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Supporting International Student Art Sales at RCA2023: Navigating Visa Restrictions

Navigating Art Sales at RCA2023 for International Students: Visa Restrictions and Future Opportunities. We explore how UK visa regulations limit the direct sale of artwork by students on Student Visas.

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One of the student representatives raised an important concern regarding the sales of artwork during the degree show and expressed the desire for the college to support international students in this aspect. We understand that selling their work can be a valuable opportunity for students to showcase their talent and contribute to their future careers. In light of this, we have explored the topic further and gathered relevant information to provide clarity on the matter. 

Restrictions on a Student Visa

Unfortunately, students on Student Visas are restricted by the UK Home Office from “engaging in business activity” whilst they hold their visas. This means that Student Visa-holders are unable to sell their work directly at RCA2023. More detailed information can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs' website. Including a Blog: A working definition.


For students holding a student visa, visitors to RCA2023 will be able to directly contact you to express an interest in purchasing your artwork. It will then be at your own discretion as to whether you would like to sell the work to an individual after your visa expires. 


To sell your work, you must first obtain a graduate visa. To find out if you are eligible for this visa, please refer to the information on our website about working in the UK after your studies.


If you are physically outside the UK, any conditions of a UK visa you hold are irrelevant, including the work conditions. The UK government has no jurisdiction over and no interest in your work activities when you are not even in the UK.

If you have any further questions about selling your work on a student visa, please contact Monica Kumwenda (International Funding Advisor) at