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Topic: Advisory: working on the internet  (Read 20704 times)

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Advisory: working on the internet
« on: June 26, 2011, 09:08:52 PM »
The question comes up a lot in several different forms...

The fiance who makes arrangements with her employer to work in the UK via the internet.  Plus...

A visitor who works on the net.  We are not talking about a tourist who comes in for a week or so, but about somebody who is 'holed up' in the UK and working via the internet.  Plus...

Anybody else who was admitted in a category prohibiting work and works via the net. 

So in my capacity as an Independent Stakeholder I put these before the Entry Clearance Policy Unit at UKBA.  And they gave a reading on it.  I have been studying it over the weekend and think an advisory is in order.

Long and short:  If you get caught, you will be in *trouble*.  The common rationalization is that you're getting paid in dollars to a US bank and it all has nothing to do with the UK.  They don't accept that rationalization as valid.

People also use the tactic that they didn't know the way things worked.  But from their eyes you had an opportunity to explain what you're going to do in the UK when you landed.

Now just because UKBA says something is illegal doesn't mean the end of the world.  You can always have a meeting with the policy people and make a case for them to change their minds.  Or you can take them court.

We already know that if you're here for longer than 91 days and have made a remittance to yourself, HMRC gets involved.  This advisory completes the picture.

So take note.  This advisory isn't going to make some people very happy, but at least you know where you stand.

There were a few other things I asked them to clarify and I'm still studying them.


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 09:11:00 PM »
Thanks for the informative update; it's good to have since this question does come up frequently.


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 09:56:48 PM »
Has anything been published, Garry?
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel


Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 10:39:48 PM »
Has anything been published, Garry?

No, nothing in policy anyway.  That's why I asked.   :D

They made it real clear that it's unambiguously spelled out in HC395 tho'.  Citing chapter and verse and so forth.

Their email did, however, contain this sentence "...If a person is being paid for work they are carrying out whilst in the UK it is considered that they are working..."

Which sums up their position on it.  No grey areas at all in their minds.


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 12:45:31 PM »
Transpondia, I just read this post and my heart sank!

I have been visiting my UK husband off and on for short stints over the last year as we prepare to apply for our settlement visa (which is in its final stages, going to be turned in in the next 2 weeks)

During my visits to the UK, I continued my work with my father's US company as the head of digital marketing, (maintaining websites and running digital ad campaings). I HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS WAS ILLEGAL! I am terrified, because I was working for a US company in the exact same way I would be (from home) if I were in the States, it didn't even occur to me that this could be the case. It is a job I can do remotely from anywhere, and I never thought that it would be illegal to do it while visiting the UK because I am not taking UK money or resources or jobs!

Sorry for the freak out, but as we have spent the last month gathering everything for our settlement visa, and I am just about to post it off in a week and a half's time, I desperately need to know whether this will affect my application?

I am almost positive I have declared these circumstances to the IO at the border too....  :-\\\\
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 12:49:15 PM by Tawn »


Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 01:19:21 PM »
Lots of people have questions about this topic and I asked the policy unit at UKBA to give a reading on it.  They replied with their answer and I threw it out there so that people would know what their reading was.

It was a new issue for them to think about, and the main force of it is if you get CAUGHT.  So it doesn't really affect you.  Had you been caught doing it when visiting, or if they find out later, then it would be a different story.  

HMRC may have a bone to pick with you, but that's not an "immigration" thing.   :D

I forgot to add something:  I asked them *specifically* about people who get paid in dollars to a US bank account.  They think that part is irrelevant.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 01:22:53 PM by Transpondia »


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 01:40:11 PM »
Thank you for replying so quickly. Ever since reading your advisory my husband and I have been waiting on pins and needles.

So, if it is alright for me to just clarify, you believe that when I turn in my settlement application and with it I have pay slips that include periods of time that I was visiting the UK, they won't deny me my settlement stating that I broke the conditions of my visitation?



Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 02:09:18 PM »
So, if it is alright for me to just clarify, you believe that when I turn in my settlement application and with it I have pay slips that include periods of time that I was visiting the UK, they won't deny me my settlement stating that I broke the conditions of my visitation?

Oops!   :-[

You didn't mention that part.   If I get it correctly, the stuff you are planning to use to demonstrate your financial standing actually betrays a history of non-compliance?  Is that correct?


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2011, 02:16:57 PM »
Yes, unintentional of course as I never would have thought working remotely with my US employer while visiting the UK could possibly be illegal.  ??? That information hit me like a ton of bricks this morning, it had never even occurred to me since I would never work for a UK company while visiting, understanding that that was not allowed.

I will be turning in bank statements that show direct deposits of my wages during the period that I have been visiting the UK (I have been here since April 6th and I am leaving to go back to the States and turn in my settlement visa application next Thursday, July 7th).

Is there a way around this? Since I work for my father's company, could I get a letter saying it was paid leave? YIKES!


Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 02:27:11 PM »
To be totally honest, I never thought about that part.  And I don't have any strategy for you. 

You could probably go on a bet that they won't add 2+2 and everything will be fine.  I.e., they won't notice or if they do notice they won't know there's an extant reading on it.

Or you could open another thread and get some ideas.    Beyond hoping they don't notice, I don't know what else to do.

Overall and in general, people should try to avoid these types of situations. 


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2011, 02:43:41 PM »
Ok, I will start a different thread and see if anyone has had experience with this. 

I just looked at the UKBA website again and it says

Quote
You must also show that, during your visit, you do not intend to:
take employment, produce goods or provide services, including the selling of goods or services directo to members of the public;

That just seems to be explicitly addressing work in the UK while visiting, it doesn't say anything about continuing an employment in your home country. I always thought I was fortunate that my work could continue during my visits, that it made me a more stable visitor and future settlement seeker because I wouldn't be running out of funds during my stay!

Essentially, that would make even a person who visits and completes even a business call to their work back home would be breaking the conditions of their visa. How can this be possible?


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2011, 02:56:45 PM »
I think they accept, but don't like, that people might check emails and make phone calls back home.

But I think that they think there is a big difference between making a few phone calls and actually doing work. 


Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2011, 03:06:14 PM »
But I think that they think there is a big difference between making a few phone calls and actually doing work. 

Nice one.  And well put too.  People should know the difference anyway.

bookgirl, are you of the view that people should set up meetings with them and convince them that they have the wrong end of the stick?  Or that people should accept it and be more careful?   


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Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2011, 03:18:37 PM »
Oy vey.   :D

In a perfect world, IOs would all be loving, caring individuals who would have enough time to deal with each person as needed and guide them helpfully at the gate and therefore would be able to make a determination as to whether this person is here to gracefully gamboodle at Stonehenge on the mid-summer solstice and might also check emails and make phone calls and conduct online business at home or play poker, or whether they are planning on basically setting up a life in the UK for the six months and slaving away in a basement flat during the week to totter out sun deprived at night and on weekends to go buy some food and perhaps see a few sites.

Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world and so I would have to say unless the UK starts hiring IOs for their kind ways and abilities to read minds we should just accpet the fact that no work means no work and that if you are on holiday you shouldn't be doing any work. 

I do think the information needs to be better disseminated, because I can understand why people get it wrong.  However, it is what it is.


Re: Advisory: working on the internet
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2011, 03:45:58 PM »
I do think the information needs to be better disseminated, because I can understand why people get it wrong.  However, it is what it is.

I can TRY to suggest this.  Thing is...  The last time they tried to put out a do's and don'ts brochure, we even had UKY people as reviewers.  But despite most excellent commentary from people like Historyenne, the brochure never got published.  I think due to internal politics within UKBA. 

But one can always TRY.   :D


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