Remote Working for Visitors to the UK

by Dirk van Niekerk

The question regarding remote working for visitors to the UK, to which the answer remained in the grey area for a long time, has finally been answered. The Home Office published new rules and guidance addressing the changes to certain work activities when visiting the UK, specifically about remote working.

It is, firstly, very important to note that the UKVI will judge each visitor visa application on its own merits. Furthermore, a visitor will need to adhere to the restrictions of the visitor visa on each visit. 

The new rules confirm that a visitor may work remotely for their overseas employer in the UK. Provided that the remote work is incidental to their UK visit and not the main intention. Although this seems like quite an insignificant change, in an age of remote and virtual workspaces, the change may sway many visitors to make more visits. This will allow visitors to keep up to date with their overseas employment. 

Remote Working for UK Visitors – Factors

The Home Office will consider the following factors:

  • Duration of stay – The caseworker will consider whether the length of a proposed stay will be financially viable without remote work.
  • Main intention – The caseworker will consider if the visitor’s main intention is for a valid permitted activity rather than working remotely.
  • Genuine overseas employment – The caseworker will consider how long the visitor has been employed by his employer based outside of the UK and if such employment is genuine and verifiable. 

Another welcome tweak to the rules is that visitors coming to the UK to engage in intra-corporate activities may now work directly with UK-based clients. However, only in limited instances, such as advising and consulting, troubleshooting, providing training, and sharing skills and knowledge. The key to this consideration is that the aforementioned work needs to be incidental to the visitor’s overseas employment. It must also usually be for a short duration and specific project. 

The final change might have a bit of a smaller application pool. Overseas legal professionals can now enter the UK as business visitors. They can engage in a much wider range of services than before the changes. The requirement that these services need to be for a UK-based client only has been dropped. 

Whilst these small and subtle changes might not seem like much, this indicates a welcome step in the right direction and will undoubtedly positively impact a widespread pool of visitors. 

How Breytenbachs can help you

If you need more information on Remote Working for Visitors to the UK, please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant. We will be happy to assist. You are also welcome to contact us should you wish to apply for your UK Visitor visa.

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without giving any warranty of any kind.

Please contact us today for further information or applications.

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