Business Visitor Visa UK Requirements 2022

Visitors are allowed to do certain business related permitted activities in the UK such as attending conferences or meetings, intra-corporate activities, visiting company’s offices or client sites, work-related training, PLAB Test or OSCE etc. If a person applies for standard visitor visa to do permitted business or work related activities in the UK, then it is commonly known as business visitor visa UK. Therefore, to get business visitor visa applicants need to prove that they have ample funds for the trip and will leave UK at the end of the visit. However, invitation letter or documents relating to permitted business activity is crucial to justify the purpose of visiting the UK. Accordingly, applicants need to provide the supporting documents required for business visitor visa application.

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Business Visitor Visa UK to Attend Conference or Event
Business Visitor Visa UK to Attend Conference or Event

UK Business Visitor Visa Application Requirements

To get business visitor visa, applicants need to have invitation letter from the UK sponsor and the ability to meet the trip cost without recourse to public funds. However, coming to UK for permitted business activity should be incidental to applicant’s employment, work, or business in the home country and should not be their main work. Therefore, for successful business visitor visa application, applicants need to clarify that they are not coming to the UK for undertaking work. Moreover, the leave of absence from the applicant’s work or business in home country should be credible and congruent to the activities in the UK.

Invitation Letter for Business Visitor Visa UK

To apply for business visitor visa, applicant need to have Invitation Letter from the UK business (or sponsor). However, applicants need to establish the work or business relationship with the UK business or sponsor.

If applicants do not have Invitation Letter, then need documentary evidence for the permitted business activity in the UK. For instance, medical professionals coming to UK for PLAB Test need to have confirmation from GMC. However, online free registrations to attend trade fairs (or exhibitions) in the UK are not suitable alternatives of invitation letter, especially if there is no obvious link between the trade fair and applicant’s employment, work, or business in the home country.

Ability to Meet the Trip Cost

For meeting the UK business visitor visa requirements, an applicant also needs to provide evidence (such as income, business, employment, family) to prove that they have:

  1. ample funds (own and/or sponsor’s) for the trip without recourse to public funds in the UK
  2. family, commercial, and social ties to the home country so they intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit
  3. a return ticket or the funds to bear the costs of return (or onward) journey

Applicant can meet the trip cost from their own resources. However, usually applicant’s business, employer (in the home country), or UK sponsor provides the return ticket for their journey, and the accommodation (hotel), and maintenance in the UK. If both the employer and sponsor are sharing the cost of the trip, then letter from employer and Invitation Letter must clearly mention it. For instance, if the sponsor is providing accommodation in the UK, then this need to be stated in the invitation letter for business visitor visa UK.

Arrangements in the Home Country

Visitors can stay connected with their office, employer, or business in the home country. Therefore, it is expedient to have adequate pre-arrangements for business or work in the home country.

Business Visitor Visa UK to Attend Conference or Event
UK Business Visitor Visa Requirements

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    Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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    Long Term Business Visitor Visa UK Requirements

    Applicants can apply for long term 2, 5 and 10 years applications for frequent and regular business visits to the UK. However, to get long term business visa, applicants need to demonstrate that they have credible ongoing reason of visiting the UK such as:

    • attending professional conferences or events regularly at fixed intervals
    • frequent and regular intra-corporate activities in the UK
    • visiting company’s offices or client sites on regular basis

    If one has a valid long term visitor visa (for meeting family or sightseeing) then they can travel to the UK for permitted business activity.

    Multiple or Single Entry Business Visitor Visa UK

    The business visitor visa is usually C-Type multiple entry unless it is endorsed as single or dual entry visa. The holder of C-Type multiple entry business visitor visa can enter the UK on more than one occasion during the validity period (6 months, 2, 5, or 10 years) and can stay up to 180 days per visit. Frequent and long stays in the UK may lead to business visitor visa cancellation (at the airport).

