United Kingdom: Changes to the immigration rules for Business Visitors and Youth Mobility Scheme

In brief

On 31 January 2024, the Home Office simplified the Business Visitor rules and enhanced the Youth Mobility Scheme. The welcomed changes are in line with the 2023 Spring Budget and the Home Office's international commitments to provide cultural exchange programmes.


Key changes

Business Visitors

To make it more attractive to do business in the UK, the Home Office has simplified the business visitor rules:

  • Working directly with clients is now permitted for business visitors engaged in intra-corporate activities in the UK. It remains the case that those activities must be secondary to a visitor's job overseas. The activities should be of a short duration, linked to a specific project, and any work with or for clients should not be the primary purpose of the visit.
  • Working remotely is now listed as a permitted activity and should be the primary purpose of the visit. The activities must relate to the visitor's job overseas e.g., responding to emails, participating in remote meetings.
  • Expansion of the list of unpaid permitted activities for legal professionals now includes:
    • Giving advice
    • Appearing in arbitrations
    • Acting as an arbitrator or mediator
    • Acting as an expert witness
    • Appearing in court in jurisdictions which allow short-term call (temporary call/right of audience) or where qualified in that jurisdiction
    • Attending conferences, teaching
    • Providing advocacy for a court or tribunal hearing
    • Litigation
    • Transactional legal services, including drafting contracts.
  • The incorporation of an existing concession allows pilots or cabin crew members to come to the UK between March and October 2024 as part of the Civil Aviation Authority approved wet leasing agreement.
  • As part of their visit to the UK, scientists, researchers, and academics will have the opportunity to conduct research. This change does not extend to academics applying for a 12-month visit visa, or if making an extension application inside the UK.
  • "Speakers at conferences" are now included in the list of Permitted Paid Engagements within the standard visitor route.

Youth Mobility Scheme

  • The UK has negotiated an arrangement with Andorra and Uruguay. Both countries have been added to the list of eligible countries and territories.
  • The upper age limit for Australian, Canadian, and South Korean applicants has increased from 30 to 35. This extension was applied to New Zealand nationals on 29 June 2023. Other specified countries and territories maintain an application age range of 18 to 30.
  • Japanese and South Korean nationals no longer need invitations to apply.
  • The maximum time Australian and Canadian nationals can stay in the UK has increased to three years.

Further details regarding these changes can be obtained by reaching out to your usual contact in our Global Immigration & Mobility team.

Contact Information
Tony Haque
Associate at BakerMcKenzie
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Richard Mills
Associate at BakerMcKenzie
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Ying Li
Senior Immigration Specialist
Wendy Mortimer
Senior Immigration Specialist at BakerMcKenzie
Natasha Riley
Senior Immigration Specialist at BakerMcKenzie
Tomoko Sasaki
Senior Immigration Specialist at BakerMcKenzie

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