UK business visitors: to B or not to B?

May 05, 2021

Guidelines issued by the UK Government do not match with Italian definition of “business”

According to the British government website section “travelling to Italy for work” (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-italy-for-work) British nationals do not need a visa if travelling to Italy for up to 90 days in 180 days period for:

  • running or attending job interviews
  • going to court as a witness
  • attending trade fairs
  • board meetings
  • meeting clients or customers (including entertainment like eating at a restaurant)
  • meeting colleagues, contractors, or sellers
  • fact-finding visits
  • negotiating, signing, and executing deals or contracts
  • attending, speaking, or presenting at a conference if you aren’t being paid
  • team building activities
  • installing, upgrading and troubleshooting software or machinery where there’s an after-sales contract in place
  • taking part in a technical training
  • consulting
  • completing an after-sales service
  • leisure travel, such as holidays, or visiting friends or family

Or for the following types of training, as long as it’s for the same company or group:

  • receiving and providing classroom-based training
  • shadowing someone’s job

However, under Italian law (visa decree 850/2011) “The business visa allows entry into Italy for a short stay to the foreigner travelling for economic-commercial purposes, to make contacts or conduct negotiations, for learning or verifying the functioning of capital goods purchased or sold under commercial and industrial cooperation agreements”. The definition of the activities that can be performed on a business visa – or without a visa for visa waiver countries as the UK – is very limited and does not seem to be perfectly in line with the activities listed on the UK government website.

Giuditta Petreni

Giuditta Petreni has over 10 years of experience in assisting companies and business investors with relocation of managers and staff to Italy. Giuditta has extensive experience advising corporate and private clients on a full range of Italian immigration categories. She is fluent in Italian and English.

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