Business Visitor Visa UK Requirements | C Visit Business Visa UK

This relates to Business Visitor Visa UK Requirements | UK C Visit Business VisaUK business visitor visa multiple entry. Accordingly, the post provides the details UK Business Visitor Visa Requirements in the light of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules. Perhaps, the invitation letter for business visitor visa UK specifies the purpose of C visit business visa. Certainly, the UK business visitor visa supporting documents greatly helps in establishing the credibility of an applicant. Furthermore, the six months standard visitor visa for a business purpose usually refers as short term business visitor visa UK.  Whereas, the 2, 5 and 10 years standard visitor visa for frequently visiting the UK for a business purpose refers as long term business visitor visa UK.

UK Business Visitor Visa Rules | C Visit Business Visa UK

In terms of Immigration Rules Appendix V for Visitor, an applicant needs to apply standard visitor visa for visiting the UK for a business purpose.

A visitor is a person who is coming to the UK, usually for up to six months, for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity.

Purpose of C Visit Business Visa UK

UK is one of the leading economic centres. Therefore, business people around the globe visit the UK for attending conferences or meetings, arranging deals, negotiating or signing trade contracts or agreements, checking details or goods, undertaking fact-finding missions, or conducting on-site visits and promotional activities. Moreover, apart from the aforesaid general business activities, there are a host of Corporate and Sector Specific permitted business activities allowed under the Immigration Rules.

Invitation Letter for Business Visitor Visa UK

Perhaps, in most of the cases, an invitation letter for business visitor visa UK specifies an immediate or recurring purpose of visiting the UK. Moreover, at times, instead of an invitation letter, applicants use registration to attend a trade fair or an exhibition. Such registration certificates may act as a proxy to an invitation letter if an applicant is able to explain his/her business credentials in the application. However, in most of the cases, an online generic registration may not suffix a formal invitation letter for business visitor visa UK. According, such generic registration undermines the credibility of an applicant.

Documents Required For Business Visitor Visa UK

Apart from specifying a clear purpose of visiting the UK, a business visa applicant needs to prove that he/she:

  • has ample funds to support himself/herself during the trip;
  • intends to leave the United Kingdom at the end of the visit;
  • can meet the costs of his/her return or onward journey.

UK Business Visitor Visa Supporting Documents

It is mandatory to provide the following documents, especially the travel document such as a valid passport, to support the application:

  • Valid passport or travel document;
  • Previous passports, if available;
  • One recent photo as per UKVI’s guidelines, this is no longer required at most of the UKVAC;
  • If an applicant is applying from outside the Home Country, for instance, an Indian Citizen applying from Dubai, then proof of applicant’s permission to be in the country where he/she is applying such as a permanent residence card or vignette.

UK Business Visitor Visa Checklist

Moreover, in order to establish the purpose of visiting the UK and establishing personal bonafide an applicant, a business visa applicant is required to furnish documents relating to:

  • Purpose of Visiting UK such as attending a conference or business meeting;
  • Evidence of Employment
    • A  full time employed applicant to provide an employment letter. Moreover, the letter from employer indicates approval of the leave for the specified period. The letter preferably may include details of employment such as duration, position, salary etc. Perhaps, the letter may also indicate when the person resumes work. Certainly, it is a good practice to supplement an employment letter with Pay Slips, Tax Returns, bank statements.
    • Self-employed applicants to include the evidence of business activities, business bank statements, tax returns, registration with business chambers and trade bodies, registration with commercial and industrial departments of the local and national governments etc.
  • Evidence of Finances and Bank Statements usually for the preceding six months and proof of savings;
  • Sponsor Documents such as Invitation Letter or Confirmation from the UK company, business, or establishment. If the sponsor is paying for accommodation then may include details such as hotel booking. The invitation letter may also indicate the trip details.
  • Evidence of Family Members Remaining in Home Country such as Marriage Certificate, Family Registration Document;
  • Proof of Ties to the Home Country such as ownership of immovable property.

For further details refer to supporting documents.

Frequency of Visits

A business visitor may enter the UK on multiple occasions during the validity period of the visa. Accordingly, the Paragraph V 1.6 of Appendix V elucidates:

V 1.6 Within the period for which the visit visa is valid, a visitor may enter and leave the UK multiple times, unless the visit visa is endorsed as a single- or dual-entry visa.

