The number of visitor routes is being consolidated from 15 to four. The four new routes include:

  1. visitor (standard) - this consolidates 11 existing visitor routes eg general, business, sport, entertainer etc
  2. visitor (to hold their marriage or civil partnership in the UK)
  3. visitor undertaking permitted paid engagements
  4. visitor transiting the UK

Entry requirements are not being changed, but aspects of the policy, and the rules and guidance are being simplified.

The student and extended student visitor routes are being rebranded into a new short-term study route for those whose main purpose is to study short courses. There will be no changes to the entry requirements for these people.

Permitted activities are being expanded and will now allow:

  • visitors to carry out incidental unpaid volunteering for up to 30 days at a UK registered charity;
  • overseas trainers to deliver training to UK based employees of a multinational company in certain circumstances;
  • UK based organisations, which are not corporate entities, to provide training to overseas visitors on work practices and techniques that are needed for their employment overseas, where this is not readily available in their home country; and
  • overseas lawyers to advise a UK client on international transactions and litigation, provided they remain paid and employed overseas.

We will be reviewing the changes and their impact on businesses and providing an update on this in due course.