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Updated on 6 April 2024

Coming to the UK

If you are coming to the UK from overseas, as a first step you need to understand your immigration status.

A flag of the United Kingdom blowing in the breeze, a blue sky is in the background.
Stefan Ataman /

Content on this page:

We cannot explain all the rules about the right to work and be in the UK here. In case of uncertainty, you should go to the UK Visas and Immigration section of GOV.UK for up-to-date information. You can follow the links below to information on GOV.UK on the following specific topics:

For further advice, you can go to an accredited immigration adviser or immigration solicitor. You can find your nearest accredited immigration adviser, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, on GOV.UK.

Alternatively, you can find an immigration solicitor through the Law Society (in England and Wales), the Law Society of Northern Ireland or the Law Society of Scotland.

With regards to visa and immigration status and tax, there are two important things to note:

  • We talk about your UK tax ‘residence’ throughout this guidance. Here we are considering where you are resident for tax purposes – this may not be the same as for visa/immigration purposes.
  • Provided you are living and working in the UK legally, your visa/immigration status will not affect whether you are able to claim a tax refund.
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