Visiting UK as a Tourist with Visa C-Visit-Business

Yes, it is possible to visit the UK as a Tourist on UK C Visit Business Visa, as tourism is a stated purpose of a Standard Visitor Visa.

Long Lerm Multiple Entry Business Visitor Visa UK

For travelling to the UK regularly for a business purpose, an applicant may consider applying for a long-term multiple entry business visitor visa UK for 2, 5 and 10 years.

The benefit of applying a long-term visa is that one only needs to make one visa application and provide biometric data once for the duration of the visa. One can undertake multiple visits to the United Kingdom during the validity of the visa; however, as stated above, one can’t stay for longer than 180 days in any 12 months period.

Hot to get long term business visitor visa UK?

To get a long term business visitor visa UK, an applicant needs to provide:

  • a credible reason to frequently visit the UK
  • necessary evidence to establish the stability of circumstances

Travel history is also an important consideration for granting a long-term visitor visa.

Please note: like any other visa application, the visa fee is not refundable i.e. if an immigration officer decides to issue a visa for a shorter duration than the requested or altogether refuse the application, then the visa fee is not refunded.

UK Business Visitor Visa Duration

The maximum duration allowed per visit is 180 days. Therefore, an applicant needs to demonstrate the intentions to visit the UK for a short period. Usually, the UK business visitor visa duration is around 1-3 weeks but certainly not more than 180 days!

UK Multiple Entry Visa 180 Days

The Immigration Rules Paragraph 9(i) provides an explanation relating to the time limit and conditions. Accordingly, the time limit and conditions are as per the endorsement of the Immigration Officer on the passport or travel document.

Immigration Rules Part 1: Leave to Enter or Stay in the UK

9. The time limit and any conditions attached will be made known to the person concerned either:
(i) by written notice given to him or endorsed by the Immigration Officer in his passport or travel document; or
(ii) in any other manner permitted by the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000.

Since most of the time the Immigration Officer follows UK multiple entry visa rules relating to visitor visa time limit and conditions as per Paragraph 9(ii) by following Section 4 of Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000. Therefore, on the visitor visa vignette usually mentions MULT for the Number of Entries and 180 (days) for Duration of Stay. However, in terms of Paragraph 9(i), the Immigration Officer can endorse Single Entry Visa UK have a Duration of Stay either for 180 days or less- for instance 15, 30, 60, 90 days.

Example

An applicant applies for a 2-year multiple entry visa UK for frequently visiting the UK as a business visitor. During the assessment process the Immigration Officer can make any of the following decisions:

  • Grant a 2 year UK business visitor visa multiple entry;
  • May grant a short term business visitor visa UK. This may happen if the ECO is not clear about the need of visiting the UK beyond six months;
  • Grant a UK C Visit Business Visa with a validity of 6 months or less Single Entry Visa UK with a Duration of Stay for 180 days or less- if the ECO is not satisfied with the purpose of frequently visiting the UK;
  • Refuse the application.

The Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000

Extent to which Entry Clearance is to be Leave to Enter
4.—(1) A visit visa, during its period of validity, shall have effect as leave to enter the United Kingdom on an unlimited number of occasions, in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) On each occasion the holder arrives in the United Kingdom, he shall be treated for the purposes of the Immigration Acts as having been granted, before arrival, leave to enter the United Kingdom for a limited period beginning on the date of arrival, being:

a) six months if six months or more remain of the visa’s period of validity; or
(b) the visa’s remaining period of validity, if less than six months.

UK Business Visitor Visa Fee, Extension, Processing Time

The business visitor visa UK fee revises every year. Usually, the fee revises in Feb or March each and become effective from the first week of April. Perhaps, the cost of business visitor visa UK escalates by a minimum of 2% each year due to inflation. However, during the year the price of business visitor visa UK fluctuates due to the foreign exchange rate of GBP. Accordingly, in countries such as India, Pakistan, Singapore, China, where the UK business visitor visa fee quotes in local currency may fluctuate during the year. In most of the countries, the cost of business visitor visa UK quotes in US$.

