Business Visitor Visa

Business Visitor Visa UK

Get in touch with our immigration experts if you need a Business Visitor Visa to enter the UK.

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Business Visitor Visa

The UK business visitor visa allows foreign nationals from non-EEA countries to travel to the UK to perform certain business activities. There are a range of business visas available for UK travel, but the business visitor visa specifically falls under the standard visitor visa category. This means that you are allowed to travel to the UK for a short term stay, usually for a period of no longer than six months, for a specific range of business-related activities.

There is a range of different work and business visas available to non-EEA nationals, so it’s important to be clear on whether the visa application you’re submitting will allow you to perform the business activities that you’re travelling to the UK for. For instance, the Skilled Worker Visa allows you to come to the UK for paid work, and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa will enable you to come to the UK for the purpose of starting and running a business.

What Is A UK Business Visitor Visa And What Can You Do With It?

The standard visitor visa (business visa) won’t allow you to perform these business activities while staying in the UK. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of all the UK visitor Rules for business persons. Here at the Immigration Advice Service, we always recommend visiting the website to check whether the business visitor visa UK will cover your needs.

Permitted activities that you can complete during a short-term stay under the UK business visa include allowing you to:

Attend business appointments such as conferences, meetings, training, seminars, and interviews. As long as you’re not applying for your short-term travel visa for paid or unpaid work, you’ll abide by the conditions of the business visa in UK immigration rules.

Perform either a one-off or short series of talks and speeches. As with all other business activity under the business visitor visa, you can’t perform paid work. As long as your activity is promotional work only, is not organised as commercial events and doesn’t make a profit for the organiser, you’ll be staying within UK immigration laws.

Negotiate and sign business deals or contracts. Agreeing and negotiating trade agreements and other deals for yourself or an overseas employer while travelling to the UK under the business visit visa is permitted under Home Office immigration rules.

Checking international goods and services. If conducting business on behalf of an overseas employer, overseas company or international business, you can take a short term visit to the UK to check goods and services. As long as you plan to receive international business payments for services and trade conducted overseas, you are free to visit the UK to check international goods beforehand.

Attend trade fairs for business purposes, as long as you’re doing so for promotional purposes. You can’t directly sell or make a profit.

Conduct research and gather information for the benefit of business purposes overseas. Activities such as market, industry or technological research are permitted.

Carry out site visits and inspections. For international projects and businesses, there’s often a need to travel overseas for general assessment and evaluation. This is allowed under the business visitor visa.

Liaise with UK customers. Provided that any gainful employment is performed overseas, the UK government allows business visitors to travel to the UK for briefing on UK-based customer requirements or needs.

Search for funding for a UK business. If you’re looking to start, take over, join or run a business in the UK, the business visitor visa will allow you to travel to the UK to search for the funding you need. However, it doesn’t allow you to actually perform these business duties during your short-term stay here – for that, you’ll need the tier 1 innovator visa.

Perform academic research or accompany international students on a study abroad programme. Provided you don’t seek gainful employment whilst in the UK; you’re allowed to travel under the standard visitor visa(business category) to perform unpaid academic work.

Take an exam such as the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) or the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). If you’re planning on coming to the UK as a foreign non-EEA national to live and work as a professional such as a doctor or dentist, you’ll need to prepare in advance. While the short-term business visitor visa won’t let you come to the UK to work, you will be able to visit to sit any necessary examination in preparation.

What You Can't Do With A Business Visitor Visa

The business visa UK falls under the standard UK visitor visa and, as such, carries many of the same limitations. UK immigration laws are very strict, and it’s important that you have clarity when putting together your visa application.

If you don’t provide sufficient evidence of your eligibility and intent for travelling to the UK, you risk having your application refused by the Home Office, or being turned down by immigration authorities when you arrive.

While it may seem comprehensive, the UK business visitor visa rules have strict limitations on the business duties you can perform during a short term stay in the UK with the visa.

There is a wide range of different work visas and business visas available for people coming to the UK from the United States, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Australia, and other non-EEA regions, so it’s important to know which visa application is right for you.

Some of the things you can’t do with a business visitor visa include:

Doing paid or unpaid work during your stay. While there are a lot of business activities you can complete with a standard business visa, you can’t perform gainful employment, whether voluntary or not. If you’re working for an overseas company, you need to know that there’s a strict limitation on the work you can do during a short term stay in the UK.

Live or work in the UK for a long period of time. As a category of the standard UK visitor visa, the business visa has a strict restriction on the amount of time you can spend in the UK.

