Chinese Student Allowed to work 20 hours per week - Can they teach Mandarin online?

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My friend has moved to England from China to study a masters. She has a BRP and it says she can work 20 hours per week in the UK during term time.

Can she teach Mandarin via a website (italki)?

This page suggests she might not be able to as she may fall under being self-employed but it seems a bit hard to understand given the fact you could do this job anywhere in the world...

Anyone have any ideas?

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  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,109 Forumite
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    If she is not an employee then she will be classed as self employed which is against the terms of her entry to UK.
  • CakeTime
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    Ok thanks, so out of interest, what would happen if someone had, I don't know, A successful Youtube channel before they moved over to England to study? It's just hypothetical but they're making an income... Are they expected to take the channel down so they make no more money?
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,109 Forumite
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    If they wanted a tier 4 visa then they would have to stop it.

    Presumably, they would investigate that before applying.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,284 Forumite
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    CakeTime wrote: »
    My friend has moved to England from China to study a masters. She has a BRP and it says she can work 20 hours per week in the UK during term time.

    Can she teach Mandarin via a website (italki)?

    This page suggests she might not be able to as she may fall under being self-employed but it seems a bit hard to understand given the fact you could do this job anywhere in the world...

    Anyone have any ideas?


    She could set it up so that all payment goes to an account in China, with nothing linking the online business to the student in the UK.

    Unlikely to be an issue unless she earns enough to be liable for tax and National Insurance.
  • [Deleted User]
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    She could set it up so that all payment goes to an account in China, with nothing linking the online business to the student in the UK.

    Unlikely to be an issue unless she earns enough to be liable for tax and National Insurance.

    Yes immigration fraud is the way to go. Shed still be breaking the visa rules regardless of where she was paid or how little she earned.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,109 Forumite
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    https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6257/A-working-definition

    Online business, e-commerce

    You cannot run a business at all while you are in the UK. The Immigration Rules give no exceptions for online businesses or for businesses where all the clients are outside the UK.

    Passive income: affiliate marketing, clicks on your YouTube videos, sponsored Instagram, etc.

    While this is not one of the three named examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (paragraph 319), it would reasonably be defined as a business activity, so best not do it while you are in the UK.

    Someone who has become a YouTube celebrity after studying in the UK is Seong-jae Kong, known as Korean Billy. As part of our 2017 conference, Billy spoke to UKCISA about his time as an international student in the UK and how it has inspired his new career.

    Working for an employer outside the UK

    If you are physically outside the UK, your Tier 4 work conditions are irrelevant. You need to check what are your work rights in the specific country where you are working. However any work you do when you are physically in the UK, for example working for a non-UK employer remotely or doing a "virtual internship" with them counts towards your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum. This is because the work restriction has no specific exception to not count work undertaken remotely for an employer who is outside the UK.
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