Short Term Business Visitor Visa 6 Months UK Visa Fee

The 6 months UK visa fee is £93. Accordingly, from April 6, 2018, the applicable fee for short term business visitor visa is £93 (equivalent in local currency or US$).

Cost of 2, 5 and 10 Year Long Term Business Visitor Visa UK

From April 6, 2018, the applicable long term business visitor visa UK fee is:

  1. UK 2 year business visa fee £350 (application fee of £93 where the applicant is a Chinese national applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme)
  2. 5 year business visa UK £636
  3. 10 year business visa UK £798
UK Business Visitor Visa Fees 2018/19
Country 6 Months 2 Years 5 Years 10 Years
GBP £93 £350 £636 £798
USA US$126 US$474 US$862 US$1,081
India INR9,361 INR35,230 INR64,018 INR80,324
Pakistan PKR16,246 PKR61,141 PKR111,102 PKR139,402
Singapore SGD175 SGD659 SGD1,198 SGD1,503
China (Note 1) CNY873 CNY3,287 CNY5,973 CNY7,494
Nigeria US$126 US$474 US$862 US$1,081
Canada US$126 US$474 US$862 US$1,081
UAE US$126 US$474 US$862 US$1,081
South Africa ZAR1,880 ZAR7,076 ZAR12,859 ZAR16,134
Australia AUD179 AUD673 AUD1,223 AUD1,535
Saudi Arabia US$126 US$474 US$862 US$1,081
Philipines US$126 US$474 US$862 US$1,081
Note 1: Application fee of £93 where the applicant is a Chinese national applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme.

UK Business Visitor Visa Processing Time

The service standard of UKVI is to process 90% of the business visitor visa applications within 15 working days. However, the details of the actual processing time indicate that UKVI decides more than 90% of the application within 10-15 working days or 2-3 weeks.

The service standard of UKVI is also to process 98% and 100% of UK business visitor visa applications within 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. However, actual processing time indicates that only a fraction of applications awaits decisions beyond 3-6 weeks.

UK Business Visa Priority Service

Perhaps most of the business visitor visa applicants opt for UK priority visa service and gets the decision within 3-5 working days. Moreover, UK visa super priority service enables UK business visitor visa processing within 24 hours. The UKVI is expediting the provision of super priority service. However, at present, it is only available in at a few UKVAC from outside the UK.

Priority & Super Priority UK Business Visitor Visa from USA

Both priority and super priority visa services are available for UK business visitor visa from USA.

The UK visa priority service fee USA is US$294. Moreover, the priority service fee also includes in USD775 Silver Premium Package.

The UKVI’s VFS offers super priority visa in the USD1,800 Gold Premium Package. Moreover, there is also On Demand Mobile Service, which is ideal for large corporate groups and also for standalone high flying business executives. The cost of service starts from US$1,995.

Using the Super Priority Visa service does not imply or guarantee in any way that your visa application will be successful.

User Pay Services are only for Straight Forward Visa Applications

Perhaps, all the user pay services are only for straightforward business visitor visa applications. Moreover, merely payment for the user pay services does not guarantee a favourable decision.

Business Visitor Visa Permitted Activities

In the application form, an applicant needs to explain the main reason for visiting the UK, which will be scrutinised during the assessment propose whether it falls under the permitted business and work-related activity or not. Moreover, on the airport/border, an immigration officer can ask an applicant about the purpose of visiting with varying degree of details. Perhaps, sometime the officer may only ask cursorily but on other occasions may conduct a detailed investigation.

Incidental Business or Work-Related Activities

Business activities usually link to an applicant’s employment/work/business in the home country. Therefore, the business-related activities in the UK for visitors should be only incidental to his or her employment, work, and business.

Visitors Can Keep Contact with their Overseas Office

There are no restrictions on the visitors to keep in contact with their office, employer or business during their stay in the UK. Some activities also allow a visitor to undertake their overseas role from the UK, for instance, on an international route a driver can deliver goods or passengers to the UK.

