ArticleLatest UK visitor visa rules effective immediately

The UK government has announced significant changes to the UK visitor visa rules, effective 31 January 2024. These amendments, part of a broader strategy to enhance short-term mobility, focus on expanding the permitted activities for business visitors. This move reflects an evolving approach to facilitate the needs of a globalised business environment, offering more agility and flexibility for professionals entering the UK.

Key changes in the UK visitor visa rules:

  1. Intra-corporate activities expansion: The scope for intra-corporate activities has broadened. It now allows employees of overseas entities to work on specific internal projects with UK clients under certain conditions. This change extends beyond advising and consulting to include direct client engagement. However, it should align with the intra-corporate framework.
  2. Clarification on remote working: The rules now permit remote working while in the UK. But it should not be the primary purpose of the visit. This caters to the modern trend of flexible work arrangements.
  3. Flight crew provisions: Between March and October, flight crew members can temporarily work in the UK under approved Wet Lease Agreements. This formalises a previously informal concession.
  4. Expanded opportunities for scientists, academics, and researchers: This group can now partake in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts. It extends the opportunity for collaborative research beyond sabbatical leaves and independent research.
  5. Legal professionals’ activities widened: The list of permissible activities for overseas legal professionals visiting the UK has significantly expanded. It now offers greater scope for legal advisory and advocacy, among other services.
  6. Enhancements in Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE): Conference speakers are now included in the PPE list, allowing them to receive payment from UK sources. Additionally, PPE has been integrated into the Standard Visitor category, potentially extending entry duration for mixed-purpose visits.

These changes signal a shift towards more flexibility for business visitors, a necessary adaptation in an increasingly interconnected global market. While today’s amendments are relatively modest, they represent a positive step towards making the UK a more accessible and attractive destination for business activities.

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