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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, immigration laws and regulations really confuse me, I hope I can get some clarification! I'm a US citizen wanting to live in the UK with my partner who is European (and eventually marry him). He's been living in the UK for a year and in Europe all his life. We're both self employed with our income coming from our online/portable businesses.

1) My first question is: I know you can visit the UK for 180 days without needing a visa, provided you don't work. So assuming I go back at day 170, can I just fly back to the UK after having been back in the US for a couple of weeks or months? I couldn't find any details on this...

2) Secondly, what is considered working? Can I earn any money (in self employed status) to a certain height, or is a hypothetical 5 pounds earning already breaking the rules?

3) Can I still legally work with American clients over the phone while in the UK (without a visa)?

4) If I marry him and apply for a spouse visa, I assume I can start working in the UK, can I continue to earn money in the US as well?

all the information I've read so far seems very complicated and I've no interest in working for a company/getting a job as my own business is how I earn my living.

Love to hear any answers people may have...
 

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Whether or not you're considered to be working in the UK depends on where you are "resident" - hence the 180 day limit on visits to the UK. But your plan to just chill in the US for a few weeks won't work, because the UK considers you resident for tax purposes if you are present in the country for 183 days of the tax year (which, in the UK runs April 6th to April 5th).

"Working" isn't related to a certain earnings figure. It relates to earning money while you are considered "resident" in the UK. The 183 day thing isn't the only determinating factor, but it's one of the key ones. Others are things like where you keep your stuff, have your primary "center of interest", etc.

You can legally work over the phone with clients in America (or anywhere else for that matter) while visiting the UK. But you have to be considered "just a visitor". If you make yourself resident, everything changes.

If you marry him, the sequence is that you first apply for a spouse visa, then you move to the UK - and I'm not sure, but there may be a slight delay before you can legally work in the UK after your arrival. We've got a few folks who have done just that recently and will be able to fill you in.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Bev!

You can legally work over the phone with clients in America (or anywhere else for that matter) while visiting the UK. But you have to be considered "just a visitor". If you make yourself resident, everything changes.
Is this the same as stating that provided you have 'visitor' status (not resident status), you can earn money in the country itself also? So I could earn money - without a visa - from UK clients/work as well as US clients while in the UK as a visitor ? (as long as I'm not there for longer than 180 days in a tax year)?
 

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Thank you Bev!



Is this the same as stating that provided you have 'visitor' status (not resident status), you can earn money in the country itself also? So I could earn money - without a visa - from UK clients/work as well as US clients while in the UK as a visitor ? (as long as I'm not there for longer than 180 days in a tax year)?
Where your clients are located really doesn't matter. It's where you are physically located when you are doing the work for or with the clients.

If you had a regular job back in the US and were "just visiting" the UK for a few weeks, there would be no problem making calls back to your employer or to customers in the US. You could even come to the UK on a business trip and work at your employer's site for the allotted time.

As self-employed, you're pushing the envelope a bit, especially if your "visit" extends close to the 180 day limit. If you're picking up new clients in the UK and billing them, you run the risk of running afoul of the VAT regulations for businesses, among other things.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I am in a similar situation:

I currently run a couple of web sites that generates enough to pay a wage from advertising revenue. I am originally from the UK and the sites are run through a VAT registered UK limited company.

I have been granted an Australian tourist Visa for 12 months - Tourist Visa (Subclass 676) - immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/676/, and plan to be out of the UK for a complete tax year.

While in Australia I plan to maintain these web sites from a laptop and pay myself from the UK limited company to my personal UK bank account in the form of wages and/or dividends (which ever is most tax efficient).

I am very confused as to what my residency and tax status will be. I do not believe I will be tax resident in the UK as I will be away for an entire tax year. Also I do not think I will be a resident of Australia as I will just be a tourist.

Will I be seen to be working illegally in Australia? I won't actually be employed in Australia. Also where should income taxes be paid? If I am out of the UK for a complete tax year I think it is possible to not pay income tax on wages?

Any advise/clarification is much appreciated.
 
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