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Can Tier 2 Visa Holders Be Self-Employed?

The Tier 2 General Visa is an excellent option for those coming to the UK to live and work. The visa negates the need to have an initial business idea that would be required for the vast majority of business-related visas and is an ideal way for those who intend to be employed, to come to the UK in order to work. But while there are clearly many positives to the Tier 2 General Visa, there are some drawbacks. These drawbacks are mostly employment related. The Tier 2 General Visa has very strict criteria on what work can - and more importantly cannot - be done while you are using the visa to remain in the UK. In this article, we are going to look at one of the more common questions that are asked by Tier 2 General Visa holders: can Tier 2 General Visa holders be self-employed?

Can A Tier 2 General Visa Holder Be Self-Employed?

Yes a migrant worker would be permitted to undertake supplementary employment on a Self Employed basis, but they would still be required to meet the rules for Supplementary employment, such as the role must be the same and the same professional level of the role for which they are Sponsored.

What Jobs Can A Tier 2 Visa Holder Do?

By definition, a Tier 2 General Visa holder needs to work for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. This is so that your records are accurately maintained while you use your visa to reside in the UK. You can, of course, move jobs when you wish. This is one of the principal concerns for those on a Tier 2 General Visa. It means that you are never tied into working for an employer, and are free to change employment when you wish. One thing that you must take into account though is that your new employer will also need to be a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder if you wish to change jobs. You will also need to apply for a new visa if you wish to switch.

You do have other options though. One option is taking on additional employment. This can take the form of another job within the scope of your visa and cannot exceed 20 hours per week. Also, if you wish to work in the voluntary sector, you are free to do so. The UK very much pushes people to work in the charity sector, and you can still do this while in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa.

Switching Options?

Depending on your skills and level of funding, you have the option of switching to one of the following:

All of these routes can be switched to from any of the Tier 2 visa routes. The eligibility criteria vary wildly for the three routes, but all of them offer the ability to work for yourself, free from restrictions, while residing in the UK. To find out more, consult our articles on the visa routes or give us a call and we can help you to choose the one that is most suited to your business idea and finances.

I Want To Take On Additional Work Outside Of My Usual Work, What Are My Options?

You are able to take on additional work outside of the hours that you do with your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. There are, however, strict conditions applied to this additional work and these are laid out below:

  • The work must not exceed 20 hours per week
  • The work must be within the remit of your normal job (i.e. linked to your Tier 2 General Visa employment - this does not apply to voluntary work)

Many people who work on a Tier 2 General Visa find ways of taking on additional work that either complements their career or helps them to work in the voluntary sector. Whatever you choose to do, get in touch today and discuss your options with our team. Our experienced immigration solicitors can help you to make the most of your opportunity and gain valuable experience and insight by taking on additional work. So to ensure that what you want to do is eligible, get in touch today and speak to a member of our team.

Where Can I Get More Help?

If you need more help with a Tier 2 General Visa query then please get in touch. Our team of immigration experts can help you to make the most of your visa conditions. So for more information or guidance, get in touch today and speak to our team.

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