Business visitors face strict new rules
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16 October 2008
The new rules published today are designed to safeguard
the visitor route into the UK from abuse, while also keeping Britain an
attractive place to do business.
Under strict new rules, those wishing to come to the UK on business for up to
six months must apply for a dedicated new business visa, and prove they will be
carrying out the following activities:
- attending meetings or conferences
- arranging deals, negotiating or signing trade agreement or contracts
- undertaking fact-finding missions, checking details or goods
- conducting site visits and promotional activities
In June, new visa routes for business, tourist and family visitors were
announced in a shake-up of Britain’s short-term visa system.
The statement of intent published today sets out in more detail how the new
business visa will work.
Home Office minister's statement
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said, 'Now we are introducing an
Australian-style points system for selective migration, it makes sense to
tighten visit visas at the same time.
'These changes will help create a fairer Britain with fair treatment for
those who play by the rules, but tough action against those who break the law.
'“We want the UK to stay open and attractive to both business and visitors.
At the same time we are determined to deliver a system of border security which
is among the most secure in the world.'
Visas for entertainers and athletes
Also today, the Home Office set out further detail on two new visitor routes
for sportspeople and entertainers, recognising the important contribution they
make to British cultural life.
These new routes mean that we can retain a historical concession that allowed
sportspeople and entertainers to come here for a short time without a work
permit to take part in certain events.
Under these new routes the following people will now be able to enter the UK
using a dedicated new visa:
- sportspeople and support staff coming for specific events, such as
- amateur sportspeople joining UK amateur teams for up to six months
- professional entertainers coming to the UK to take part in music
- amateur entertainers travelling to the UK for a specific engagement
- professional entertainers coming to take part in a charity show or where
they will receive no fee
- professional and amateur entertainers taking part in a ‘permit-free
festival’ such as the Edinburgh Festival
All of the changes set out in the document published today will sit alongside
the points-based system, which replaces around 80 different work permit routes
with just five tiers.
Those travelling into the UK are locked into one identity through the
introduction of fingerprinting for all visa applicants, a new hi-tech system for
counting people in and out of the country and the rollout of ID cards for all
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-10-22 14:02:04 in Business Articles