    Single Entry Business Visit Visa UK

    If the visa vignette is issued for Single Entry, then the visitor can only visit one time during the validity of the business visa UK. The single entry visa is mostly issued for 180 days or less (i.e. 15, 30, 60 or 90 days).

    UK Business Visitor Visa Fees and Processing Time 2022

    From April 6, 2022, the business visitor visa UK fees for 6 months, 2, 5, and 10 years are £100, £376, £670, and £837, respectively. The maximum duration of stay in the UK on business visitor visa is 180 days per visit.

    UKVI’s service standards for UK business visitor visa processing time after biometrics is 3-weeks. Since March 2022 UKVI is prioritizing Ukraine Scheme. Therefore, at present the processing time for business visit visa UK is 6-weeks. UKVI is trying to get back to the 3-weeks service standard.

    Cost of Priority Business Visitor Visa UK

    The cost of 5-working days priority service is £250. Therefore, 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years priority business visitor visa UK application fees are £350, £626, £920, and £1,087, respectively.

    Premium or Super Priority Business Visitor Visa UK Price

    The cost of next working super priority service is £956. Therefore, 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years priority business visitor visa UK application fees are £1,056, £1,332, £1,626, and £1,793, respectively.

    Required Documents for Business Visitor Visa UK

    For business visitor visa it is mandatory to provide travel document such as a valid passport and translation of documents, which are not in English or Welsh. Applicants need to provide invitation letter by the UK sponsor or documents for permitted business activity in the UK. Applicants need to provide proof of intent to return home, ability to bear the financial cost of the trip without recourse to public funds.

    Employment Letter for Business Visitor Visa UK

    If applicant is a full time employee, then needs to provide an employment letter, which should indicate approval of the leave for the specified period. The employment letter may include details of employment such as duration, position, salary etc. The letter may also indicate when the person will resume work and the work arrangements during the period of leave. It is a good practice to supplement an employment letter with Pay Slips, Tax Returns, bank statements.

    Evidence of Self-Employment for Business Visitor Visa UK

    If the applicant is self-employed businessperson, then may provide 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.

    UK Business Visitor Visa Supporting Documents Checklist

    A tentative checklist of UK business visitor visa supporting documents may include:

    1. Valid passport or travel document with at-least 1 blank page on both sides for affixing the visa vignette
    2. Previous passports, if available
    3. Translation of documents, which are not in English/Welsh
    4. If applicable, proof of immigration status in the country of residence. For instance, if an Indian Citizen applying from Dubai, then needs to provide permanent residence card or vignette
    5. Invitation Letter or any other evidence specifying the purpose of the business visit
    6. If UK sponsor is contributing towards the trip cost, then may include accommodation and maintenance details
    7. Evidence of Employment or Self Employment
    8. Personal Bank Statements usually for the preceding six months
    9. Proof of financial savings
    10. Evidence of Family Members Remaining in Home Country such as Marriage Certificate, Family Registration form etc.
    11. Proof of Ties to the Home Country such as ownership of immovable property

    Permitted Activities on Business Visitor Visa UK

    Business visitors can do several permitted activities in the UK such as attending conferences or events, intra-corporate activities, visiting company’s offices or client sites etc. However, business activity in the UK should be incidental to applicant’s employment, work, or business in the home country. Therefore, applicants need to clarify that they are not coming to the UK for undertaking work. Moreover, their leave of absence from work or business in home country should be credible and congruent to the activities in the UK.

    Please note visitors can receive certain types of payments in the UK. Although, visitors can attend trade fairs and promote work but cannot directly sell goods and services. Nevertheless, visitors can attend interviews and gather information for overseas employment.

    General Business Activities for Visitors in the UK

    Applicants can apply visitor visa for doing the following permitted general business activities in the UK:

    • attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews; and
    • give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser; and
    • negotiate and sign deals and contracts; and
    • attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the Visitor is not directly selling; and
    • carry out site visits and inspections; and
    • gather information for their employment overseas; and
    • be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK.

