Home secretary Theresa May has outlined major changes to the visa system to make the UK more attractive to businesses.
The overhaul of the system will see the number of visa types available to foreign travellers cut from 15 to four.
The home office has said the changes will make the system easier to understand and will affect all those visiting the UK from April, whether for business or leisure.
The four new visa routes will be: visitor (standard); visitor (to hold marriage or civil partnership); visitor undertaking permitted paid engagements; and visitors transiting the UK.
Business travellers will also be able to take a holiday in the UK alongside meetings for the first time. Previously two visas would have been needed for this.
Business leaders have long argued that complex visa restrictions hurt the UK economy and have lobbied the government to make the changes.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "In a global market place we must make sure we stay ahead of our competitors as we work to carry on attracting the business and leisure travellers who will help our economy grow further still.
"These further reforms to the immigration system are part of our work to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Britain remains open for business and that visitors are always welcome in the UK, whether they come for leisure or work."
The new rules will be laid in Parliament on 26 February before coming into effect from April.
The changes came after the Home Office consulted with more than 100 organisations, including business groups and tourism bodies on what changes were needed.
Read the BBT feature on taking the stress out of visa applications