The UK Immigration Rules generally distinguish between two categories of overseas visitors- visa nationals and non-visa nationals.
Whilst non-visa nationals do not need to apply for a visit visa prior to entry to the UK, visa nationals must apply and be granted a visa in advance of their travel to the UK.
Regardless of whether you are a visa or non-visa national, there are restrictions on what a visitor in the UK can and cannot do.
What activities can I do while in the UK as a visitor?
A standard visitor to the UK can conduct certain activities in the UK such as:
- 1. attend interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars;
- 2. negotiate and sign deals and contracts;
- 3. get work-related training subject to certain conditions;
- 4. give a one-off or short series of talks subject to certain conditions;
- 5. carry out site visits and inspections;
- 6. 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 in certain circumstances.
If you are employed overseas in certain roles, for example, as an archaeologist, a journalist, or a sports person, you may be allowed to do certain additional activities in the UK as part of your overseas job role. The above list is not exhaustive and one should always seek legal advice before conducting any activities in the UK outside of tourism. Conducting activities that are not permitted as a visitor may have an impact on any subsequent UK immigration applications.
Can I temporarily work or be self-employed whilst I’m on a visit visa?
Please note that you cannot be self-employed as a visitor. Additionally, you cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company whilst you are in the UK as a visitor, regardless of whether you are a visa or non-visa national.
Should you have any questions as to which type of visa you will need in order to be employed or self-employed in the UK, please contact us for further information. Some visa routes that may be available to you include the Skilled Worker visa, Intra-company transfer visa, Innovator visa, Start-up visa, Representative of an Overseas Business, and the Temporary Worker visa categories.
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.