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I was granted a 6 months business visitor visa to go to the UK last November and finalize my job interview process with a prospect employer located in London (they covered all the trip expenses). Unfortunately the interview did not go well and I returned back to my home country Tunisia 2 days after my arrival, which is the stay duration I declared in my application .

I'm currently thinking of restarting an online job search in the UK and eventually schedule a few more interviews onsite, but I'm wondering if I can reuse the same business visa for the matter, given it's a C-VISIT-BUSINESS visa, multiple entry, and it expires in April 2015, and if that's possible am-I allowed to stay for, let's say 1 month period of time, and seek job sponsors from there.

Note that in my application I did not mention any intention of eventually returning back to look for a job with other employers. I just gave details about the company that sponsored my trip, and assumed things will just go well with them.

PS: I'm aware I'm not allowed to work with my business visa, I just intend to use it to attend job interviews onsite.

Also in case this could be of any meaning, a border officer stamped on my visa when I arrived to the UK.

Thanks in advance!

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You have a type C Business Visitor Visa which you have used once. Your entry clearance is marked as MULT and it expires in April 2015.

You want to reenter the UK to attend another interview. This situation is addressed in Paragraph 20A (Non lapsing leave) of the rules...

Leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom will usually lapse on the holder going to a country or territory outside the common travel area. However, under article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000 such leave will not lapse where it was given for a period exceeding six months or where it was conferred by means of an entry clearance (other than a visit visa).

To interpret this... You have left the common travel area. You were not given leave for a period exceeding six months. Your leave WAS conferred by an entry clearance, but it was conferred by a visit visa. This amalgamates to the conclusion that your leave has lapsed.

However, since your entry clearance has not expired. Paragraph 31A kicks in, which says in part...

Where a person has arrived in the United Kingdom with leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom which is in force but was given to him before his arrival, he may apply, on arrival at the port of entry in the United Kingdom, for variation of that leave. An Immigration Officer acting on behalf of the Secretary of State may vary the leave at the port of entry but is not obliged to consider an application for variation made at the port of entry...

So the Immigration Officer can examine your new invitation letter and let you in. He doesn't have to if he doesn't want to, the key words are: "not obliged to consider an application for variation". You'll need to show that your meeting was arranged in advance while you were outside of the UK.

That should answer your question.

Having said all of that. These rules are changing in the early part of 2015, and based upon what you wrote you may be affected. In fact, they are considering to combine Business Visitor with General Visitor and have just a single category. The permitted activities under these visas are changing also. They haven't drawn up or published the transitional provisions yet, so exactly how you will be affected isn't known. If you are 'grandfathered', the above rules will still apply; if not, then you will need to check closer to your actual travel date. Bottom line: skv's answer is fine.

Adding 18 Feb 2015 update...

This communication from the Home Office...

Thank you for your feedback on the draft visitor Immigration Rules and Guidance, and for contributing to the workshop discussions. We will be laying the new Immigration Rules for Visitors before Parliament on 26 February 2015 alongside other routine changes to the Rules and these will come into effect in April.

We will confirm the commencement date in the next few weeks.

We will be phasing in changes to the IT systems. From April, customers will not see any difference in the way they apply for a visit visa, but from late summer they will be issued with new visit visa endorsements that align with the streamlined visitor routes. We will make the transitional arrangements clear on our website and in communications to staff. We would be happy to explain this in more detail in the lead up to the implementation date.

  • Thank you for the detailed answer boss! So if my understanding was right, I can show a new invitation letter to the border officer alongside my valid visa upon my arrival and still get an entry denial losing all the trip expenses I would have pre-arranged in advance... what a disappointment would that be! Not quite encouraging as an answer but I guess that's how things are. The second part of my question was suppose I get granted re-entry at the port, would I be allowed to stay for a little while and look for other job sponsors from there? If that's the case it might be worth the risk. – ALTN Nov 29 '14 at 23:09
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    @ALTN, conducting a job search from inside the UK is abuse, but some variations are tolerated where the circumstances are inexorably reasonable at face value. – Gayot Fow Nov 29 '14 at 23:17
  • To be honest I was expecting yes/no answers to both my questions, but as life has never been black or white, it turns out my questions are not that obvious. I'll apparently have to deal with risk and uncertainty... again thanks a lot for your help! I'll just go ahead and check your answer – ALTN Nov 29 '14 at 23:32
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    @GayotFow that was a great answer and thanks for the answer "conducting a job search from inside the UK is abuse" that is what guided me to the answer I wrote but yours is much more authoritative – skv Nov 30 '14 at 4:11
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    @ALTN, answer updated... – Gayot Fow Feb 18 '15 at 21:30
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attending a pre-arranged meeting or interview, a conference or a trade fair (but not selling products or services)

Is what exactly you did the first time and is permitted as per detailed rules here

to attend meetings, conferences and interviews, provided they were arranged before arrival in the UK and, if the applicant is a board-level director attending board meetings in the UK, provided they are not employed by a UK company (although they may be paid a fee for attending the meeting);

The very reason it felt unlikely to be acceptable to me was because immigration rarely permits someone who is just looking for a job, so my recommendation would be that you make another appointment and then arrive in the UK with an invitation letter, rather than travelling to UK without one.

  • It's written in my visa that it doesn't allow for work, so I'm aware of that, I just intend to look for another job sponsor. Your reply is reassuring, but given this post I'm not sure if I should take your reply as a final answer as the guy in there had issues just because he overstayed the period he initially declared in his application, even though his stay did not exceed the expiry date on his 6 months visa – ALTN Nov 29 '14 at 13:07
  • Edited my answer with additional clarity – skv Nov 29 '14 at 13:20
  • I just edited my question too. Thank you for the constructive help. – ALTN Nov 29 '14 at 14:03
  • @ALTN, I'm the guy who wrote that answer you linked to. You can't use that answer to apply to yourself because you are coming and going, he remained. You will have a landing interview each time you arrive to explain your situation. He didn't. Apples and oranges. So skv's answer is actually ok. – Gayot Fow Nov 29 '14 at 19:58
  • @GayotFow thank you for intervening. I'm actually not applying Anthony's case to mine otherwise I wouldn't have created a new question. skv's citations were very helpful (thanks again skv), but they still don't clearly answer my question. He just said he's feeling my case unlikely to be acceptable, but clearly he's not sure (at least that was my impression). His opinion was almost the opposite before he edited the answer. I'm not planning to re-enter the UK till next year so I prefer to wait for a proper answer. That said I wish I could up-vote skv's answer, but I don't have permissions. – ALTN Nov 29 '14 at 20:51

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