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Good news for Business Visitors

Mar 22, 2024

Since January 31, 2024, the Immigration Rules for visitors have been relaxed to allow a broader range of activities for business visitors, including intra-corporate activities, remote working, legal services, and research. The Permitted Paid Engagement visitor route has been extended and merged into the standard visitor route, enabling visitors to stay for up to six months.

The changes outlined in December's Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 246 apply to visa nationals with visitor visa applications made on or after January 31, 2024, and to non-visa nationals entering the UK as visitors on or after this date.

Further improvements to visitor provisions are anticipated in 2024 and beyond, aligning with future international trade deals as per the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

Here's an analysis of the key developments that may interest businesses, without covering the full entry requirements for visitors to the UK.

Expanded Intra-Corporate Activities:

Employees from overseas visiting a UK group business can now engage in activities such as advising, troubleshooting, training, and knowledge sharing directly with clients.

These activities should be related to delivering a project or service for the UK group business, not the foreign business, and should be incidental to their employment abroad.

There is no longer a requirement for intra-corporate activities to solely benefit the visitor's employing group.

Clearer Remote Working Policy for Visitors:

Visitors are permitted to conduct activities related to their overseas employment remotely from within the UK, if it is not the primary purpose of their visit.

The definition of 'employment' includes paid and unpaid employment, work placements, self-employment, and business or professional activities.

Visitors cannot be employed in the UK unless specific exceptions apply, and they must not receive payment from a UK source for their UK activities.

Enhanced Legal Services Scope:

The amended Rules now allow activities such as legal advice, arbitration, acting as an expert witness, and court appearances, irrespective of the client's location.

Visitors providing legal services must adhere to standard visitor requirements, ensuring they are genuine visitors and comply with payment restrictions.

Project-Based Research:

Academics, scientists, and researchers can now conduct research in the UK for a specific project related to their overseas employment, expanding from independent research or sabbatical work.

Updated Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE):

Speaking at a conference is now permitted under PPE, which has been integrated into the standard visitor route, extending the stay duration to six months.

PPE visitors must be invited by a listed organization, be over 18 upon arrival, and complete registration within 30 days.

Non-visa national PPE visitors can use eGates on arrival and engage in recreational courses or research with accredited institutions during their visit.
While the changes to PPE may seem straightforward, visitors must time their entry correctly to complete engagements within 30 days and avoid accepting multiple PPEs in one visit.

There are no alterations for non-visa nationals using the Creative Worker visa concession, who still need to see a Border Force official upon arrival.

Why Choose UK Visas?

Why We know that it can be overwhelming when attempting to decipher which visas allow you to perform which business duties in the UK. You can contact us for support.

Let Our Experts Guide You.

The list of business activities you can and can’t perform under the standard visitor visa (business visitor visa) is long and can be a little confusing. If you’re still unsure as to which work or business visa will cover your needs, the expert immigration lawyers here at UK Visas are always on hand to provide advice and assistance.

  • We have a great relationship with the UK Visas team, who provide a prompt, professional service and expert immigration advice. They take the worry out of the visa process, working efficiently even when dealing with numerous requests at once.

    Sarah Bond
    Human Resources Advisor
  • I can honestly say everyone that I deal with at UK Visas are very efficient, super helpful and informative and extremely nice (especially Ana and Garima). Also patient with all my questions – nothing is ever too much trouble, and very prompt with their responses.

    Jackie Thompson
    HR Assistant
  • I’ve worked with UK Visas for almost 10 years now, and the support and advice never fails. From the sponsorship of new employees to training for the whole team, UK Visas are always extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend their services!

    Helena Wittenbach
    Head of Human Resources,
  • Having worked with UK Visas for more than eight years, I cannot recommend their services enough. We have worked with them on a wide variety of immigration topics, including complex licence matters (following acquisitions), day to day sponsorship processes, and reporting; and we have always received an amazing service.

    Members of the team are responsive and come back to our queries quickly, they are always polite, and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible. Thank you to all of the team for the wonderful ongoing support you provide!

    Amy Gadsby
    Director, Human Resources - EMEA
  • We have worked with UK Visas for a number of years and the service that is provided is excellent.

    No query is too big or too small. Always accommodating and helpful. Thank you team!

    Louise Goddard
    Executive Business Partner to CEO and the Board
  • We have worked with UK Visas for over 10 years, since we initially requested obtaining a Sponsor Licence. From day one, their guidance, communication, professionalism, efficiency and support has been and continues to be exemplary, with no request too much.

    Thank you and we look forward to continuing the relationship.

    Sara Searle
    Head of Human Resources and Payroll
  • I’ve worked with UK Visas for over 6 years and always find them helpful, friendly and experts in what they do. I know I can always call them up or send them an email and I will get a detailed response, fast. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone to help and support with your visa journeys.

    Gerry Weiss
    HR Business Partner
  • We have been using UK Visas for many years and service is always expeditious, even as number of requests have increased in recent years. The team advise on a wide range of queries and are always supportive, informative and clear in their advice.

    Jodie Plom
    HR Administrator CVS Vets
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