I'm a US citizen currently in the UK (Northern Ireland to be exact) on a student visa, which allows me to work up to 20 hours per week while I am here. I currently work 20 hours/week for a UK-based company, making less than 10k a year (so I do not have to declare tax, as I was told my by university's visa helpdesk).

A US company that I have freelanced for once or twice before (prior to my move here), recently asked if I'd like to take on a 12 hr/week freelance project for the next couple months.

Can I do this, legally speaking? All my financials (paychecks, tax documents) for the US freelance position would be done through my US bank account and, come tax time, declared there as well.

  • We have a specific site for people living and working abroad, called Expatriates. You might find answers there. Commented May 12, 2021 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


There are really two issues here:

  • Does your student visa allow you to work 20 hours/wk for a UK employer and 12 hours/wk for a US employer? That isn't really a question that can be answered here, you could try Expatriates as suggested in a comment.

  • What are the tax implications? You seem to be assuming that you can pay US tax on this and it'll all be fine. However, as you are resident in the UK, you are liable for tax on all your worldwide income in the UK as well. You'll get the benefit of UK/US double-taxation agreements, but you'll need to declare it for UK purposes and probably pay some tax if the amount pushes you over the personal allowance. Similarly, you'd need to declare all worldwide income including the UK income to the US and again hope that the foreign earned income exemption means you don't actually get taxed on it there.

  • Worth mentioning, not sure if the OP is aware, that they should file US tax return and report the 20hr/week UK income. It is entirely possible that they will pay no tax (due to FEIE), but reporting is still required.
    – littleadv
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 0:14
  • @littleadv updated, thanks. Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 5:45

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