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Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

business visits to the UK - permitted activities

5 January 2018

The following is an extract from the current UK Immigration Rules and outlines which activities are permitted whilst in the UK on a business visit for the most common types of visits that we come across.

Note: you may need to apply for a visitor visa, depending on your nationality, whether you have had any criminal convictions and/or been in breach of immigration rules.

General activities

A visitor may:

a) attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews

b) give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser

c) negotiate and sign deals and contracts

d) attend trade fairs for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling

e) carry out site visits and inspections

f) gather information for their employment overseas

g) be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK.

Intra-corporate activities

An employee of an overseas based company may:

a) advise and consult

b) trouble-shoot

c) provide training

d) share skills and knowledge on a specific internal project with UK employees of the same corporate group, provided no work is carried out directly with clients.

An internal auditor may carry out regulatory or financial audits at a UK branch of the same group of companies as the visitor’s employer overseas.

Prospective entrepreneur

A visitor who can show support from one of the following may come to the UK for discussions to secure funding from one of the sources below which they intend to use to join, set up or take over a business in the UK:

a) one or more registered venture capitalist firms regulated by the financial conduct authority

b) one or more UK entrepreneurial seed funding competitions which is listed as endorsed here

c) one or more UK Government departments.

Manufacturing and supply of goods to the UK

An employee of a foreign manufacturer or supplier may install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, computer software or hardware where it has a contract of purchase or supply or lease with a UK company or organisation.

Clients of UK export companies

A client of a UK export company may be seconded to the UK company in order to oversee the requirements for goods and services that are being provided under contract by the UK company or its subsidiary company, provided the two companies are not part of the same group. Employees may exceptionally make multiple visits to cover the duration of the contract.

Specific sectors

There are also specific business activities permitted in the following sectors:

  • science, research and academia
  • legal
  • religion
  • artist, entertainer, musician or staff members of a production team/film crew
  • sport.

If these are applicable to you, let us know and we’ll be happy to provide more details.

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