UK Business Visa from Turkey

Turkish nationals must obtain a UK business visa to come to the country for doing business. They will have to choose an appropriate visa among different options available, depending on their circumstances.

To know more about the UK business visa options, whether you are eligible, what supporting documents you need, how to apply for a suitable visa and subsequently extend its validity, or what business immigration services Total Law provides, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    Overview of UK Business Visa

    The UK’s thriving economy, world-class public infrastructure, and a stable economic and political situation attract many overseas business owners and foreign entrepreneurs to the country, both for a short-term and a long-term basis.

    A UK business visa allows foreign nationals to come and engage in business activities in the country. Depending on your circumstances, there are several business immigration routes for Turkish nationals to the UK, through some of which you may also be able to settle in the country eventually.

    For example, a standard visitor visa for business purposes allows you to come to the UK and engage in certain types of business activities for up to a maximum of six months.

    On the other hand, an Innovator Founder visa is typically valid for three years and will enable you to set up and run an innovative business in the country if you have a unique business idea. You will also be able to bring your eligible family members to the UK, and apply for settlement in the country after three years, provided you meet the relevant conditions.

    In this article, we have discussed the various UK business visa types, including those which are no longer open for new applications, but where current visa holders can still extend their stay or apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the country if they meet the eligibility criteria.

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    Business Visitor Visa

    A Turkish citizen can apply for a Standard Visitor visa for business purposes to engage in certain types of business activities in the UK, such as:

    • Taking part in business meetings or negotiations
    • Attending training, interviews, conferences, seminars, trade fairs etc.
    • Signing deals and contracts with a UK company
    • Visiting supplier sites or carrying out business inspections
    • Delivering corporate training or giving a one-off or series of lectures
    • Providing certain technical or IT-related services if you are representing an overseas business having a service contract with a UK company or organisation, etc.

    Please note that you will not be allowed to do any paid or unpaid work for a UK business or as a self-employed professional in the UK on this visa.

    A Standard Visitor visa for business will allow you to stay in the UK for a maximum of six months. Frequent business visitors may also be able to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa with a validity of two, five or 10 years. However, you will not be allowed to stay in the UK for more than six months on each visit.

    Innovator Founder Visa

    The Innovator Founder visa, earlier called the Innovator visa, is for foreign entrepreneurs with a unique business idea who want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must:

    • Have a business offering that is different from anything already existing in the market, has potential for growth, can create jobs in the UK, and can expand nationally and internationally
    • Have the business idea endorsed by a competent UK entity, known as an endorsing body
    • Meet the other eligibility criteria, such as:
      • You are 18 or over
      • You meet the English language requirement
      • You have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family (if any) in the UK

    An Innovative Founder visa is valid for three years, and is renewable thereafter, provided you continue meeting the initial conditions. You may also apply to settle in the UK after three years. However, your visa validity may be cut short in case the endorsing body withdraws their endorsement of your business.

    Global Talent Visa

    A foreign national who is considered to be a leader or a potential leader in academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology, may apply for a Global Talent visa, which will allow them to live, work and study in the UK without requiring a valid job offer from a UK-based employer.

    To be considered a leader/potential leader for the purpose of the Global Talent visa, you must either be endorsed for being so, or have won an eligible award (such as a Nobel Prize or a Booker Prize).

    A Global Talent visa is valid for up to five years, and you can continue renewing the same. You may also be able to apply for ILR after three or five years, depending on your field of work and how you applied initially for this visa.

    So, if you are a Turkish businessperson who qualifies for a Global Talent visa, you may come to the UK via this route and set up your own venture.

    High Potential Individual Visa

    If you have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university as specified on the Home Office website in the last five years, you may be eligible to apply for a High Potential Individual (HPI) visa to come and work in the UK. This visa also allows you to be self-employed.

    You will be allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of two years, or three years if you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, on an HPI visa. You will not be able to renew an HPI visa or apply to settle in the UK on its basis. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa (e.g. a Skilled Worker visa).

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      Self-Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa

      Although the UK does not offer a self-employment visa, foreign business owners may take the Skilled Worker visa route to come and work in the UK for their own company. In that case, they will need to own an already established UK company with an appropriate licence for sponsoring a Skilled Worker in the UK.

      If you are a Turkish businessperson who owns a company in the UK, or has a business partner who does so, you may use your UK company’s sponsorship licence to assign yourself a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to come and work in the country. That’s why it is called the self-sponsored Skilled Worker route.

      As a Skilled Worker visa holder you can eventually settle in the UK provided you fulfil the eligibility conditions.

