I was wondering if any of you have had experience freelancing as a graphic designer in the UK?
I want to travel there later this year and I'm trying to get my head around whether it will be possible for me to get a Visa to look for short term freelance work (daily, weekly or up to one month contract) and all of the Visa sites are confusing me.
Has anyone done this before and if so, how did you go about it?
Depending how old you are, you can get a work holiday visa (2 year once in a life visa if you are under 30). Don't really think you can get a visa for that short term to be honest unless you are operating a business which I'm not sure how it would work either...
There's a bunch of agencies in London I know where you can get good day rates depending on your skill level too but you'll need all the right paper work and such first.
Any reason you are planning on just staying for such a short period of time?
I did essentially that seven years ago on a working holiday visa. It's a pretty affordable and flexible visa so look into it if you qualify. I found agencies a good way to get work given I started with no contacts. I ended up only working a total of seven months over a period of a year, mostly due to different visa conditions that made it harder for me to work longer (not the case for you now I think). I was lucky to get two multi-month gigs in London; it was hard to find work leading up to Xmas/New Year from about October, so pick a different part of the year if you can!
Hi Erin, I'm an animator and did a couple of years over there. I think the situation will be similar.
If you're 30 or under, freelancing in the UK is very easy. You can get a Youth Mobility Visa and just do as you would in Australia. You'll need to get an address so you can get a bank account. When you get a bank account tell them you have a job (dont mention its self employment unless they ask). You can also apply for a Unique Tax Reference Number and a National Insurance Number. I'd only look into incorporating your business if you earn a boat load, otherwise there wont be any tax incentives and accountants over there charge a mint. I'd definitely start making contacts before you go too. Hitting the ground without a starting point is a hard slog.
If you're over 31- freelancing in the UK is almost impossible at the moment. There used to be skilled workers visas and business visas but they dont issue them any more. You can get sponsored but that's hard work and doesnt sound like the thing you're looking for.
Good luck :)
I freelanced and worked full-time. Mostly contract/freelance for 11 years in London.
Back then you had to go before you turned 28 to be eligible for the Working Holiday visa. But sounds like they have extended it to 30.
Main thing is to have a your portfolio in order, showing your best work. And that your mac/software/design skills are up to date. Then contact some of the design recruitment agencies. Like Aquent. Or the more specialist ones like Gabriele Skelton.