Work in the UK on visit visa

  • Each year, the UK welcomes nearly 40 million visitors, ranking among the top 10 tourist destinations worldwide.
  • To visit the UK for tourism, business meetings, or family visits, individuals need to apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa.
  • This visa allows people to travel to and stay in the UK for up to 6 months.
  • The cost of a UK Standard Visitor Visa is £115 for duration of six months.
  • Additionally, applicants have the option to apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa for 2 years, 5 years, or 10 years, with varying fees for each duration.
  • The earliest you can apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa is 3 months before the planned travel date.
  • The UK Standard Visitor Visa is granted for various purposes, including sightseeing, visiting family and friends, business trips, and medical visits.

However, can you work on a Visitor visa UK? Is the UK Standard Visitor Visa the right visa category for you? Let’s find out!

Your ability to work in the UK depends on the type of visa you hold and your immigration status. In this blog, we delve into whether individuals can work in the UK while on a Visitor visa. Our team of expert consultants specializing in UK Visitor Visas is available to assist you with all visa categories and help you determine the most appropriate one for yourself.

Eligibility requirements for UK standard visitor visa

Below are the eligibility criteria for applying for a UK Standard Visitor Visa:

  • You must have a passport or travel document valid for the entire duration of your stay.
  • You should be able to demonstrate the purpose of your visit to the UK.
  • You must have sufficient personal savings to cover your expenses during your trip to the UK, or that you can receive financial support from family or friends.
  • You need to provide evidence that you will depart the UK at the end of your visit.
  • You must demonstrate strong ties to your home country, such as family, friends, employment, or business, indicating your intention to return.
  • You should not intend to reside in the UK for extended periods or make it your primary residence.
Additionally, you may need to meet additional eligibility requirements if you are visiting the UK:
  • For study, a placement, or to take an exam.
  • As an academic, senior doctor, or dentist.
  • For medical reasons.

Permitted Activities on UK standard visitor visa

Here is a list of activities allowed on a UK Visit Visa:

  • Going on holiday or vacation
  • Meeting family or friends
  • Volunteering for up to 30 days with a registered charity
  • Passing through the UK to reach another country (transit)
  • Engaging in certain business or work activities
  • Participating in a school exchange program
  • Undertaking a recreational course lasting up to 30 days
  • Studying, doing a placement, or taking an exam
  • Visiting for academic or medical purposes
  • Receiving medical treatment or for other medical reasons

Work-related activities permissible on UK standard visitor visa

You can visit the UK for up to 6 months to engage in the following business or work-related activities:

  • Attend interviews, meetings, conferences, and seminars.
  • Negotiate and finalize deals and contracts.
  • Participate in trade fairs to promote your business (without selling items).
  • Receive work-related training if not available in your home country and you’re employed overseas.
  • Give a one-time or short series of talks for non-profit or non-commercial events (without payment).
  • Conduct site visits and inspections.
  • Supervise the delivery of goods and services from a UK company to your overseas organization.
  • Provide training or share expertise on internal projects with UK employees of your overseas employer.
  • Install, dismantle, repair, service, or provide advice on equipment, software, and hardware if your overseas company has a contract with a UK entity.

Please note

If you intend to work in the UK on a full-time or part-time basis, you must apply for a specific UK Work Visa corresponding to your job role and type. Visitors engaging in business-related activities in the UK may receive reimbursement for expenses incurred but are not permitted to receive any salary or payment for work conducted in the UK.

What is the UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa?

There is a significant demand for artists of various kinds worldwide, leading to the arrival of visitors, artists, and performers from abroad in the UK. To address this, the UK government has introduced a specialized visa within the UK Visitor visa category known as the UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa.

Under a standard UK Visitor visa, individuals are generally prohibited from accepting payment beyond reasonable expenses for activities conducted in the UK. However, exceptions exist for individuals attending Permit Free Festivals or holding permission as Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors.

The UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa is specifically designed for professionals invited to the UK as experts in their fields. Applicants must receive invitations from UK-based organizations or clients. This visa allows individuals to undertake specific paid work in the UK without needing sponsorship under the UK’s Points-based System.

Please note

According to the UK government’s latest guidelines, the UK visit visa route will undergo significant changes beginning January 31, 2024, which will expand the scope of permissible business activities. As per the new guidelines, the PPE Visitor route will be integrated into the Standard Visitor route. Individuals engaged in paid activities will not require a separate visa, but they must plan their activities within 30 days of arrival.

Who can apply for the UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa?

If a visitor is an artist, performer, or musician visiting a permit-free festival in the UK; or has authorization as a permitted paid engagement guest, payments may be taken under the exceptions.

Professionals invited to the UK as authorities in their respective industries may apply for the UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa. The applicant must have an invitation from a UK-based business or customer in order to proceed. With this visa, you can go to the UK to work on a specific paid project without needing sponsorship under the country’s points-based immigration system.

Who can apply for a UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa application?

The UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa is available to a range of professionals invited to the UK for specific engagements. Eligible applicants include:

  • Professors or lecturers planning to deliver lectures at universities
  • Pilots intending to assess the UK’s airline industry according to global standards
  • Lawyers seeking to appear in court proceedings.
  • Artists
  • Athletes
  • Entertainment industry professionals
  • fashion models

Can you apply for a UK Work Visa while you are in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa?

No, it is not possible to apply for a UK Work Visa while you are in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa. Unfortunately, you must return to your home country to apply for a UK Work Visa. Switching from a Standard Visitor Visa to a Work Visa from within the UK is not allowed. You will need to submit a fresh application for a UK Work Visa only after you have left the UK. There are different categories of UK work visas, and you can only apply for them from outside the UK. The cost of a UK Work Visa will vary depending on the specific category you are applying for.

How can Conroy Baker Ltd. assist you with your UK Visa Immigration?

Our clients frequently inquire, “Can I work in the UK with a Visitor Visa?” The concise response is no. Switching from a Visitor Visa to a Work Visa in the UK is not possible. The UK Home Office’s Immigration Rules explicitly prohibit working in the UK on a Tourist Visa. If you require further guidance on the UK Standard Visitor Visa or are interested in applying for a UK Work Visa, you can consult with our UK Visa Expert and schedule a consultation.

You can contact us on +44 203 773 2948 or [email protected] to Book a consultation.