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I applied for UK Standard Visitor visa a few months ago to attend my company's team building event in the London office. In my application I truthfully stated that it was for a business trip, and that my company sponsored it, but that I'd also like to stay there for another two weeks for vacation.

The plans fell through as I was unable to obtain my visa in time for the event. I did get the visa in the end, and it's still valid, can I use it to travel to UK for leisure purposes? What are the possible repercussions for travelling for a reason different from what I stated in the application?

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  • Do you personally meet the visa eligibility requirements? A material change in the premise on which a visa was granted (such as changing from a business trip sponsored by your company with some tourism tacked on, to an unsponsored trip solely for tourism) could be grounds for denial of entry / cancellation of your visa on arrival at the border.
    – Traveller
    Mar 15 at 18:33
  • @Traveller to the best of my knowledge yes, I'm eligible for Standard Visitor visa, with or without company support
    – Nobody
    Mar 15 at 19:54
  • In that case, play safe - don’t risk a denial of entry, apply again in your own name
    – Traveller
    Mar 15 at 20:03
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    Why would they give you the business visa if it was too late for the event? And if you somehow obtained a visa for business reasons, but too late for the event, why do you expect to be admitted? Mar 15 at 20:46
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    @Nobody Your question implies you still haven’t got the visa (“assuming I did get the visa in the end”).
    – Traveller
    Mar 15 at 21:17

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First, there is no such thing as a ‘UK business visa’. A UK Standard Visitor visa allows the holder to undertake certain permitted activities as a visitor, of which general business activities (such as meetings, conferences) is a sub-set.

Second, when you applied for your visa, you did so on the basis of attending a team building event sponsored by your company with some personal tourism tacked on. You haven’t used the visa for its original stated purpose and now you want to use it solely for tourism. That’s potentially a material change in the premise on which the visa was granted which, IMHO, could be grounds for denial of entry / cancellation of your visa on arrival at the border.

If you’re confident you can prove to UK Border Control, if asked, that you still meet the eligibility / suitability / genuine visitor requirements then go ahead and plan your trip. If not, apply for another visa.

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