Business Visitor Visa
Those who hold a Business Visitor Visa are able to carry out a number of business-related activities during their stay in the UK. The visa now lies within the Standard Visitor Visa category. It can be used by those who are self-employed and those who work for an overseas employer.
The Business Visitor Visa differs from Innovator Visa (former Tier 1) and Skilled Worker Visa (former Tier 2) visas in that you are only permitted to enter the UK on a short-term basis and engage in certain business activities during your time here. It enables an individual to enter and remain in the UK for a maximum of six months. For those classed as an academic business visitors, 12 months is the maximum amount of time for which you are permitted to remain.
Why do businesspeople opt for this visa type?
Visas within the Standard Visitor Visa category have a simpler application process than other visa routes. For this reason, it is often the preferred visa of business travellers. However, entry into the UK can be denied by border officials if a holder cannot convince them that the necessary visa conditions have been satisfied. There are a number of rules regarding the activities deemed permissible under the terms of the visa.
The possibility of being refused entry at the border can be avoided if legal advice is sought prior to travelling. Our London immigration lawyers can guide you through every step of your application, ensuring that your business trip goes as smoothly as possible and that your commitments can be honoured. If you are considering visiting the UK for business purposes, the services we provide will remove any stress from proceedings.
Help with your visa application
As touched upon, it is hugely important to get your Business Visitor Visa application right first time. Our team of expert lawyers will ensure you receive the outcome you want. We will sit down with you and discuss whether the visa is the correct route for you and your business needs. If it is and you meet the initial eligibility requirements, we will assist you through every step of the application process. We will complete the application form to the highest possible standard and conduct a thorough document check to maximise your chances of approval.
You will be assigned a lawyer who will prepare a Letter of Representation to support your application. We will send this to the Home Office alongside your application form in order to outline the strengths of your case. Contact our London immigration lawyers today on 020 4502 8582 for all of the help you need.
What are the UK Business Visitor Visa requirements?
In order to be eligible for this visa, there are a number of different eligibility criteria that must be satisfied. These include:
- Demonstrating proof of both work-related and other activities that you intend to take part in whilst visiting the UK. These must be permitted by the Visitor Rules.
- Demonstrating that you will leave the UK either once your visa comes to an end or at some point within the maximum six-month period.
- Evidence that you have the necessary financial means to support yourself without needing recourse to public funds.
- Evidence that you have the necessary financial means to pay for your onward journey.
In relation to these criteria, it is imperative that you require entry into the UK for reasons permitted under the visitor rules, such as for business/work reasons. It is also important that no prohibited activities are undertaken during your time in the UK.
What documents will I require for my application?
In order to gain Entry Clearance into the UK on a Business Visitor Visa, you must first and foremost be able to prove that you require entry into the UK for genuine business purposes. Your period of entry must be for up to six months (or 12 months if for academic purposes). You must also be able to provide evidence that you will leave the UK.
The most important piece of documentation you will require is proof of your reason for returning home once your stay comes to an end. Business Visitor Visas are commonly refused due to an individual not having proof of this. You will need to provide the Home Office with evidence of your need to return once your visa expires.
In addition, you must demonstrate that you are able to financially provide for yourself for the duration of your stay in the UK. You must prove that you are able to do this without the use of public funds. It is also vitally important to demonstrate that you can afford the cost of your journey home (or journey to a different country) once your stay in the UK comes to an end.
What activities are allowed under the terms of the Business Visitor Visa?
Holders of this visa are permitted to take part in general business activities whilst visiting the UK. Such activities include:
- Attending meetings, conferences, interviews and seminars;
- Negotiating and signing deals and contracts;
- Gathering information that pertains to their employment overseas;
- Giving a one-off or short series of talks and/or speeches. However, these must not be for commercial purposes and therefore must not make a profit for the organiser;
- Attending trade fairs. This must be for promotional work only, providing the visa holder visiting the fair is not directly selling;
- Carrying out site visits and inspections;
- Being briefed on the needs and/or requirements of a UK-based customer. However, any work done for the customer must be carried out outside of the UK
You are also able to study for up to 30 days providing this is not the sole purpose of your visit to the UK. In addition, you are able to convert your civil partnership into a marriage under the terms of the Business Visitor Visa, and are also able to pass through the UK in transit.
What activities are prohibited under the terms of the Business Visitor Visa?
The Visitor Visa category as a whole is centred on the visa holder only engaging in ‘permissible activity’ during their time in the UK.
The Visitor Rules stipulate a number of activities that are not permitted for holders of a Visitor Visa. The most significant of these is taking part in paid or unpaid work.
- Doing an internship/work placement
- Taking up full employment
- Becoming self-employed and running your own business
- Taking part in work for a UK-based organisation
- Selling goods and/or services to the public
For holders of the visa, your permitted activity must not amount to taking up employment in the UK or providing cover for a UK-based role.
Further to this, visa holders must remain paid and employed outside of the UK.
How do I apply for a Business Visitor Visa?
You must be outside of the UK in order to apply for this visa type. There is a fee to be paid and an online application to be completed. Further to this, you must provide all of the necessary paperwork, including travel documents and other supporting documentation. It is possible that biometric information may also be required, such as your fingerprints and a digital photograph. You should receive a decision within three weeks, although the length of time it takes for your application to be processed depends on the country in which you are applying from. It is recommended that visa processing times are looked into prior to the commencement of the application. The earliest an application can be made is three months before you are due to travel.
Is it possible to extend my visa?
Yes, it is possible to extend the length of time you spend in the UK whilst here on a Business Visitor Visa.
However, it should be noted that it can only be extended if you have been in the country for less than six months.
The maximum amount of time a Business Visitor Visa allows you to spend in the UK is six months. It can be extended, but only up to this limit.
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At present, there is no right of appeal if your Business Visitor Visa is refused and Entry Clearance is denied. With this in mind, it is hugely important that your application is accepted first time. Our London immigration lawyers will ensure that this happens through the exceptional services they provide.
- We will conduct a thorough document examination to ensure that all necessary documentation is correct and in place prior to commencement of the application
- We will assess the eligibility of the institution you intend to represent
- We will be in regular contact with the Home Office throughout the application process in order to guarantee that all goes smoothly.
- We will prepare you a Letter of Representation in support of your application that accentuates the merits of your case and draws attention to relevant UK immigration laws in support of it.
- We will fully complete your Business Visitor Visa application form to the highest possible standard
There is currently no right of appeal in the event of a Visitor Visa rejection. The only option would be to pursue a Judicial Review of the decision in High Court. The services we provide can assist you with this.