Tier 2 General / Skilled Worker visa holders must be sponsored by an employer in order to work legally in the United Kingdom.
As a result, you are not permitted to start a business (self-employed) in place of or in addition to your primary sponsored employment without first obtaining an Innovator or Start-up visa, or a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Global Talent visa.
However, in some cases, you may be able to work independently for a Tier 2 General / Skilled Worker sponsor. Information on this topic can be found in the Guidance for sponsors document, namely under section S1.29. See related link here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workers-and-temporary-workers-guidance-for-sponsors-part-2-sponsor-a-worker?fbclid=IwAR3ORo-bIm_FkG6F7GJGH1cjgTIGvP8iFc7Z-cGYX0VkscJZnnnLd8BEMno
What follows is a summary of the contents of this document:
For the worker to be considered “self-employed,” a valid contract for employment or services must exist between you and the worker.
With an employer’s sponsorship and a properly drafted contract in hand, a Tier 2 General / Skilled Worker visa holder can work independently in the United Kingdom.
This means, in layman’s terms, that if a company sponsors you and provides you with a clear contract outlining the task you have been contracted to complete with them, then you can work as a self-employed person while holding a Tier 2 General / Skilled Worker visa.
The sponsor is also legally obligated to pay you at least £25,600 per year, or the minimum remuneration required by your position according to the applicable SOC code if it’s higher.
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