I have been working for a UK-based company as a remote independent contractor for the last 3 years. I want to do a short-term visit to the UK to meet the team and work from there for a few weeks. The company will reimburse me for my stay/travel expenses. Which visa do you think is applicable for this?

From what I can see from the gov.uk website, there are two kinds of visas that I may be eligible for:

  • Standard Visitor visa
  • Permitted Paid Engagement visa

Which one of the two do you think is the right category of visa for me?

  • What exactly does ‘work’ mean? Are all the activities you’re planning allowed under Visitor gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/… or PPE rules gov.uk/permitted-paid-engagement-visa? See also assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/… If you can work for them remotely from your country of residence, how will you convince the ECO that you wouldn’t overstay?
    – Traveller
    Oct 22, 2021 at 13:47
  • Cross site duplicate on Expatriates: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/22545/… Please do not ask exact copies, you can ask different but related questions though. Mods can move questions if you had asked on the wrong site.
    – Willeke
    Oct 22, 2021 at 14:51
  • @Willeke thanks, I wasn't sure which was the correct place to ask this; I've now deleted the question from the expatriates SE.
    – pb_
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:10
  • @Traveller From the link you shared, my short-term visit activities would probably fall under "General Business Activities: attend interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars". But since I am working as an independent remote contractor for this UK company, I am a bit unsure if this is applicable to me?
    – pb_
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:21
  • The Rules say “ You cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person as a visitor.” I think you may fall foul of this unless you are only going to carry out the permitted activities as in the answer from @DJClayworth. If you will also be doing the same activities for the company while in the UK that you already do remotely, you will need a work visa, IMHO.
    – Traveller
    Oct 22, 2021 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


You want a Standard Visitor Visa.

You are allowed to:

  • attend interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars
  • get work-related training if you’re employed overseas and the training is not available in your home country
  • deliver training or share knowledge on internal projects with UK employees of the company you work for overseas

Meeting the team and exchanging information with them is covered by that. Do NOT say that you are going to "work there for a few weeks", either when applying or when you arrive. You are there to attend meetings with your colleagues, train them and receive training, plan and review work. You are not going to "work" according to the definition used by UK immigration.

Permitted Paid Engagement is for academics, artists and recognized experts in their field.

  • thanks for your answer. "You are there to attend meetings with your colleagues, train them and receive training, plan and review work" Since I do not work for an overseas company, but a company in the UK itself, and that too as an independent contractor and not as an employee, is this still applicable for me?
    – pb_
    Oct 22, 2021 at 15:09
  • I believe so. Check with a lawyer if you are unsure. In any case, the PPE visa is not appropriate. Oct 22, 2021 at 15:22
  • You do not work for an UK company, cross border employment is practically impossible. You are a self employed contractor. Your employer is not the UK company. They are your client. These are completely different things. As an aside: if you are not aware of this then you should immediately talk to an accountant who is well versed in these affairs because almost certainly you screwed up your taxes.
    – user4188
    Oct 23, 2021 at 8:48

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