Partners and families


1. Working in the UK.

2. Volunteering in the UK.

3. Meeting people.

4. Library services and free Internet access.

5. Health entitlements.

6. Further information.



1. Working in the UK

If you have permission to work in the UK, working can be a good way to meet local people and make new friends, as well as earn extra money. It may be difficult to find well-paid work in your area of experience, so you may have to take a job that you would not normally do back home. There are many ways to look for work – here are some suggestions:

  • Visit a job centre. These are run by the Government and advertise a vast range of jobs. Visit the JobCentrePlus website to find a job centre in your local area.
  • Look in local newspapers. A full list of local newspapers can be found on the Newspaper Society website.
  • Employment agencies recruit temporary staff for offices, telephone call centres, hotels, bars, hospitals, care homes, and other workplaces. You can find contact details for employment agencies in the Yellow Pages telephone directory.


2. Volunteering in the UK

Volunteering means working unpaid by giving your time and skills for free. Voluntary work can be a great way to learn new skills, gain experience for your CV and be involved in something worthwhile in the local community. There is a huge range of volunteering opportunities at all skills levels. You can find out more information about volunteering on the Do-It website. If you are in the UK on a visitor visa, you will not be able to do voluntary work because ‘working’ means paid or unpaid work.


3. Meeting people

It can sometimes be daunting moving country and starting a new life with no contacts or friends. Try to join new groups in your community or visit your local community centre for ideas.


4. Library services and free Internet access

You can join a local public library where you can borrow a large range of books including fiction and reference books. You can also borrow CDs, videos and DVDs, use the internet, and find out about activities in the local area. It is free to join a library. To join a library you need to show 2 forms of identification:

  • One document to prove who you are, such as a passport or bank card.
  • Proof of your UK address with your name and address on.

Click on the libraries website to find details of your local branch.


5. Health entitlements

All visitors to the UK are entitled to some treatment from the NHS (National Health Service). The dependant of an international student (that is the husband, wife or children aged up to 16, or up to 19 if in full time education) is entitled to free treatment on the NHS provided:

  • Their passport stamp confirms they are in the UK as the dependant.
  • They arrived in the UK at the same time as, or shortly after their spouse, parent or partner.
  • The UK is their main home.

Please note that even if you are entitled to free health treatment, you may need to pay for your prescription medicines. Please refer to the Register with a doctor section for more information.


6. Further information

You can find out further information from the UKCISA families factsheet.

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