    Applying Business Visitor Visa to Attend Conference in the UK

    Applicants can apply for business visitor visa for attending seminars or conferences in the UK. Seminars and conferences are focus events led by formal speaker(s) and may last for 2-5 working days. There are no restrictions on the duration of conference. If a conference is longer than a couple of weeks, then applicants need to satisfy that the activity does not amount to a course of study.

    Conferences and seminars may include familiarisation programmes for learning best practices in law, finance, medicine, science, technology, trade, etc. If familiarisation programme includes work experience or long-term study, then these are not permitted business activity for visitors.

    Visiting Company’s Offices or Client Sites

    Visitors can visit company’s offices in the UK and can conduct meetings at client sites.

    Intra-Corporate Activities on Business Visitor Visa UK

    To apply for business visitor visa for intra-corporate activities in the UK is quite frequent and usual.

    An employee of an overseas based company may advise and consult, trouble-shoot, provide training, and share skills and knowledge on a specific internal project with UK employees of the same corporate group.

    The intra-corporate activities are usually for a brief period and linked to an identifiable project. However, such activities must not involve directly working for a British company’s clients or a commercial project.

    If applicants are coming to UK for intra-corporate activities, then must satisfy that they will not take paid work. For instance, intra-company transferee needs to apply for Global Business Mobility (Senior or Specialist Worker, or Graduate Trainee) visa instead of business visitor visa UK. If the entry clearance officer (ECO) doubts the nature of intra-corporate activity, then will refuse the application.

    Internal Audits and Inspections

    An internal auditor may carry out regulatory or financial audits at a UK branch of the same group of companies as the visitor’s employer overseas.

    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. The ECO can easily verify such information from the website or annual report that businesses belong to one group.

    Manufacture and Supply of Goods to the UK

    An employee of an overseas company may install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on machinery, equipment, computer software or hardware (or train UK based workers to provide these services) where there is a contract of purchase, supply or lease with a UK company or organisation and either (a) the overseas company is the manufacturer or supplier; or (b) the overseas company is part of a contractual arrangement for after sales services agreed at the time of the sale or lease, including in a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale or lease.

    Clients of UK Export Companies

    A client of a UK export company may be seconded to the UK company to oversee the requirements for goods and services that are being provided under contract by the UK company or its subsidiary company, provided the two companies are not part of the same group.

    Contract of Service

    If an applicant is applying for business visitor visa as a client of UK export company, then the supporting documents should include a contract of service between the two companies. Under such contracts, the UK company has a duty to provide goods or services to an overseas company. However, the two companies should be separate legal entities and not part of a same corporate group. For instance, a UK company contracted to provide defence services to an Indian company. And both these companies are not part of the same group. Accordingly, the employees of the foreign business can oversee work and ensure the delivery under the mutual contract.

    If the contract of service 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. And an applicant must satisfy the that they will continue to remain employed in their home country.

    Overseas Roles Requiring Specific Activities in the UK

    It is possible for certain types of visitors to carry out work in the UK, if they satisfy that they will continue to remain employed and paid overseas. Accordingly, individuals employed overseas may visit the UK to take part in the following activities in relation to their employment:

    Translator and/or Interpreter

    A translator and/or interpreter may translate and/or interpret in the UK as an employee of an enterprise located overseas.

    Personal Assistants and Bodyguards

    Personal assistants and bodyguards may support an overseas businessperson in carrying out permitted activities, provided they will attend the same event(s) as the businessperson and remained employed overseas. They must not provide personal care or domestic work for the businessperson.

    Tour Group Courier

    A tour group courier, contracted to a company with its headquarters outside the UK, who is entering and departing the UK with a tour group organised by their company

    Journalist

    A journalist, correspondent, producer, or cameraman gathering information for an overseas publication, programme, or film.

