Business Visitors Face Strict New Rules

Tough new rules to safeguard the visitor route into the United Kingdom from abuse and keep Britain an attractive place to do business were published by the Government today.

Under strict new rules those wishing to come to the United Kingdom on business for up to six months must apply for a dedicated new business visa and prove they will be carrying out the following activities:

  • attending meetings or conferences;
  • arranging deals, negotiating or signing trade agreement or contracts;
  • undertaking fact-finding missions, checking details or goods; and
  • conducting site visits and promotional activities.

Also today, the Home Office set out further detail on two new visitor routes for sportspeople and entertainers, recognising the important contribution these individuals make to British cultural life. These new routes mean that an historical concession which allowed sportspeople and entertainers to come here for a short time without a work permit to take part in certain events will be retained.

Under these new routes the following people will now be able to enter the United Kingdom using a dedicated new visa:

  • sportspeople and support staff coming for specific events, such as Wimbledon;
  • amateur sportspeople joining United Kingdom amateur teams for up to six months;
  • professional entertainers coming to the United Kingdom to take part in music competitions;
  • amateur entertainers travelling to the United Kingdom for a specific engagement;
  • professional entertainers coming to take part in a charity show or where they will receive no fee; and
  • professional and amateur entertainers taking part in a 'permit-free festival' such as the Edinburgh Festival.