      UK Business Visas Closed for New Applicants

      Certain UK business visas have been closed for new applicants in the past few years. However, foreign nationals who currently hold such visas may apply to extend the same or apply for ILR, if they meet the criteria. These include:

      • Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1) – for foreign investors setting up or running a business
      • Investor visa (Tier 1) – for foreign investors who invested £2 million in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies
      • Turkish Businessperson visa – for Turkish nationals seeking to start a new business or help run an established business in the UK
      • Start-up visa – for foreign nationals who are new entrepreneurs and wish to set up a business in the UK for the first time

      Foreign businesspersons already holding Entrepreneur or Investor visas may be able to extend their visa or apply to settle in the UK, provided they fulfil the eligibility requirements. They may also bring their family members to the UK.

      Turkish nationals currently holding Turkish Businessperson visas may continue running their business, start another business and/or continue to help run an established business in the UK. Their children under 21 years of age can also join them in the UK as dependent family members on the basis of this visa. They may also extend their visa or apply for ILR.

      The Start-up visa holders can still apply for their eligible family members to join them in the UK. They will also have the option to switch to an Innovator Founder visa if their current visa is expiring and they would like to continue staying in the country for business.

      Global Business Mobility Visas

      Overseas businesses can also send their foreign national employees to work in the UK through the Global Business Mobility route. This route involves the following visa categories:

      • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
      • Graduate Trainee visa
      • Secondment Worker visa
      • Service Supplier visa
      • UK Expansion Worker visa

      However, foreign nationals holding any of the above visas are coming to the UK in the capacity of employees on behalf of their employers abroad, and not as business owners, investors or entrepreneurs. So, even if the Global Business Mobility visas are used by overseas companies and organisations, they are considered to be work visas rather than business visas.

      Document Requirements for a UK Business Visa

      The document requirements will vary depending on the UK business visa types as well as your immigration circumstances. These documents include:

      • A valid passport with at least one blank page for your visa stamp
      • Proof that you meet the English language requirement
      • Proof of subsistence
      • Travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, travel health insurance etc. for a Standard Visitor visa
      • Endorsement letter from an approved endorsing body for Innovator Founder visa
      • For an HPI visa, the statement received from Ecctis after they have checked your qualification
      • Your CoS reference number, job title and salary, job’s occupation code, and the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number, if coming to the UK via the self-sponsored Skilled Worker route

      Please also note that certified translated copies will be required in case your supporting documents are not in English or Welsh.

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        UK Business Visa Application Process

        The application process for a UK business visa is an online process. Once you have gathered all the required information, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website to begin your application.

        TLScontact is the third-party provider for UK visa services in Turkey. After filling in the online application form and paying your visa fees on the UKVI site, please select your nearest TLScontact visa application centre to book your appointment. TLScontact has centres in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Istanbul, and Izmir in Turkey.

        On the date of your visa appointment, please visit the centre to submit your application and supporting documents, and have your photo and fingerprints taken to enrol your biometric data. TLScontact will then forward your application to UKVI for assessment and processing.

        Processing Time and Fees for a UK Business Visa

        The average processing time for UK business visas is three weeks. However, if you are applying for an HPI visa from within the UK, it may take you up to eight weeks to receive a decision.

        The visa fees will vary depending on the specific UK business visa you are applying for. A Standard Visitor visa for business will cost £115, while a long-term Standard Visitor visa fee is £400, £771 and £963 for two, five or 10 years, respectively.

        For an Innovator Founder visa, you will need to pay a processing fee of £1,191 and an additional £1,000 (excluding VAT) to the endorsing body for the endorsement letter.

        The processing fee for a Global Talent visa is £192. However, in cases where an approval letter is not required, the visa fee is £716. An HPI visa will cost £822.

        For the self-sponsored Skilled Worker route, you will pay a visa fee of £719 where a CoS has been issued for three years or less, and £1,420 when a CoS has been issued for more than three years.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Our team of competent and sympathetic lawyers come with the required expertise, experience and legal knowledge in UK business immigration services to assist you, regardless of how complicated your case might be.

        If you are seeking overall advice with your UK business visa application or you would like an immigration expert to complete your application on your behalf, we are happy to help. We also offer a document and application checking service, in case you just need us to conduct a final check to confirm that your documents and application adhere to the Home Office guidelines.

        We have an appeal package as well if you would need to appeal your UK business visa refusal. To discuss further about how we can help you, reach out to our expert immigration advisers today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  In case of a business visa rejection, UKVI will notify you in writing explaining the refusal reason(s). It will also be mentioned whether you can appeal that decision or ask for an administrative review instead.

                  Please consider consulting an immigration lawyer if your business visa application has been rejected, given the legal complexities involved in challenging a UK visa refusal decision. Call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 today to speak with our legal team.

                  If you hold a UK business visa (other than the Standard Visitor visa for business purposes), your spouse/partner and dependent children can apply to join you in the UK provided they fulfil the eligibility conditions.