Photo of YouTube studio by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

Can You Run a YouTube Channel While on a Skilled Worker Visa?

Article published (or last modified) on 04 May 2024

We often get asked whether someone is allowed to run a YouTube channel, if they are in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa. The short answer is that yes, it could be permissible, so long as certain conditions are met. Read on for a more detailed answer.

What Is the Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker Visa is designed for foreign nationals who have a job offer from a UK employer. This employer acts as a Sponsor and must meet certain salary and skill-level criteria for the visa to be valid. In general, those on a Skilled Worker Visa are restricted to their sponsored employment. As such, running your own business is generally not permitted under this visa category - unless this could be considered as permitted additional work.

Photo of YouTube creator, by on Unsplash

When is Additional work permissible?

When considering whether someone on a Skilled Worker visa may take on additional work, we need to consider whether that work is permissible. Specifically, permissible additional work must meet the following conditions, as detailed in the Home Office Skilled Worker caseworker guidance

In addition to the job specified on the certificate of sponsorship (CoS), a Skilled Worker’s conditions permit extra work if it is:

• in an occupation listed in Tables 1, 2 or 3 of Appendix Skilled Occupations

• no more than 20 hours a week

• outside the working hours covered by the CoS

Photo of YouTube screen by Christian Wiedige on Unsplash

How do these rules apply to running a YouTube channel?

The UK Immigration Rules and guidance do not specifically mention running a YouTube channel while on a Skilled Worker Visa. However, we can apply the general guidelines mentioned previously to the specific question of YouTube work. The essential requirement is to make sure that any such work fall under the description of permitted supplementary work. We can break this down to three questions:

Content: is the channel’s content within the same SOC code as your sponsored job, or on the Shortage occupation list? For example, if you are a employed by your sponsor as a lecturer, is the YouTube channel providing seminars in your area of expertise? Or if your channel shows how to perform the dance moves to Michael Jackson’s songs, this could be viewed as 3411 Artist, which is on the Shortage Occupation list. If you are employed by your sponsor as a programmer, is the YouTube channel focused on coding tuition and advice?

Please note that these are theoretical examples designed to help you consider how to apply the Home Office guidance to your individual situation, and do not constitute permission to undertake any particular activity.

Work hours: is your work on the YouTube channel less than the 20 hour per week limit? Furthermore, is it clear that this supplementary work does not interfere in any way with your main sponsored employment?

Financial: are you meeting any commitment to declare income and pay tax? If your YouTube channel is monetised you must ensure that you understand your obligations to declare self employed income. We recommend that you discuss this mater with a qualified accountant.

In order for YouTube work to be permissible, each of the above questions needs to be answered in the affirmative. If you are content that you meet these requirements, there is no need to notify the Home Office of your additional work. However you must always be prepared to defend your choices if questioned.

White Rose Visas immigration adviser Linzi Drummond

Linzi Drummond, Immigration Adviser at White Rose Visas, says, “We are often asked whether someone on a Skilled Worker visa can also run a YouTube channel. The answer comes down to the content of the YouTube videos, as well as the time commitment required by the channel. It is usually worth talking through your ideas with an immigration specialist, to make sure that Home Office rules are being met.”

At White Rose Visas, we have helped Skilled Worker migrants in a variety of situations to ensure that their YouTube work is fully permitted by Home Office rules. If this is something that you would find useful, do get in touch for a free thirty minute consultation.


0114 303 9933

0800 8600 851


White Rose Visas

101 Wilkinson Street


S10 2GJ

United Kingdom

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