The Home Office has recently announced significant changes to the rules concerning visitors.
Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules HC 1025 was published on 26 February 2015 and condenses the current fifteen visitor categories into four as from 24 April 2015.
The four categories are:
- Visit (standard)
- Marriage / Civil Partnership visit
- Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) visit and
- Transit visit.
The student visitor category will no longer exist but is being replaced by a new category of ‘Short Term Student’.
The “parent of a child at school” category has been rebranded as “parent of a Tier 4 (child) student and is also no longer to be found within the visitor category.
All individuals coming to the UK under the new visitor rules, other than transit visitors, will be able to carry out a range of permitted activities, the full details of which are contained in the new ‘Visitors Appendix 3’ and can be accessed from page 209 onwards of the Statement of Changes. All visitors will, for example, be able to undertake incidental study of up to 30 days and undertake defined business activity and it is important to ensure that the specific requirements for permitted activities are fully understood.
Overall we expect that the new visitor rules will make it much easier for individuals to enter the UK to undertake a range of different activities.
We will be focusing on specific sections of the new rules in the coming weeks.