In today’s article, I would like to explain what you are allowed to do when you enter the UK as a visitor. Why is this important?
That is because generally when you are granted a visa to enter the UK (irrespective of your immigration category), you need to follow certain rules. These are known as ‘conditions imposed on your stay’. If you do something, which is not allowed under your type of visa – you may breach UK immigration law. It may be a criminal offence. As a result, the Home Office cancelling your visa (known as curtailment) or refusing your visa application in the future.
To make it easier for you, I’ve divided all activities into general categories. In exactly the same way as Home Office did in their Immigration Rules.
Tourism and leisure
A visitor may visit friends and family and/or come to the UK for a holiday.
A visitor may undertake incidental volunteering (i.e. the main purpose of the visit is not to volunteer), provided it lasts no more than 30 days in total and is for a charity that is registered with either the Charity Commission for England and Wales; the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland; or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Business – 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.
Business – corporate / Intra-corporate activities
An employee of an overseas-based company may:
(a) advise and consult;
(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.
A visitor who can show support from one or more endorsing bodies for the Start-up or Innovator categories may come to the UK for discussions to secure funding from any legitimate source, which they intend to use to set up a business in the UK.
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.
Science, research and academia
Scientists and researchers may:
(a) gather information and facts for a specific project which directly relates to their employment overseas;
(b) share knowledge or advise on an international project that is being led from the UK, provided the visitor is not carrying out research in the UK.
(a) take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts (including doctors);
(b) carry out research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution;
(c) if they are an eminent senior doctor or dentist, take part in research, teaching or clinical practice provided this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching post.
An expert witness may visit the UK to give evidence in a UK court. Other witnesses may visit the UK to attend a court hearing in the UK if summoned in person by a UK court.
An overseas lawyer may advise a UK based client on specific international litigation and/or an international transaction.
Religious workers may visit the UK to preach or do pastoral work.
An artist, entertainer, or musician may:
(a) give performances as an individual or as part of a group;
(b) take part in competitions or auditions;
(c) make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities;
(d) take part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the list of permit-free festivals.
Personal or technical staff or members of the production team of an artist, entertainer or musician may support certain permitted activities, provided they are attending the same event as the artist, entertainer or musician, and are employed to work for them outside of the UK.
Film crew (actor, producer, director or technician) employed by an overseas company may visit the UK to take part in a location shoot for a film or programme that is produced and financed overseas.
A sportsperson may:
(a) take part in a sports tournament or sports event as an individual or part of a team;
(b) make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities;
(c) take part in trials provided they are not in front of a paying audience;
(d) take part in short periods of training provided they are not being paid by a UK sporting body;
(e) join an amateur team or club to gain experience in a particular sport if they are an amateur in that sport.
Personal or technical staff of the sportsperson, or sports officials, may support the activities above if they are attending the same event as the sportsperson. Personal or technical staff of the sportsperson must be employed to work for the sportsperson outside the UK.
Business – overseas roles requiring specific activities in the UK
Individuals employed outside the UK may visit the UK to take part in the following activities in relation to their employment overseas:
(a) a translator and/or interpreter may support a business person in the UK, provided they will attend the same event(s) as the business person and are employed by that business person outside of the UK;
(b) personal assistants and bodyguards may support an overseas business person in carrying out permitted activities, provided they will attend the same event(s) as the business person and are employed by them outside the UK. They must not be providing personal care or domestic work for the business person;
(c) a driver on a genuine international route delivering goods or passengers from abroad to the UK;
(d) a tour group courier, contracted to a company with its headquarters outside the UK, who is entering and departing the UK with a tour group organised by their company;
(e) a journalist, correspondent, producer or cameraman gathering information for an overseas publication, programme or film;
(f) archaeologists taking part in a one-off archaeological excavation;
(g) a professor from an overseas academic institution accompanying students to the UK as part of a study abroad programme may provide a small amount of teaching to the students at the host organisation. However, this must not amount to filling a permanent teaching role for that institution.
Overseas graduates from medical, dental or nursing schools may:
(a) undertake clinical attachments or dental observer posts provided these are unpaid and involve no treatment of patients. The visitor must provide written confirmation of their offer to take up this post and confirm they have not
previously undertaken this activity in the UK;
(b) take the following test/examination in the UK:
(i) the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test, where the visitor can provide written confirmation of this from the General Medical Council; or
(ii) the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) for overseas, where the visitor can provide written evidence of this from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Employees of an overseas company or organisation may receive training from a UK based company or organisation in work practices and techniques which are required for the visitor’s employment overseas and not available in their home country.
An employee of an overseas-based training company may deliver a short series of training to employees of a UK based company, where the trainer is employed by an overseas business contracted to deliver global training to the international corporate group to which the UK based company belongs.
Visitors may carry out the following study:
(a) educational exchanges or visits with a state-funded school or academy or independent school; or
(b) a maximum of 30 days study on:
(i) recreational courses (not English language training);
(ii) a short-course (which includes English language training) at an accredited institution;
provided that the main purpose of the visit is not to study and the study is not at a state-funded school or academy.
An individual may receive private medical treatment provided they meet the additional eligibility requirements.
An individual may act as an organ donor or be assessed as a potential organ donor to an identified recipient in the United Kingdom, provided they meet the additional eligibility requirements.
An individual may transit the UK provided they meet the additional eligibility requirements.
Guys, for all of you who want to know more about UK Visitors’ applications, I’ve created a FREE mindmap outlining the rules for UK visitors. You can get it here within less than 60 seconds: [GET YOUR FREE MINDMAP HERE].