§ Mr. Tony Lloyd
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances visas are granted for non-EC and non-Commonwealth residents to come to work in Britain for stays of a few weeks where payment is made by their employer in the country of origin; what assessment is made of the requirement for a work permit; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
Under the Immigration Rules (HC 251 as amended) work permits are generally required by all non-EC nationals coming to work in the United Kingdom, irrespective of their length of stay or the source of their remuneration. Work permits are normally issued to employers only where jobs requiring high qualifications and skills cannot be filled by the EC labour force, and should be obtained from the Department of Employment before the person travels to the United Kingdom. The rules do, however, permit overseas-based people to enter without a work permit as business visitors in order to transact such business as attending meetings and briefings; negotiating contracts; delivering goods and, where necessary, installing and advising on the operation of their machinery here; or if they are sent by international companies to liaise with or advise United Kingdom subsidiaries. Business visitors who are nationals of the countries listed in the appendix to the rules must obtain a visa before travelling here.