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Hogg Robinson Alerts Business Travellers to UK Visa Changes

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As the United Kingdom strengthens its border security system, Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), a leading international corporate travel services company, is alerting business travellers to changes in visa regulations so that clients can better plan their business trips.

The UK has always recognized the vast business opportunities presented by its impressive number of overseas visitors. However, as global travel continues to grow, the UK has become increasingly conscious of new challenges which demand the implementation of tighter visa controls. To safeguard its position as a global business hub, the UK has introduced a new business visitor visa which aims to make clear the distinction between short-term business visitors and those engaging in longer-term business activities.

The new business visitor visa, which came into effect on 27 November last year, will affect business travellers from visa national countries (visa nationals being those requiring a visa to enter the UK), such as the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Visitors from these countries arriving to the UK for business trips of up to six months must apply for the business visitor visa. Business visitors from non-visa national countries such as Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong are exempted from this new stipulation.

James Stevenson, HRG's Executive Vice-President, Aspac said, "The UK authorities now require business visitors to provide evidence that they are in the country for permissible business-related activities such as attending meetings or conferences; arranging deals, negotiating or signing contracts or trade agreements; conducting site visits and promotional activities; undertaking fact finding missions to obtain information useful to a branch abroad as well as checking details or goods."

"They must also prove that they have no intentions to study, are based abroad with no intent of transferring their base to the UK even on a temporary basis and have the ability to afford the cost of the return or onward journey without working or assistance from public funds."

The new business visitor visa also made new provisions for academic visitors such as visiting professors accompanying students on overseas academic exchange programmes and visiting religious workers involved in preaching or pastoral work in the duration of a business trip. While the business visitor visa grants a maximum period of six months of stay, academic visitors are allowed to stay for a maximum of 12 months.

 "All these changes, while complex, are necessary for the UK to stay as an attractive business centre. In the face of such multifarious developments, corporate travel service companies such as HRG can further demonstrate how they add value to companies. As experts in the market, with local representatives on the ground, HRG is able to take the complexities out of such changes to travel regulations, minimizing disruption to client operations," Stevenson added.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, Free Deals, Cruises, Immigration, London, Visas, Hogg Robinson, Corporate Travel

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