Additional work while on Tier 2

  • Hello and many thanks for taking the time to answer my query.
    I am going to start as a lecturer in the UK on a Tier 2 visa sponsored by a reputable University soon. I understand-

    -That in addition to the sponsored job, I can work for up to 20 hours a week on another job, without needing to gain another Tier 2 sponsorship for it.
    -That I won't be able to do self employed work.

    As a lecturer, it is very likely that I'll be offered additional part time work from time to time (such as writing book chapters, consultancies, one-off teaching offers, public lectures etc.) that most of my colleagues will be able to accept because they can be self employed. As I won't be able to do so, I risk losing out on major career development opportunities because I won't be able to build my CV through these activities- putting me in a significantly disadvantaged position than my colleagues.

    A friend of mine told me that I can use an umbrella company to employ me and then they can accept contracts on my behalf and I can work as an employed person. In that case, as long as I don't work more than 20 hours a week (which I won't be able to anyway, as my sponsored job as a Lecturer will take substantial time!), I should be fine.

    I had a quick google and people say mixed things- some have said that this is perfectly fine as this involves paying tax and NI on a PAYE basis, whereas some others have said that they wrote to UK Home Office and were told that they could actually be self employed (sole trader) too as long as it was less than 20 hours a week. This led me thinking I could ask the UK Home Office and maybe they'll allow me to work self employed if I tell them what it is that I'll be doing.

    Could you please advise if either of these is an option? Or do I have to say no to any extra work/ developmental opportunity that comes my way?

    Many thanks
    Best wishes

  • Hello Visr

    Please could you help with the above question? I'd be very grateful.

  • Immigration Adviser

    Hi @CH

    As long as you don't set up your own company to carry out the supplementary work and this is done as employment or self-employment then this is fine.

    The guidance on Supplementary employment is as follows:

    1. You do not need to inform us of any supplementary employment, as long as it is:

    • in either a job which is included on the Shortage Occupation List in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules, or a job in the same profession, and at the same professional level, as the work for which your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned; and

    • no more than 20 hours per week; and

    • outside of the normal working hours for which your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned.

  • @jason Many thanks for clearing that up.

  • Hello, I am replying here because my situation is nearly identical. I am also an academic on a tier 2 visa.

    In my case the supplementary work would be private consultancy (which would qualify as self-employment I believe) for a company based outside of UK, to do work closely related to my professional expertise. If I understand @Jason's reply well, this is an acceptable case? And if it is, I can then pay taxes on this additional income through HMRC the way UK/EU citizens do?


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