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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor Advocate
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Hello! Id be extremely grateful for your consultation.

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I'd be extremely grateful for your consultation.

I am currently in the UK on a General Visitor's visa. I am a US citizen so I have leave to remain for 6 months. I am interested in applying for jobs in the UK and am considering applying to firms here. The stamp on my passport says "Leave to enter for 6 months. Employment and recourse to public funds prohibited."

While it's clear that my current visa does not permit me to be employed, I want to confirm that it is within my legal rights to consider and seek employment while I am in the UK, under the understanding that to accept employment I would have to leave the UK and apply for a visa from home.

If indeed there is an issue with searching for jobs while on a general visa in the UK, I'd like to understand what the enforcement mechanisms are. In other words, I'd like to understand the potential consequences and their likelihoods were I to engage employers in the UK while on a general visa.

Your response would be amazingly helpful.

My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London.

The Immigration Rules (updated February 2014) state:

41. The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a general visitor are that he:

(i) is genuinely seeking entry as a general visitor for a limited period...


(iii) does not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom;

Having entered the UK as a tourist you are right to say that you cannot take up employment.

Also if you start looking for jobs then it could be argued that you did not genuinely seek entry as a tourist and are in fact a job hunter.

Looking at prospective employment possibilities is not prohibited but, of course, to take up employment you would have to leave the UK and re-apply under a different category.

It is not possible to switch from a general visitor category to one which allows you to take employment.

Breach of the rules would result in a curtailment of your visa and possible action for your deportation. A record of this breach would be retained and this would cause problems in the future if you wish to return to the UK.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Alex,

Thanks so much for your thorough response!

Unfortunately there was one part of my question which was not answered and is very important to me. In my question, I mentioned that "I'd like to understand what the enforcement mechanisms are."

You mentioned that "Breach of the rules would result in a curtailment of your visa and possible action for your deportation." Do you know how and when my breaching of the rules would be verified?

Thanks so much,


That's a very good question.

The truth is that UKBA would find it difficult to prove a breach without some direct and cogent evidence.

Scouring job websites, registering online and generally looking around at the employment market is unlikely to attract any attention.

I suppose the only way any information is likely to get back to them is either if a) you applied for a job and you were asked to verify your immigration status b) somebody knew that you could not work in the UK and decided to report you to the Home Office.

So, whilst my guidance has to be that you should do anything that would put you in breach of the immigration rules, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that job hunting will be difficult to prove.

Bearing in mind also that the Home Office has hundreds of immigration applications to deal with and numerous illegal immigrants to process. They're unlikely to be monitoring your movements!

Hope this helps.


Alice H and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Alex,


Very helpful, thanks for your pragmatic guidance!