Generally, the business visitor visa doesn’t allow you to stay for any longer than six months, although there are options for overseas nationals who need to visit more frequently, such as long-term visit visas. However, when you make an application for the standard business visa, it’s important to note that this doesn’t cover you for frequent or successive visits.

Receive any public funds. While performing a short term business stay in the UK, you’re not permitted to access any benefits, grants or bursaries from the UK government.

You’ll need to prove evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay and you won’t be able to apply for any business grants or bursaries – even if you’re planning on eventually running, taking over, or joining a UK business.

We know that it can be overwhelming when attempting to decipher which visas allow you to perform which business duties in the UK. You can contact us for support.

Get In Touch To Discover More About The UK Business Visitor Visa

The list of business activities you can and can’t perform under the standard visitor visa (business visitor visa) is long and can be a little confusing. If you’re still unsure as to which work or business visa will cover your needs, the expert immigration lawyers here at We Manage Your Visas are always on hand to provide advice and assistance.

Just get in touch to discover more about how we can help – we provide a fantastic advice package for those needing a guiding hand, and our application package means you’ll get a thorough and comprehensive service with a dedicated caseworker who will help you to collate and strengthen your visa application with supporting documents.

If you need any guidance or support in your Business Visitor Visa application, call us today.

How Long Will The Visa Processing Time Take?

If you’re planning on a business trip to the UK, you should submit your business visitor visa application forms between three months and 48 hours before you expect to travel. The earliest you are allowed to apply is three months before you travel, and we always think the earlier, the better.

Whether you’re applying from outside the UK via a local embassy or through an online application, visa nationals travelling from countries such as India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and other non-EEA nations should expect a decision on their visa within around three weeks of applying. We have a guide available that shows you on how to track your visa status during the processing period.

However, the visa processing time can be sped up if necessary. If you’ve got an urgent appointment in the UK such as a business interview or conference and you’re willing to pay extra costs in order to make sure you make your appointment, there are priority services available. You could choose either:

The Priority Service, which allows you to ensure that you can collect your decision within five working days of applying. This service isn’t available in every country, so it’s worth checking with your local visa application centre to make sure it’s available if you need it.

The Super Priority Service, which ensures a decision is made within 24 hours of applying. This is a premium service that comes with an additional cost, but is a fantastic option if you’re in a rush to get your visa application approved as quickly as possible. As with the Priority Service, it’s worth checking that this is available in your country by visiting your local embassy or visa application centre first.

If you’re struggling with putting your business visitor visa application together and you’ve got an urgent business appointment in the UK that you can’t afford to miss, our qualified lawyers here at the Immigration Advice Service can help.

We understand that the entire process can be frustrating and overwhelming – that’s why we offer our Fast Track Application Service. We’ll help you to put together a comprehensive application and check all your supporting documents are correct, book you one of the Home Office’s Same-Day Premium slots, and write a supporting Letter of Representation to emphasise the merits of your case. Get in touch with us to find out more.

What Required Documentation Do I Need To Include For A Successful Visa Application?

To be eligible for the UK business visitor visa, it’s important to show the Home Office several general UK business visa requirements:

  • That you fully intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit.
  • That you have proof of any and all business activities you intend to perform whilst in the UK.
  • That you have sufficient funds to support and house both yourself and any dependents throughout the duration of your visit without needing to rely on public funds.
  • That you can afford both your inward and outward journey to the UK.

For your visa application to have the best chance of success, you’ll need to provide a portfolio of supporting documents that prove your eligibility and travel intent.

First and foremost, you’ll need to provide details of your current passport or other valid travel identification. It’s important that you have the right to travel to the UK, but beware that any required documentation you provide will need to have a certified translation if it isn’t in either English or Welsh.

You may also need to provide:

  • Travel documents that state the dates on which you plan to visit the UK.
  • An immigration record and details of your travel history within the past ten years.
  • Details of an overseas employer or overseas company with which you are associated.
  • An estimate for the cost of your visit, as well as evidence of sufficient funds to support your trip.
  • UK residence details for your visit.
  • Your current overseas contact and address details.
  • Your parents’ names and dates of birth, as well as the contact details and passport number of your partner, if applicable.
  • Details of any past criminal or immigration offences you may have committed.

Making sure you have a strong portfolio of supporting documents that emphasise the merits of your case is crucial to a successful visa application. If you’re confused or unsure about how to proceed, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at We Manage Your Visas. Our qualified lawyers have dealt with all aspects of immigration law and are best placed to give you the guidance and assistance you need.

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