On 7 December 2023, the Home Office published a new Statement of Changes to the UK Immigration Rules.
Changes to the UK Visitor Rules
The list of permitted business activities an individual can undertake whilst in the UK on a visit visa, has seen the following amendments:
- The restriction for visitors working directly with clients in an intra-company context has been removed, subject to this being consequential of your employment overseas and contributory to the delivery of a wider project by the UK branch of the overseas employer.
- Remote work has been added to the list of permitted activities, provided it is not the primary purpose of the visit.
- The list of unpaid work activities that legal professionals can undertake in the UK has expanded.
- Scientists are now permitted to conduct research as part of their visit.
- Pilots and cabin crew are permitted to travel to the UK as part of a wet leasing agreement approved by a Civil Aviation Authority.
Permitted Paid Engagements visa has also been reformed and will now include speaking at conferences. The changes will also incorporate the provisions of the route into the Standard Visitor route to enable switching between permitted paid engagements and other permitted business activities.
Partners and children will no longer be eligible to apply for permission as dependants under the stateless route, but will instead need to meet the requirements to come to the UK under the family rules of Appendix FM. If you already have leave under this route, you will be able to continue to extend your permission under these provisions.
Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
To reinforce the Government’s approach to tackling illegal migration, applications to the EUSS as a joining family member made by irregular or illegal entrants to the UK, will now be prevented. This update is consistent with the temporary protection of rights conferred on individuals by the Citizens’ Rights Agreements for 3 months from their arrival in the UK; therefore, an individual admitted to the UK as a visitor will be required to make an application to the EUSS as a joining family member within three months of their arrival.
The remaining updates are as follows:
- There have been changes to travel document requirements for school groups visiting the UK from France, which means children aged 18 or under can visit the UK on an organised educational trip without the usual passport or visit visa requirements. Children with other EU, EEA or Swiss nationalities will be able to travel with their national identity cards. Visa-national children will still be required to travel with their passports but without the need to obtain a visa.
- An out of country settlement route for victims of transnational marriage abandonment under the new Appendix Victim of Domestic Abuse has been introduced.
- Uruguay has been added to the list of countries and territories participating in the Youth Mobility Scheme.
The changes will come into effect on various dates between 7 December 2023 and 31 January 2024.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
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 do not 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.