Business Visitor Visa
The UK Business Visitor Visa grants foreign nationals from non-EEA countries the chance to visit the UK to perform certain business activities for a short period of time.
If you have any questions regarding the Business visitor visa applications, contact our professional immigration lawyers for some assistance navigating the application process. You can call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.
- What are the eligibility requirements for the Business Visitor Visa?
- What activities are permitted on the Business Visitor Visa?
- Who can apply for a Business Visitor Visa?
- What is not permitted on the Business Visitor Visa?
- What is the Business Visitor Visa application process?
- What documents are required for the UK Business Visa?
- How long does the Business Visitor Visa take?
- Can dependents come to the UK with business travellers?
- How to apply for a dependent visa
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are the eligibility requirements for the Business Visitor Visa?
To be eligible for the Business Visitor Visa UK, applicants must be able to prove the following:
- The applicant will not stay in the UK at the end of their visit
- The applicant will not live in the UK for extended periods including frequent or successive visits (not make the UK your main residence)
- The applicant is genuinely seeking entry for the business purposes permitted by the visa and won’t undertake any prohibited activities
- The applicant is able to prove that they have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without accessing UK public funds
What activities are permitted on the Business Visitor Visa?
While on the Business Visitor Visa, the following business-related permitted activities are permitted:
- Attend any interviews, meetings, conferences, and seminars
- Negotiate and sign deals and contracts
- Attend trade fairs to promote your business (but you are not permitted to sell things)
- If you have an overseas employer, obtain work-related training should that training is not available in your home country
- Give a one-off or short series of talks as long as they’re done voluntarily
- Carry out site visits and inspections
- Oversee the delivery of goods and services provided by a UK company to your employment overseas
- Deliver training or share knowledge on internal projects with UK employees
- Install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, computer software, and hardware
Who can apply for a Business Visitor Visa?
To apply for a Business Visitor Visa, the applicant must be employed by an overseas company in any one of the following professional roles:
- an archaeologist
- an artist, entertainer, or musician
- a bodyguard
- a camera operator
- a driver
- an internal auditor
- a journalist or correspondent
- a lawyer or expert witness
- a market researcher or analyst
- a personal assistant
- a professor from an overseas academic institution
- a religious worker
- a scientist or researcher
- a sportsperson or sports official
- a tour group courier
- a translator or interpreter
- a member of a film crew, including actors, producers, directors, or technicians
- a member of the production team supporting an artist, entertainer, or musician
- a member of technical staff supporting an artist, entertainer, musician, or sports person
What is not permitted on the Business Visitor Visa?
Due to the visitor rules and the visa conditions, business visitor visa holders are not permitted to:
- Obtain employment in the UK from a UK based business
- Do work for an organisation or business in the UK
- Establish or run a business or other activities as a self-employed person
- Undertake a work placement or internship
- Selling directly to the public and UK based customer
- Provide goods and services
- Receive public funds
If you wanted to get a job from a UK company, you’d need to apply for a UK work permit, which is separate from the Business Visitor Visa.
What is the Business Visitor Visa application process?
All Business Visitor Visa applications need to be submitted from outside of the UK. You will need to complete an online application and pay the corresponding fee. You will also need to provide the required documentation for the visa application.
The application is done online here, via the UK government website.
What documents are required for the UK Business Visa?
To apply for a UK Business Visa, you will need to submit the following documents:
- The dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
- Where you’ll be staying during your visit
- The cost of the trip
- Current home address and how long you’ve lived there
- Parents’ names and dates of birth
- How much you earn in a year
- Details of any criminal, civil, or immigration offences you may have committed
Depending on your situation, you may need to also provide the Home Office with the following information:
- Personal travel history for the past 10 years
- Employer’s address and telephone number
- Partner’s information such as name, date of birth, and passport number
- The information of anyone paying for your trip
- The information of any family members you have in the UK
- A certificate proving your tuberculosis (TB) test (if applicable)
As part of your UK business visa online application, you will need to book an appointment at a visa application centre. This appointment is crucial and it may require overseas travel, depending on where you live.
This appointment is to determine you are a genuine visitor intending to do business-related activities and show the immigration officer your passport or travel document, have your fingerprints and photograph, (biometric information) provide the required documents that show you’re eligible for a Standard Visitor visa.
How long does the Business Visitor Visa take?
If you are planning on travelling to the UK for your UK business trip, you should submit your visa application forms within three months of your trip.
Regardless of the method you use, visa applicants from non-EEA countries such as the US, Pakistan, and India should expect their visa approval within three weeks of submitting their application.
If the time is needed, there are various services that can help speed up the visa processing process. Some of these include arranging an interview or a conference.
The visa processing time can also be greatly reduced by using a service known as the fast-track application package called the Priority Service. This allows users to collect their decision within five working days.
Another service that can help expedite the visa process is the Super Priority Service. This premium service comes with an additional fee, but it is a great option if you are in a hurry to get your visa approved.
Can dependents come to the UK with business travellers?
As per the immigration rules, “dependent” of someone with a work visa or a business visa are a husband, wife, spouse, civil partner or partner, your children(s), so long they are under the age of 18, your children(s) if they are over the age of eighteen but currently in the UK as a dependant. A dependant cannot apply for a dependant visa from within the UK if they entered the UK on a visitor visa.
Dependents are not extended to family members such as grandparents, cousins, etc, and will be refused entry if they try to apply.
For a dependent visa through a business visit visa, most dependant visa applicants must meet the maintenance requirement and provide the mandatory evidence for it. One important aspect is that the dependent has to show they will financially support themselves during their stay in the UK without applying for UK public funds.
The UK immigration rules permit dependent visa holders to work and study.
How to apply for a dependent visa
A dependant visa application is submitted online like the business visitors but needs to be supported by:
- Evidence of the relationship with the main business visitor visa applicant. Acceptable evidence includes a birth certificate, civil partnership/ marriage certificate.
- A criminal record certificate
- Evidence that the financial maintenance requirement is met – bank statements covering ninety days prior to the application.
Regarding the time frame, the dependant visa to the business visitor, then their visa will last for the same time period as the main business or work applicant’s visa.
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Frequently Asked Questions
All standard UK visitor visas, which includes business visitor, are for short-term purposes, no longer than six months. UK immigration rules also restrict you from using short-term visas to make frequent or successive visits, although once you have a business visa, you can enter and leave the UK as many times as you would like within your six-month visa.
However, there are some instances where you can extend your stay. This includes long-term visit visas that can be obtained for durations of two years, five years, or ten years at an extra cost. With this type of visa, you to enter and leave the UK without having to reapply for a new visa. Holders of this visa are limited to a maximum stay of six months for each visit.
UK Business Visa holders can not do paid or voluntary work outside the scope of their UK business visa.
There is no right of appeal for a refused UK short-term visa for business visitors, but there is the option of having it reviewed at the Judicial Review level in the High Court.
The business visitor visa fees are £95/per application, as it falls under the standard visitor visa.