To Ease Travel To 2014 Commonwealth Games, UK Launches A Special Visa

13 Sep 2013


Immigration News

The BVEP (Business Visits & Events Partnership) says that for business travelers attending events, the UK will provide ‘a more positive welcome’ following changes to immigration control.

The changes have been introduced to make it easier for participants and accompanying persons to enter the country for the Commonwealth Games that are being held in Glasgow in 2014.

Vice chair of BVEP, Simon Hughes said that they have been calling for some time for a special visa for all events attracting more than 2,000 overseas delegates. The industry body anticipates that the introduction of this for the Commonwealth Games is just the start of the Home Office’s support for such an innovation. 

He said, a special events visa was used during the London Olympic & Paralympic Games in 2012 and a similar approach will now be used in 2014 so they can see the value it brings to major events. Hughes insisted that now it needs to be used for not just a few irregular high profile public events but extended to other large scale events.

One of the key recommendations to make Britain more competitive internationally, following the Partnership’s research on subvention, was the introduction of a special events visa for trade shows, business events and conferences all of which drive UK exports and enterprise.

The BVEP also trusts that other changes announced by the Home Office could help support the UK events Industry, including:

  • Removal of the English language requirement for intra-company transferees;
  • Allowing business visitors and tourists to do some study even when it is not the main purpose of their visit. This can generate additional attendance at educational conferences and training seminars in Britain;
  • Expanding the activities a business visitor is allowed to do in the UK;
  • Changes in the criteria for admission of musicians, artists and performers to include evidence of work at cultural events and major festivals.

Hughes said that all of these changes will contribute to a more positive welcome for event organizers and their delegates to the UK. It also adds to a richer experience for delegates as they can extend their stay to do more business in the UK or to include other educational opportunities.

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