voluntary work or volunteering:
• Voluntary workers in UK will usually have contractual obligations to perform the work (e.g. to attend at particular times and carry out specific tasks) with UK employer being contractually required to provide the work – the contract does not have to be written. The worker is usually remunerated in kind.
• Students in UK who are volunteering do not have a contract, they must not be a substitute for an employee and they must not be doing unpaid work – i.e. receiving payment in kind (although they are sometimes reimbursed for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses).
It is advisable to check with the UK organisation offering the volunteering opportunity whether it would be regarded as unpaid employment. So your doubts about ‘Can I volunteer using UK student Visa is now clear.
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