26 Mar 2024

United Kingdom

United Kingdom: Enhanced Flexibility Announced for Business Visitors

The UK has expanded the activities that individuals can perform as business visitors. Some examples include:

Intra-corporate activities: Employees are now allowed to come to the UK to advise, consult, troubleshoot, provide training, or share skills and knowledge, as well as work directly with clients if this is related to a specific internal project that they have been brought in for.

Remote working: Employees can come to the UK and work remotely, as long as this is not the primary purpose of their visit. This means that an employee can be in the UK for holidays or for business and answer work emails or calls without any compliance risk.

Permitted paid engagements: Employees can receive payments for their work in the UK, for up to one month. For example, if an employee is a speaker at a conference within this period; they can now be paid for it. Permitted paid engagements now also fall under the visitor rules as opposed to being a category requiring a work visa.

Scientists, academics and researchers: Scientists and researchers may now take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts. This was previously only permitted for academics without a separate work visa.

Lawyers: The list of permitted business activities has been expanded for lawyers and they can now provide advice (to any client), engage in advocacy, act as an arbitrator, mediator or expert witness, attend conferences, teach, and be part of litigation and transactional work.

While these changes bring greater flexibility to business visitors in the UK, careful analysis should still be completed to ensure that work is not being performed in the UK without proper authorization – causing a compliance risk. For an assessment or additional information, please reach out to the T&S EMEA team.

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