    Archaeologists

    Archaeologists taking part in a one-off archaeological excavation

    Professor

    A professor from an overseas academic institution accompanying students to the UK as part of a study abroad programme, may provide a small amount of teaching to the students at the host organisation providing this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching role for that institution

    Market Researchers and Analysts

    Market researchers and analysts may conduct market research or analysis for an enterprise located outside the UK.

    Drivers

    Drivers on a genuine international route between the UK and a country outside the UK may (a) deliver or collect goods or passengers from a country outside the UK to the UK; and (b) undertake cabotage operations. However, drivers must be employed or contracted to an operator registered in a country outside the UK or be a self-employed operator and driver based outside the UK and the operator must hold an International Operators Licence or be operating on an own account basis.

    Work Related Training on Business Visitor Visa UK

    The employees of overseas companies and graduates from medical, dental, or nursing schools can apply for standard visitor visa for work related training in the UK.

    Employees of Overseas Companies

    Employees of overseas companies or organisations may receive training in work practices and techniques which are not available in their home country. However, such trainings are required for their employment overseas.

    An employee of an overseas based training company may deliver a short series of training to employees of a UK based company, where the trainer is employed by an overseas business contracted to deliver global training to the international corporate group to which the UK based company belongs.

    Overseas Graduates from Medical, Dental, or Nursing Schools

    Overseas graduates from medical, dental, or nursing schools may undertake clinical attachments or dental observer posts provided these are unpaid and involve no treatment of patients. However, they must provide written confirmation of their offer to take up this post and confirm they have not previously undertaken this activity in the UK.

    Overseas graduates from medical, dental, or nursing schools may take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test in the UK. However, they must provide written confirmation of this from the General Medical Council. To resit the PLAB tests, overseas graduates can apply for extension of business visitor visa up to 6 months in the UK. If the overseas graduate is successful in the PLAB Test, then gets permission to stay as a visitor to undertake clinical attachments or dental observer posts for a period 18 months (including both the original grant and the extension).

    Overseas graduates from medical, dental, or nursing schools may take the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE). However, they must provide written confirmation of this from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

    Science and Academia

    Visiting scientists and researchers may (a) gather information and facts for a specific project which relates to their employment overseas or conduct independent research; and (b) share knowledge or advise on an international project that is being led from the UK, provided the Visitor is not carrying out research in the UK.

    Visiting academics may (a) take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts (including doctors); and (b) carry out research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution; and (c) if they are an eminent senior doctor or dentist, take part in research, teaching or clinical practice provided this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching post.

    Legal

    An expert witness may give evidence in a UK court. Other witnesses may attend a court hearing if summoned in person by a UK court. An overseas lawyer may advise a UK based client on specific international litigation and/or an international transaction.

    Religious

    Overseas religious workers may visit the UK to preach or do pastoral work.

    Creative

    An artist, entertainer, or musician may: (a) give performances as an individual or as part of a group; and (b) take part in competitions or auditions; and (c) make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; and (d) take part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the list of permit free festivals in Appendix Visitor: Permit Free Festival List.

    Personal or technical staff or members of the production team of an artist, entertainer or musician may support the activities provided they are attending the same event as the artist, entertainer, or musician, and are employed to work for them outside of the UK.

    Film crew (actor, producer, director, or technician) employed by an overseas company may visit the UK to take part in a location shoot for a film or programme or other media content that is produced and financed overseas.

    Sports

    A sports person may: (a) take part in a sports tournament or sports event as an individual or part of a team; and (b) make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; and (c) take part in trials provided they are not in front of a paying audience; and (d) take part in short periods of training provided they are not being paid by a UK sporting body; and (e) join an amateur team or club to gain experience in a particular sport if they are an amateur in that sport.

    Personal or technical staff of the sports person, or sports officials, may support the activities if they are attending the same event as the sports person. Personal or technical staff of the sports person must be employed to work for the sports person outside the UK.