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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Good evening, I am employed on a Tier 2 working visa in

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Good evening,

I am employed on a Tier 2 working visa in a SOC code pertaining to IT/technical systems. It's my understanding that this means I cannot, for example, write freelance op-ed articles for newspapers and trade publications because that is outside of my sponsorship area. Is this correct? Or could I pitch articles as long as I am not paid for them? Would it then be considered voluntary work?

Thank you.

Would you actually be paid for them?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Tom. It varies based on publication; some will treat pitches as freelance submissions and pay a fee in exchange while others won't. The Guardian, for example, generally pays for submissions that it publishes but the contributor can choose to donate the fee to a charity of their choice.

I am now on my way to work. May I please answer at 9am?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, of course, whenever you are ready with the answer is fine. Thank you.


Thanks for your patience.

My view is that the by writing op-ed pieces you would effectively be doing a type of work other than your sponsored employment. This is because you would be doing the work of a write as opposed to your technicaly IT role.

On this basis I don’t think you could argue that it was “supplementary work”, for which you would not need to inform the UKBA.

If you were to not be paid for the work then you would probably be able to argue that it is “voluntary work”, in which case – provided you were not paid – you would not have to inform the UKBA.

The relevant link is here:-

And the policy guidance here:-

This is my view. You may consider informing the UKBA if you propose to regard this as voluntary work.

If you wished to be paid for the work then it would be regarded as “secondary work”, in which case the requirements (as you will see) are that you must inform the UKBA and seek a new certificate of sponsorship. I suppose the difficulty with this is that you would not have one sponsor and would presumably be writing for a few publications.

The difficulty generally is that I don’t think you could argue that it (writing) was the same profession as your sponsored role, thereby making it very, very difficult to confidently argue that you are allowed to 1) not inform the UKBA and 2) be paid for it.

I am sorry.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, that is what I thought also. I appreciate the confirmation. I've rated your answer.

No problem. Thanks for rating my answer.