Expansion of Visitor rules and Youth Mobility Scheme announced

3 mins

Posted on 12 Dec 2023

Expansion of Visitor rules and Youth Mobility Scheme announced

The UK Government has released a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, published 7 December, which, amongst other things, makes changes to the Visitor route and Youth Mobility Scheme. In addition, post-Brexit document requirements for school groups from France will be relaxed.

These changes will be coming into effect from 28 December 2023 or 31 January 2024, as indicated below.

Changes to the Visitor rules

The Visitor rules will be expanded in line with the Autumn Statement 2023. From 31 January 2024:

  • The prohibition on working directly with clients will be removed for intra-corporate activities. However, client-facing activity will need to “be incidental” to the visitor’s overseas employment and cannot amount to an offshoring of the project or service
  • Visitors are permitted to work remotely in the UK, but this must not be the primary purpose of their visit
  • Scientists, researchers and academics will be able to conduct research in the UK as part of their visit, even if they are not on sabbatical leave from their home institution. However, this will not apply to academics with a 12 month visa, or those applying to extend their permission from within the UK
  • Legal professionals will be able to carry out additional activities including advice, acting as an expert witness, litigating, teaching, etc
  • All visitors will be able to carry out Paid Permitted Engagements without the need for a specific visa - this will be incorporated into the Standard Visitor route. However, visitors must have arranged their Permitted Paid Engagement activity prior to travel to the UK and this must be undertaken within 30 days of arrival in the UK
  • Flight crews will be able to come to the UK as part of a Civil Aviation Authority approved wet lease arrangement between the months of March and October.

Expansion of Youth Mobility Scheme from 31 January 2024

  • Uruguay has been added to Youth Mobility Scheme and will have 500 allocated places from 31 January 2024
  • The number of allocated places for nationals of Japan and South Korea will increase and the requirement to obtain an invitation to apply will be removed
  • The age range for nationals of South Korea will be expanded from 18-30 to 18-35.

Travel requirements relaxed for school groups from France from 28 December 2023

  • EEA, EU and Swiss national children aged 18 and under who are resident and studying at a school in France will be able to use national identity cards to visit the UK on an organised school trip instead of passports
  • Visa national children aged 18 and under who are resident and studying in France will be able to visit the United Kingdom on an organised school trip without obtaining a visit visa (but will still require passports).

These changes reflect the Government’s intention to expand the business visitor route and Youth Mobility scheme while continuing to restrict immigration routes which contribute to net migration to the UK (the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those leaving). The Statement of Changes does not yet introduce the more restrictive changes to the UK immigration system which were outlined in the Home Secretary’s announcement on 4 December. A further Statement of Changes will be introduced before those changes come into effect in Spring 2024.

Contact Us

For further information on the forthcoming changes, contact our Immigration team or, alternatively, please submit an enquiry form.

Anita de Atouguia

Anita has specialised in immigration law for over 20 years and is one of the UK's leading immigration experts. She joined Doyle Clayton in 2012 to set up its Immigration service having worked in the immigration practices of some of the UK’s best known full service law firms including CMS and Lewis Silkin.

  • Partner & Head of Immigration
  • T: +44 (0)20 7778 7233
  • Email me

View profile

Zahira Patel

Zahira is a UK immigration specialist advising both organisations and individuals.

  • Senior Associate
  • T: +44 (0)20 7778 7246
  • Email me

View profile

Get in touch

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

Back to top