Period of Leave

In all cases/circumstances, the duration of activities should not be more than 6 months and possibly prearranged. In case there are no prearrangements then during the assessment process following will be checked:

  • who will be covering the applicant’s role during their visit to the UK;
  • whether the activities amount to work in the UK that should be conducted under the Points Based System (PBS) routes;

The credibility of the Period of Leave

The period of leave requested in the application should be credible and congruent to the activities that a visitor is seeking to do in the UK. Moreover, the applicant is liable to satisfy in the application that he/she is not coming to the UK either for undertaking work or making the UK his/her main place of work. An applicant may attach a letter of employment, along with other requisite documents.

Visitors Can Attend Conferences and Seminars

Visitors can attend seminars or conferences. These are focus events led by a formal speaker and mostly last for a few or a couple of days. These may include familiarisation programmes for visitors coming to the UK to learn about the UK’s best practices in their field of interest. Moreover, the field of interest may relate to law, finance, medicine, science, technology, trade, etc. However, such activities do not include either work experience or long-term study.

There are no restrictions on the length/duration of a conference, but usually, such an activity should not be longer than a fortnight. In case a conference is longer than a couple of weeks then the applicant must satisfy in his/her visitor visa applicant that the activity does not amount to a course of study.

Intra-Corporate Activities

These activities are usually for a short time period and link to an identifiable project. The activities must not involve the visitors to directly working with either the project or for the company’s clients.

The applicant must satisfy in the visitor visa application that he/she is not coming to take up a paid a role in the company. For instance, an ‘intra-company transferee’ needs to apply for a Tier 2 ICT visa. If there are doubts about the intentions of the applicants, then this may lead to a refusal.

Visiting Company’s Offices or Client Sites

Generally, the visitor is expected to be mainly engaged in his/her company’s offices in the United Kingdom and not at a customer’s site. However, the visiting employee can conduct meetings at client’s site.

Internal Audits and Inspections

There are no restrictions on the regulatory audits or inspections; however, these need to be internal to a group of companies, inclusive of a company’s branches and its subsidiaries. Usually, this can be easily verified either from the website of businesses that they belong to one group or from the group’s annual report to the shareholders.

Prospective Entrepreneurs

The visitor can participate in the meetings and discussions to obtain funding for the business. After securing the funding, the visitor can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa before the visitor can undertake work as an entrepreneur in the UK.

Manufacturing and Supply of Goods

These visitors are usually not expected to stay for more than one month in the UK, for carrying out manufacturing and supply of goods related activities, as are employment overseas. In case the applicant intends to stay longer one month then he/she needs to satisfy in the visa application:

  • the activities that an applicant wishes to do in the UK;
  • the applicant is not filling a role in the UK based company;

Perhaps, activities for a duration of more than one month do not lead to an automatic ground for refusal. However, during the assessment process, the caseworker ask questions about the intentions of an applicant.

Clients of UK Export Companies

This requires a contract of service between the two companies. Perhaps, the company in the UK has the duty under the contract to provide goods or services to an overseas company. However, the two companies are separate entities and not part of the same corporate group. For instance, a company working in the UK has contracted to provide defence services to an overseas company, which are not part of the same group.

Employees of the foreign business can work with the UK-based company to oversee and ensure the delivery under the mutual contract.

If the contract is for more than six (6) months then repeat, and frequent visits are a possibility. However, this requires a definite end date for the work.

Science, Research and Academia

Researchers, Scientists and members of Academia are applicants are required to satisfy that they would remain paid and employed overseas during their visit to the UK and are visiting the UK only for carrying out activities that are incidental to their job/work abroad. For instance, providing advice on a project, or sharing knowledge on a research topic.

In case an applicant intends to do research in the UK then he/she may consider applying under the Tiers 2 or 5 routes of the Points Based System (PBS).

Eminent senior doctors or dentists should be working for many years in their chosen profession. Such experienced and well-known professionals can come to the UK for participating in research, clinical practice, or teaching. However, the undertaking is only incidental to their employment/professional in their home country.

Academics

An academic can undertake research for his/her own purposes such as for a book or for employment overseas, but the research work should not be for commercial gain.

Academics applying for 12 months visa, or an extension, should be:

  • highly qualified within their field of expertise, and
  • working in their area of specialisation before entering the UK;

Scholars applying for twelve months visit visa are generally highly skilled. Perhaps, applicants may include individuals holding a PhD in their field expertise. This may include several years of experience with a prominent university or educational institute.

