In today’s blog update, we will briefly discuss the UK Government’s proposal for Business Visitor Visa Reforms.
The UK government released its Autumn Statement, dated 22 November 2023, suggesting an overhaul of the business visitor visa regime to make it easier and more inclusive.
The changes will widen the parameters of the business visitors regime to allow more business activities like legal services to be conducted by executives, taking effect from 1st January 2024.
In 2024 the government will develop on business visitor rule as well as investigate possible further trade deal-related improvements.
The Statement clarifies that these measures are adopted because “it is important that businesses can reach the talent they need” and to uphold the 2023 spring budget pledge to make the UK an easier and more appealing destination for businesses.
It is worth mentioning that even though these changes as outlined in the Autumn Statement are concerning short-term business visas, they do not have any direct impact on the net migration numbers overall. The Home Office thinks of imposing restrictions on legal immigration to the UK, increasing salary thresholds, and limiting the number of dependents in certain immigration routes, to limit visa abuse for work.
Multi-national businesses may decide to send their assignees to the UK for their business activities and engagements after the reforms are put in place. This will allow them to consider the more affordable and flexible visit visa option rather than applying to sponsor the worker under the Senior or Specialist Worker route.
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