Business visitors - Changes to the UK immigration rules for fly-in, fly-out lawyers

16 October 2014

As part of a package of changes to the Immigration Rules, the Home Office have today published a welcome change which will benefit lawyers working for international law firms. 

The changes introduce a new permitted activity for lawyers who are working for international law firms with UK offices and who come to the UK to advise a UK client on litigation or international transactions.

The change deals with one of the biggest blocks to the provision of cross border legal services in the UK, which previously prohibited lawyers from providing services under the business visitor rules. This will mean that lawyers coming to the UK to advise on a “fly–in, fly-out" basis will now be doing so legally.

Nick Rollason, head of Kingsley Napley’s Immigration team, has been closely involved in lobbying for this change and in working with Home Office policy to achieve this concession over the past year. Speaking on the rule change, he said:

This is a welcome change and is a pragmatic response to the modern day reality of international law firms providing services across borders. The Home Office recognised that it the previous rules were not practical in requiring work permission for these fly in, fly-out visits. Lawyers coming to the UK to advise can now breathe a little easier when arriving at UK immigration.”

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