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Find out what’s new in visitor visas in the UK

New Visa Regulations: Visitor Visa Holders Can Now Work in the UK. Learn What’s Permissible! 

Jun 26, 2024
Last Updated on Jun 26, 2024

The UK’s immigration laws are continually changing, so prospective tourists, business travellers, and legal professionals need to be aware of the new regulations that are proposed for 2024 as they could go into action. 

Modifications to immigration regulations for visitor visas in the UK accommodate the essence of remote employment and global mobility. They provide multinational organisations and visiting workers with more freedom, allowing them to better adjust to the changing nature of the global workplace. The article explores these recent changes and what they mean for vistors. 

What are the changes for visit visas to the UK? 

The range of things tourists can do in the UK has increased. Typical activities that were previously prohibited under the PPE visa are now permitted under the standard visitor visa in the UK, including signing contracts, attending interviews, conferences, meetings, seminars, negotiating, site inspections, and paid engagements if you are invited as an expert in a qualifying profession by a qualifying UK-based organisation or client. 

The additional activities you can do apply to non-visa nationals or visa nationals entering the UK as visitors on or after January 31, 2024. If a non-visa national enters the UK as a visitor on or after this date, they are subject to permittedl activities. They are not required to apply before their entry for stays of up to six months. Modifications to the approved activities that guests are allowed to partake in during their whole stay: 

Intra-corporate activities 

The earlier prohibition on working directly with clients has been lifted for these activities. An employee of a foreign company can now work with clients in the UK branch tasks including consulting, troubleshooting, training, and knowledge exchange. 

As long as the actions are necessary for the UK branch to produce a project or service rather than one that the overseas company is delivering, they can carry out the tasks listed above. Any interaction with clients must also be ancillary to their overseas employment. 

Providing legal services 

Many restrictions on foreign lawyers have been lifted, and they can now perform many activities after the amendments to the visitor visa in the UK. Until January 31, foreign lawyers could only provide counsel on particular international litigation and/or transactions to clients residing in the UK. Thanks to the new immigration rules, they can now offer a greater range of legal services and are no longer limited to serving clients based in the UK. 

They can now advise, act as expert witnesses, teach, participate in litigation, act as mediators or arbitrators, provide transaction legal services for court or tribunal hearings. They can also appear in court in jurisdictions where qualified in that jurisdiction or which allow short-term calls. 


According to the updated regulations, academics, scientists and researchers can carry out not only independent research but also research which links directly to their overseas employment. 

They can jump into collaborative research projects and enhance their professional horizons during their visit. 

Manufacture and supply of goods to the UK 

Before the changes came in, an employee could enter the country only with an existing contract between a UK-based organisation and an overseas company. They could install, service, repair, dismantle, advise on equipment/software, or even train UK-based workers to provide these services. This would also be possible if it were part of after-sales services. 

Now, with the new amendments to the visitor visa, overseas employees can also enter the UK if needed for safety reasons to operate equipment, machinery, or hardware that is being provided under a contract of purchase, supply, or lease to a UK company. 

Permitted paid engagements 

All visitors using the regular visitor route can now engage in activities classified as authorised paid engagements. The meetings need to be scheduled before the person visits the UK and included in the application for entry clearance. Not only this but this must be related to the person’s field of competence and profession abroad, as well as an official invitation to support it. Now, visitors can participate and get paid to address a single lecture or series of talks. Earlier, it was not legal to partake in any such event where they could get paid. 

Given that the visitor’s stay in the UK can last up to six months, there are a few restrictions: 

  • They must finish their approved paid engagements within the first thirty days of their stay. 
  • Visitors wishing to participate in an approved paid engagement must be 18 or older on the date of application. 

Remote working 

The new immigration rules allow visitors to work remotely from the UK, for their overseas employment, as long as it is not their primary reason for visiting. The new regulations do not restrict the range of work activities that may be carried out remotely. The Home Office released the following guidelines in January, which should help immigration officers determine whether visitors will be crossing the line between working illegally in the UK and occasionally checking in to work emails and remote meetings. 

It is still illegal for anybody to enter the UK as a visitor with the primary intent of working remotely. In most circumstances, a person needs a suitable visa with work permission, like a Skilled Worker Visa, if they want to work remotely in the UK. 


Are there any changes in the research activities permitted under the visitor visa? 

The new regulations have opportunities for scientists, researchers, and academics. Instead of being limited to independent research, they can now participate in research initiatives directly relevant to their employment abroad. This improves the exchange of information and expertise and creates potential for joint initiatives with UK-based universities. 

What impact do the new regulations have on flight crew members? 

Flight crew members will benefit from the 2024 modifications, which allow them to enter the UK under wet lease agreements authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority. This service, mainly offered from March to October, is meant to make things easier for aviation experts temporarily employed by UK airlines.  

What are the requirements for working remotely when using a visitor visa in the UK? 

The new regulations allow remote work, but it cannot be the primary motivation for coming to the UK. This means the visitors can continue working for a company abroad. The only catch is that the primary reason for being there should be tourism, family visitors, or other permitted business-related activities. Furthermore, the visitor’s remote work must be connected to their overseas job. 

Can lawyers offer services in line with the new regulations regarding visit visas? 

Yes, the new regulations significantly increase the opportunities for legal professionals to travel to the UK. They can now provide various legal services, such as consultations, arbitration representation, mediation, participation in legal conferences, and educational activities. This modification promotes cross-border legal cooperation and recognises the international character of legal practice. 

Understanding the changes and their ramifications is essential to navigate the revised UK visit visa regulations for 2024. Visitors may guarantee a compliant and enjoyable trip in the UK by coordinating their activities with the new criteria and preparing the required paperwork. For comprehensive advice and assistance, contact A Y & J Solicitors

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