The Business Visitor Visa is a sub-category of the UK Standard Visitor visa. It allows people to visit the UK for up to six months to do some business activities.
To visit the United Kingdom for business, a person requires permission to do so. This permission can be in the form of a visa or Leave to Enter the UK. You have to apply for a visa before traveling to the UK. Leave to Enter can be obtained at the UK port of entry.
Table of contents
- Visa Nationals
- Standard Visitor Visa for Business
- How to qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa for Business
- Business Activities Allowed
- Activities allowed as part of an Overseas Job Role
- Other Activities allowed as Business Visitor
- Activities NOT allowed as Business Visitor
- When can I apply for my Visa?
- Length of Stay in the UK
- Long-Term Standard Visitor Visa
- Immigration Health Surcharge
- Indefinite Leave to Remain
- How Breytenbachs can help you
Whether a person requires a visit visa to do business in the UK will depend on whether the person is regarded as a visa national or not. Visa nationals must apply for a visa before travelling to the UK. The UK Home Office publishes a list of countries that they regard as visa-nationals. Nationals of these countries need to apply for a Standard Visitor before travelling. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant to confirm your situation.
Breytenbachs strongly advise clients who are non-visa nationals who have previously been denied entry at a UK port of entry to apply for a visit visa to do business in the UK before travelling to the UK.
Standard Visitor Visa for Business
The Standard Visitor visa for Business will allow the applicant to visit the UK for some business activities. You will only be allowed to stay for six months at a time.
How to qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa for Business
To qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa for Business, you will have to prove, among other things;
- That you will leave the UK at the end of your visit.
- Prove that you will be able to support yourself and your dependants during the trip
- You have enough funds to pay for your return or onward journey.
Business Activities Allowed
You will be allowed to do any of the following business activities:
- Attend meetings, conferences, seminars and interviews.
- Sign and negotiate deals and contracts
- Promote your business and attend trade fairs. However, you may not sell anything.
- If employed outside of the UK, you may get work-related training if it is unavailable in your home country.
- You may give a one-off or short series of talks if you don’t get paid to do it or if it is not for a commercial event.
- You can carry out inspections and site visits.
- Oversee the delivery of services and goods by a UK company to your company.
- Share knowledge of internal projects with UK employees of the company you work for overseas, or deliver training.
- Service, repair, dismantle, install or advise on equipment, computer hardware or software if your company has a contract with a UK company.
Activities allowed as part of an Overseas Job Role
The UK Government will let you do some additional activities in the UK if you are employed overseas as one of the following:
- Artist, Entertainer or Musician
- Camera Operator
- Internal Auditor
- Journalist or Correspondent
- Lawyer or Expert Witness
- Market Researcher or Analyst
- Personal Assitant
- A professor from an overseas academic institution
- Religious Worker
- Scientist or Researcher
- Sports Person or Sports Official
- Tour group courier
- Translator or Interpreter
- Member of a film crew, including actors, producers, directors or technicians
- Member of a production team supporting an artist, entertainer or musician.
If you want more clarification on what you can do if you are employed in one of these professions overseas, we strongly advise that you seek advice from your Breytenbachs consultant.
Other Activities allowed as Business Visitor
This visa will also allow you to do any of the following:
- Take a holiday or vacation, and visit friends or family
- Volunteer for up to 30 days at a registered charity
- Pass through the UK on your way to another country
- Take part in a school exchange programme
- To a recreational course for up to 30 days
Activities NOT allowed as Business Visitor
You will not be allowed to do any of the following:
- You may not do unpaid or paid work for a UK company, nor as a self-employed person. If you want to do paid work, you will have to apply for a work visa. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for advice in your unique circumstances.
- There is no recourse to any public funds
- You may not use the visa as a means to live in the UK through frequent or successive visits.
- You cannot marry or register a civil partnership or give notice to do so.
When can I apply for my Visa?
You can apply for your visa three months before you travel to the UK.
Length of Stay in the UK
The Standard Visitor visa for Business allows persons to visit the UK for up to six months. However, the visa will sometimes be granted for a shorter period. You may be able to extend your stay in the UK, provided that the total time you spend in the UK is not longer than six months. There is also a fee payable for the extension application.
Long-Term Standard Visitor Visa
If you visit the UK regularly, it might be best to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa. You can apply for a two-year, five-year or ten-year long visa.
However, it is important to note that you will still only be able to stay for a maximum of six months for every visit.
Persons under the age of 18, when they apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, must note that the visa will only be valid for six months after they turn 18. There is no refund on the fee.
If the Home Office believes that you cannot meet the eligibility requirements for the duration of the long-term visa you applied for, they may give you a shorter visa. There will be no refund for this fee or an application that is refused.
It is important to note that the Home Office may cancel your long-term Standard Visitor visa if they believe you are repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods.
Immigration Health Surcharge
Fortunately, there is no immigration health surcharge payable on the Standard Visitor Visa or any of the sub-categories of this visa.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
The Standard Visitor Visas and its sub-categories do not lead to settlement in the UK. The rules of the visa state that a person must leave the UK at the end of their visit.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs has a dedicated team dealing with the UK Standard Visitor Visas and its sub-categories. Please get in touch with Breytenbachs to apply for your visa or for more information on other work-related visa categories. We will be able to advise on the most suitable visa for your unique circumstances.