The Student Room Group

Working as an international student in the UK

I understand international students are only allowed to work 4 hours a day and can't start a business of their own or be self employed, my question is this: if you operate a YouTube channel and get income from that is this classified as being self employed or would you be considered as someone employed by Youtube or Google?
Original post by Stanhere
I understand international students are only allowed to work 4 hours a day and can't start a business of their own or be self employed, my question is this: if you operate a YouTube channel and get income from that is this classified as being self employed or would you be considered as someone employed by Youtube or Google?


Technically you can be a YouTuber since it is considered as passive income (affiliate marketing, clicks on your YouTube videos, sponsored Instagram, etc.) An example is someone who has become a YouTuber after studying in the UK is Korean Billy. You should contact your international student advisor if you are in uni, it is free service for you to ask questions like that.
Original post by Stanhere
I understand international students are only allowed to work 4 hours a day and can't start a business of their own or be self employed, my question is this: if you operate a YouTube channel and get income from that is this classified as being self employed or would you be considered as someone employed by Youtube or Google?

may I know how did you get a work visa to work in the UK?
Original post by Anonymous
may I know how did you get a work visa to work in the UK?

OP is holding a student visa not work visa
ahh I see
Original post by Isaac CH
OP is holding a student visa not work visa
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
may I know how did you get a work visa to work in the UK?


I am guessing you didn't read the post.
Reply 6
The official caseworker guide is very vague in this case, but there's a general concensus that profiting from a youtube channel is considered as business engagement and that's prohibited to student visa holders. https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6257/A-working-definition

You should double check with the international students office at your university if in doubt.

Korean Billy started a youtube channel whilst he was studying, but he started profiting after his studies and with another type of visa I guess.

PS: you can work up to 20 hours a week in term time, there is no a 4-hour daily cap. You can perfectly work 10 hours one day and 10 hours the other in the same week and that's fine (as long as you're not skipping lectures or any other university commitments to do this)
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 7
Original post by PPK3000
The official caseworker guide is very vague in this case, but there's a general concensus that profiting from a youtube channel is considered as business engagement and that's prohibited to student visa holders. https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6257/A-working-definition

You should double check with the international students office at your university if in doubt.

Korean Billy started a youtube channel whilst he was studying, but he started profiting after his studies and with another type of visa I guess.

PS: you can work up to 20 hours a week in term time, there is no a 4-hour daily cap. You can perfectly work 10 hours one day and 10 hours the other in the same week and that's fine (as long as you're not skipping lectures or any other university commitments to do this)


Thanks for your contribution, yeah the information is really vague not sure why it's that way. I would definitely contact the international student office.
Reply 8
Original post by Isaac CH
Technically you can be a YouTuber since it is considered as passive income (affiliate marketing, clicks on your YouTube videos, sponsored Instagram, etc.) An example is someone who has become a YouTuber after studying in the UK is Korean Billy. You should contact your international student advisor if you are in uni, it is free service for you to ask questions like that.


How about registering and starting your own business (still youtube content but under a registered business name) while studying , is that possible or would it be a violation of the student visa rules?
Original post by Stanhere
How about registering and starting your own business (still youtube content but under a registered business name) while studying , is that possible or would it be a violation of the student visa rules?


No, you can’t register a company with a student visa. It will definitely violate the policy. Another example, if you want to sell things on EBay, it is fine. However if you are buying a whole lots of product and sell it on EBay like all register sellers, it is considered as trading, which is for business. Then it is a no no for student visa as well. International students need to be real careful about it and seek advice because ukgov can just kick you out of uni and uk by cancelling your student visa if they find out about all that.
(edited 1 year ago)

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