Posted: Fri 19th May 2023
To make it easier and more attractive to do business in the UK, the government intends to simplify business visitor rules. It is currently seeking feedback from small businesses on what should change and officials are keen to hear from the Enterprise Nation community.
The current rules are that individuals can visit the UK for up to six months to do the following business activities:
attend interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars
negotiate and sign deals and contracts
attend trade fairs to promote your business (you cannot sell things)
get work-related training if you’re employed overseas and the training is not available in your home country
give a one-off or short series of talks as long as they’re not for profit or a commercial event (you must not be paid)
carry out site visits and inspections
oversee the delivery of goods and services provided by a UK company to your overseas company or organisation
deliver training or share knowledge on internal projects with UK employees of the company you work for overseas
install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, computer software and hardware, if your overseas company has a contract with a UK company or organisation
In addition, individuals can currently be invited and paid by a UK-based organisation or client:
as a professional artist, entertainer or musician
as a professional sportsperson
as a qualified lawyer - to represent a client
to give a lecture or series of lectures
as an academic - to be a student examiner or assessor
as an air pilot examiner
Give your feedback to the government
In this year's Spring Budget, the government said it intends to simply the rules:
"To make it easier and more attractive to do business in the UK, the government will simplify business visitor rules. This includes expanding the range of short-term business activities that can be carried out for periods of up to six months and reviewing permitted paid engagements. These changes will be implemented from autumn 2023.
"In addition, the government will consider further enhanced provisions linked to negotiations with trade partners, including a wider range of activities."
If you have views on how the business visitor rules should change in a way that improves or benefits your business, email Charlotte Thomason, Enterprise Nation's head of policy, and we will send your feedback to the government.