Earlier this month, the Immigration Minister announced proposed changes to the Immigration Rules aimed at giving greater flexibility to business visitors and UK businesses employing workers from outside of the EEA.
In summary, the proposals include:
For business visitors
- Allowing tourists and business visitors to do some studying or training whilst visiting the UK for holiday/business reasons where these are incidental to the purpose of the visit;
- Expanding the activities which a business visitor can do in the UK; and
- Allowing multi-national firms to bring their own auditors to the UK on a business visitor visa.
Many organisations will be keen to see the increased list of permissible activities for business visitors. Presently these centre on attending meetings or conferences; arranging deals, negotiating or signing contracts; conducting site visits or undertaking fact finding missions.
- Removing the requirement to demonstrate a good knowledge of English language for employees transferring from a multinational firm outside of the EEA to a UK group company;
- Waiving the restriction on share ownership for senior employees of a UK company where they are earning over £152,100 and have come to the UK from outside of the EEA; and
- Making it easier for those who have graduated from a UK University and who remain in the UK as a “graduate entrepreneur” to move into employment in the UK.
The changes are designed to show that the UK is ‘open for business’ and follow recent changes to make the UK more attractive to international businesses.
The changes will come into effect on 1 October 2013. We will provide further details when these are published.