Student Immigration Service

Working as a Sabbatical Officer

International students are encouraged to stand for election as a Sabbatical Officer. Students with a Tier 4 visa are permitted to take a position as a Sabbatical Officer in the Students' Association.

The University of Edinburgh can continue to sponsor your visa for up to two years while you undertake the role.

If you have enough time on your current visa, you do not need to make a special visa application for the time that you will be in the role.

The University will make a report to the UK Visas & Immigration informing them of the change of circumstances. However, it is likely that you will eventually have to extend your visa to complete your programme.

Does my Tier 4 visa allow me to work full-time as a Sabbatical Officer?

Yes, it does, and you will be expected to work full-time as a Sabbatical Officer. You are also permitted to do additional work on a part-time basis (normally 20 hours per week).

Can I be a Sabbatical Officer if I haven't finished my programme yet?

Yes, but you should talk to your Personal Tutor or supervisor about how this might affect your studies. You will be expected to complete your programme when the Sabbatical Officer position is finished, and it is likely that you will need to extend your visa to do so.

Do I need a special visa to be a Sabbatical Officer?

No, you can use your existing Tier 4 visa, providing it covers the full length of the position. If your visa does not cover the full length of the Sabbatical Officer position, you will need to make a visa application for the Sabbatical Officer position, and then another visa application if you need to return to studies to complete your programme.

Does the Sabbatical Officer position count towards my time limits for studying in the UK?

No, time spent working as a Sabbatical Officer does not count towards the limit on UK study time under Tier 4.

Tier 4 time limits

If my visa expires before the elections, can I stay in the UK?

If you have finished your programme of study and your visa will expire before the elections, you will not be able to make an application to extend your visa under Tier 4 to stay in the UK for the elections. This will, most likely, mean that you have to leave the UK during the election period, which is likely to affect your campaign.

Related Links

Student Union Sabbatical Officers (UKCISA)

Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA)