Your ability to work in the UK depends entirely on the restrictions placed on your visa. EEA citizens and people with Ancestry visas or UK citizenship are free to live and work in the UK without restriction. Other migrants may need to qualify for skilled visas or a temporary work programme such as the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme.
Many industries may require you to convert or update your qualifications to UK standards before you are allowed to work in the UK. To avoid paying higher emergency tax rates, we recommend that you apply for your National Insurance (NI) number.
The UK boasts a flexible labour market, with unemployment generally below 5% - a good rate when compared to other EU countries.
For younger travellers, temporary lifestyle work in a variety of industries (administrative, reception and promotion sectors) is always popular. To help you settle in, we’ve partnered with a number of recruitment agencies to find you work – often before you even leave for the UK. Find out more about our UK job assistance service here.
If you don’t qualify for an Ancestry visa and don’t hold an EEA passport, you will likely need to qualify for a Tier 2 (General) visa. This is made significantly easier if you work in a profession listed on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). If you are a non-EU citizen and your profession is not on this list, a UK company will need to show that they have a position that cannot be filled by a British candidate. At the moment, roles in the digital industry and nursing are in high demand.
We can help you with your Tier 2 application and provide guidance and support in applying for a certificate of sponsorship. Our Tier 2 entry-clearance service covers advice and representation in the Tier 2 visa application.
You can get more details around the Tier 2 visa here.
Many freelancers and contractors in the UK choose to work through a limited company. This allows them to structure their earnings in a more tax-efficient way than by being self-employed.
While there are other options for contracting in the UK, including working through umbrella companies and agencies, new legislation makes this a less attractive option. As of 6 April 2016, temporary workers, including those who work under umbrella companies or through agencies, will no longer receive tax relief on travel and subsistence costs.
Another option for contractors is to establish a limited company. A limited company separates your personal finances from your company finances. The company earns profit by bringing in more money than it spends. After settling its Corporation Tax, profits are divided by shareholders. If you are the only shareholder, you are solely entitled to these profits. The actual payment of these profits to the shareholder is called a dividend.
We can help you set up a limited company, allowing you to take advantage of the tax benefits.
Read more about setting up a limited company and contracting in the UK here.