UK Business Visas for Canadians

The UK is a top destination for Canadian entrepreneurs looking to start a new business and we can aid you through the process.

Contact Total Law’s immigration lawyers at +1 844 290 6312 if you wish to find out more about the UK visa application process, or if you seek immediate assistance with UK immigration law.

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    UK Business Visas for Canadian Citizens

    If you are a Canadian citizen and need to apply for a UK Business Visa, it is possible to do so from within Canada. You will need to provide proof of your identity and evidence that you have enough funds available to support yourself while visiting the UK.

    Alternatively, Canadian citizens already in the UK may apply to switch to a business visa if they are on a visa or immigration permission that allows them to switch.

    Another alternative to travel to the UK for business purposes on a temporary and short-term basis is to apply for a Business Visitor Visa.

    This is a type of standard visitor visa that will allow entry to the UK for up to 6 months. While in the UK, Business Visitor Visa holders may participate in certain business activities, participate in tourist and leisure activities, and visit friends and family.

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    UK Innovator Founder Visa

    The UK Innovator Founder Visa aims to attract experienced business people looking to start a new business in the United Kingdom.

    It requires the endorsement of the UK endorsing body, which will assess the applicant’s business plan and recommend whether or not it should be considered for this visa.

    The applicant must provide documentary evidence that their plans are credible, including a viable funding plan for the proposed business venture.

    You will additionally need to show that you have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support yourself in the UK, and that you meet the English language requirements.

    Holders may switch between this and other types of UK visas if necessary (for example, if they want to switch from working as an employee of a company to being self-employed).

    The holder may also be employed with another company while working under their Innovator Visa but they must be undertaking work that is defined as “skilled work”.

    The Innovator Founder visa will allow you to stay in the UK for 3 years, after which you can extend the visa or apply for permanent settlement.

    Global Talent Visa

    The Global Talent visa replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa in 2020. This visa is intended for exceptionally talented individuals in academics and research, arts and culture, and digital technology.

    Under the Global Talent visa, visa holders are allowed to work in the UK for a period of up to 5 years with the need of a sponsor or job offer. The main difference is that applicants must show that they have been endorsed by an “endorsing body” in their field before applying for a visa under this scheme, or show that they have been the recipient for an eligible internationally recognised award.

    After spending 3 or 5 years in the UK (depending on which field you work in and how you apply), you may be eligible to apply for permanent settlement in the UK.

    Canadian entrepreneur in the UK

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      Global Business Mobility Visa

      The Global Business Mobility category of visas are designed to further help overseas businesses to come to the UK for the purposes of establishing or expanding the company’s business presence in the UK. There are several sub-categories under this visa which include:

      • Senior or Specialist Worker Visa – for foreign nationals to come and work in a UK branch of their employer
      • Graduate Trainee Visa – for foreign nationals coming to the UK to take part in a training program
      • UK Expansion Worker Visa -f or foreign nationals coming to the UK to establish a UK presence
      • Service Supplier Visa – for foreign workers coming to the UK to work in line with UK trade agreements
      • Secondment Worker Visa – for foreign workers to come to the UK to work for UK firms in high-value contracts or investments

      Each subcategory has its own eligibility criteria and application process.

      Business Visitor Visa

      The UK Business visitor visa is a short-term visitor visa for visitors to carry out certain business activities.

      You will not have to apply for this visa if you’re travelling to the UK to carry out business activities and you’re a citizen of a visa-exempt country.

      If you plan to apply for a UK business visa, it is important to understand the permitted activities for each type of UK business visa. The following activities are acceptable for business visitors:

      • Meeting with clients
      • Attending conferences
      • Negotiating contracts
      • Training employees (if training is part of your core business)
      • Taking part in trade fairs or exhibitions (if your core business involves selling goods or services)
      • Delivering goods (provided that you’re not just delivering samples)
      • Delivering services (technical support services, IT support, accounting, and financial management services)

      The Business Visitor visa lasts for a maximum of 6 months. You are not allowed to undertake any paid or unpaid employment while in the UK with this visa.

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        Applying for a UK Business Visa from Canada

        Applying for a UK business visa from Canada is not very different from that of the rest of the world. The first step is to fill out an online application form and pay the visa fees. You can do this by visiting the gov.uk website.

        You’ll need to complete an online form and provide supporting documents such as copies of your passport, proof of funds, and other relevant information.

        You may also have to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to give your biometrics.

        After you have submitted your information through the online form, it will normally take between 3 and 8 weeks to process your application, though this may vary depending on the type of visa you have applied for.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The Entrepreneur visa, Investor visa and Start-up visa are all closed to new applicants as of 2024.

                  If you wish to apply for a new business visa in the UK, you will have to do so via one of the visas mentioned in the article above.

                  Individuals already in the UK on one of these discontinued visas can still apply to extend their visa or apply for permanent settlement, if eligible.

                  Most UK business visas will require you to speak the English language to a minimum required level. Normally, this will be at least B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

                  There are a number of ways you can prove your language skills:

                  • By taking a certified English language test
                  • Showing proof of an eligible qualification, such as a British school exam qualification or a degree certificate for a course that was taught in English
                  • Showing proof that you come from a majority English-speaking country

                  Note that the Business Visitor visa does not have an English language requirement.