Can I live and work in the UK?

Updated on 27 January 2020


The migrants section is for people who have a right to be in the UK or a right to work in the UK. Therefore, as a first step you need to understand your immigration status.

Following the 2016 European Union (EU) membership referendum in the UK, on 29 March 2017 the UK provided notice to the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. At the time of writing (in March 2019), the date and terms of the UK’s departure from the EU have not yet been finalised. Therefore, please note that the guidance below reflects the law as it applies before the UK’s departure from the EU.

It is not possible to explain all of 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 NI (in Northern Ireland) or the Law Society of Scotland (in 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 website. 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 have no bearing whatsoever on whether you are able to claim a tax refund. 

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