Those academics who intend to visit the UK for less than six months are not required to meet the additional requirements of the Paragraph V 4.22 of the Immigration Rules.

Permitted Legal Activities on UK Business Visitor Visa

An applicant summoned to the UK for attending a court hearing needs to provide evidence to confirm the reason necessitating his/her attendance at a hearing.

Permitted Religious Activities on UK Business Visitor Visa

The applicants must not be seeking to take up an appointment, office, or post in the UK.

Religious workers are allowed to undertake pastoral duties that may include one-off engagements such as conducting funeral or wedding ceremonies. However, for these one-off engagements, they are not allowed to receive payments, and they must satisfy in their application that they would continue to remain employed in their home country.

Permitted Creative Activities on UK Business Visitor Visa

An amateur or professional artist can come to the UK to undertake activities that are connected to literature, visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, etc. Therefore, some creative professions such as writers, poets, film crew, photographers, artists, musicians, designers can visit the UK to undertake a creative activity.

Entertainers can come to the UK for performing arts. Perhaps, as dancers, comedians, members of circus acts or members of the film crew.

Personal or technical staff attending the same event can accompany the artist, musician or entertainer to the UK. However, the personal/technical staff should remain employed overseas. Examples of personal/technical staff may include, but may not restrict to:

  • choreographers;
  • conductors;
  • press officers;
  • stage managers;
  • make-up artists;
  • personal bodyguards;

Permitted Sports Activities on UK Business Visitor Visa

In case an applicant is employed as a professional sportsperson by a UK based team then the application is likely to be refused as the applicant might consider applying for a work visa under the Tier-2 or 5 of the Points Based System (PBS).

Sportspersons can participate in tournaments or events in the UK. However, if the applicant intends to play in a professional domestic championship or league, including wherein either one or more than one fixtures or rounds takes place outside the UK, this is classified as employment (whether paid or not).

Technical or support staff for sportspersons should attend the same event as that of the sportsperson and must remain employed. Examples of technical and support staff may include:

  • physiotherapists;
  • coaches;
  • bodyguards;
  • dieticians;
  • press officers;
  • polo grooms – are allowed only when they are accompanying a polo player and are not intending to base themselves in the United Kingdom for a sporting season and to take up employment in the stables;

Sports officials are not required to be employed by sportspersons to work for them overseas.  Sports official include umpires, referees, lines people.  They must be attending the same event as that of the sportsperson and support their activities during the event.

Permitted Overseas Roles Requiring Specific Activities in the UK

It is possible for certain types of person, who have employment abroad, to visit the UK to carry out work. For instance, a driver on an international route or an interpreter accompanying another visitor. However, such a visitor should continue to remain employed and paid overseas.

Personal assistants and bodyguards who are assisting an overseas business person on his/her visit to the UK should not be either undertaking the domestic work or providing personal care to the visitor in the UK – if they intend to do so then they must apply under the Overseas Domestic Worker route.

Work-related Training

Training should be in work techniques and practices that are unavailable in the home country of a visitor.

Typically, the training should be classroom-based and may involve observation or familiarisation.

Practical training is allowed. However, it should not amount to either ‘training on the job’ or the person filling a role. It is acceptable that a visitor may learn the use of equipment in the UK. Perhaps, an applicant needs to clarify the following points:

  • how long the visitor intends to undertake practical training;
  • the possibility/probability of the visitor to start working for the company in the UK;

If the training is available in the home country then an applicant must explain the need of coming to the UK for undertaking such training.

A visitor is expected to undertake training for less than a month. However, if a visitor intends to stay longer than that he/she needs to clarify:

  • who will be covering his/her work overseas- in the home country during the absence period;
  • whether the training activities may amount to taking employment in the UK or not;

Permitted PLAB and OSCE Related Activities on UK Visitor Visa

In case an applicant intends to do the PLAB test in the UK then this neither usually includes any study in the UK nor counts towards the permitted duration of the study. The applicant needs to provide confirmation of PLAB Test or OSCE from GMC or NMC.

After successfully passing the PLAB test an applicant can do an unpaid clinical attachment in agreement with the stipulations of the immigration rules for visitors.

Visitors can sit at a test or an examination in the UK. For instance, the entry test for one of the Royal Colleges.

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