A visitor to the UK stays with a UK citizen, offers cleaning services in exchange for room & board. Would a work visa be required for this?
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The appendix to immigration rule for visitors V4.5-6 lists prohibited activities. One of the first prohibitions (f) is against providing goods or services, with a note that there is a set of permitted exceptions. The more generic page on standard visitors states that you can't do paid or unpaid work. Appendix 3 of the rules page says what is allowed, which includes such things as scientists "gather(ing) information and facts for a specific project which directly relates to their employment overseas", but does not include "working as household help in exchange for room and board". There are provisions for domestic workers to accompany an employer, which would not be applicable. In light of these restrictions on trading services for something of value (i.e. payment), I would conclude that the activity is prohibited.