The UK economy is the sixth-largest economy in the world by GDP. It is highly developed and market-orientated. The UK became the tenth-largest goods exporter in 2016. There are great business opportunities in it. Lots of people consider expanding their business relationships with it. If you are thinking about a business trip to the UK, you might need a UK business visa. In this blog, we will explain if you need a business visa to the UK or not, requirements, application, validity, processing, etc.
The UK is a developed and industrial country. Many business people want to visit it for different purposes. So there are various UK business visas:
- Standard visitor visa for business people.
- Innovator visa.
- Start-up visa.
- Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1).
- Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1).
- The investor visa (Tier 1).
- A representative of an Overseas Business visa.
- Turkish Business People visa.
What are the Required Documents for a Standard Business Visa?
You have to submit a few documents to be eligible for this visa:
- You will go back to your home country at the end of your visit.
- Provide proof of all the business activities you will do in the UK.
- Evidence of having enough money to cover your expenses in the UK. Proof you can afford your inward and outward journey to the UK.
For a complete list of the required documents, you can visit this blog.
Standard UK Visitor Visa for Business People
Foreign nationals from non-EEA countries can travel to the UK to do business activities. This visa comes under the standard UK visitor visa category. It means you may travel to the UK for a short term stay. This time is no more than six months. You should find out whether the visa application you submit allows you to do your business activity in the UK or not. It’s essential to research the Business visa that suits your business purpose.
You may only stay for up to six months in the UK with a Standard Visitor Visa.
UK Innovator Visa
The investors who want to start a new business in the UK can apply for a UK innovator visa. If you already have an established business in the UK can apply for this visa too. All non-EEA nationals are eligible for this visa. The required investment fund is at least £50,000.
The other eligibility requirements for this visa:
- Be over 18
- Fulfill the English language requirement
- Prove to have necessary means of subsistence
With a UK Innovator Visa, you may stay in the UK for three years. Then you can apply for an extension. After passing five years with this visa, you may apply for settlement in the UK.
What Can You Do With a UK Business Visitor Visa?
The general activities you can do with a Standard UK Visitor Visa as a businessman:
- Participate in interviews, seminars, conferences, and meetings in the UK.
- Make short, non-profitable speeches.
- Discuss and sign deals and contracts.
- Participate in trade fairs only if the visitor is not directly selling.
- Make visits to the sites and inspections.
- Gain information for employment.
- Get a briefing on the requirements of a UK based customer.
- Checking international goods and services.
- Search for funding for a UK business.
- Conduct academic research or accompany international students on a study abroad program.
- Take an exam
Forbidden Activities with a Standard UK Visitor Visa
The visitor visa has many limitations too. The immigration laws are stringent in the UK. And you must have clarity when putting together your visa application.
Some of the activities you can’t do with a business visitor visa include:
- Do pay or unpaid work.
- Live or work in the UK.
- Receive any public funds.
UK Start-Up Visa
The non-EEA businesspeople who want to start a business in the UK can apply for this visa. Businessmen can stay in the UK for up to 2 years with a UK Start-Up Visa.
The essential rule is that an authorized body must endorse you. It can be a:
- a UK higher education institution
- a business organization
They must have a background in supporting UK entrepreneurs.
Tier 1 UK Exceptional Talent visa
The people who work in a qualifying field and a recognized leader has endorsed them can apply for this visa.
The people who apply from outside of the UK can stay for five years and four months. Those who apply from inside the UK can stay for five years.
For further information, you can visit this blog.
Tier 1 UK Graduate Entrepreneur visa
The graduates in the UK who have got endorsed for having a worthy business idea can get a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa.
The two institutions that may endorse a graduate are:
- a UK higher education body
- Department for International Trade (DIT)
You can stay for one year in the UK with this visa. Then you may extend the visa for another year.
For further information about the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, visit this blog.
Tier 1 UK Investor visa
If you are going to invest £2,000,000 ( $2491160.00) in the UK, you can apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa. With a Tier 1 Investor Visa, you can stay for three years and four months in the UK. Then you can extend the visa for another two years.
A representative of an Overseas Business UK visa
In case you are from outside of Switzerland and EEA, you can apply for this visa. To do so, you must have one of these conditions:
- You are the one delegate of an overseas company. It is working to open a branch or subsidiary in the UK.
- You are an employee of a broadcasting organization, news agency, or newspaper with a long-term duty in the UK.
In the beginning, you can stay for three years in the UK with this visa. Then you can apply for an extension of two years. After that, you can apply for settlement.
The visa for UK Turkish Businessperson
The Turkish nationals that are going to set up a new business in the UK or to be part of an established business can apply for this visa.
They don’t have to pay a visa fee. In the beginning, they can stay for 12 months. Then they can apply for a three extension.
For more details about the UK Turkish Businessperson visa, visit this blog.
How Long Needed To Get a UK Business visa?
It will almost take three weeks for the authorities to decide about your application. But the processing time is different depending:
- on the visa type
- the country you apply from
The fees for a Business Visa
It depends on the time you will apply for. If you want a quicker decision, you may have to pay more. The fee can change even by your local visa application center policy.
the fees you need to know about:
- Standard Visitor visa, 6 months £93
- Long term Standard Visitor visa, 2 years £350
- Long term Standard Visitor visa, 5 years £636
- Long term Standard Visitor visa, 10 years £798
- Additional fee to have a decision within 5 days £212
- Additional fee to have a decision within 1 working day £956
For more information about UK visa fees, you can visit this blog.
Applying for a Business visa
To apply for a business visa, you should go through these procedures:
- Check if you are eligible before starting the application process.
- Register for an account
- Complete the online application form in English.
- Pay your visa fee online
- Print out your form
- Book an appointment and visit a visa application center near you
- Give biometric data
- Provide any evidence needed to support your application
- A valid passport with a blank page
- Required travel documents
- You may have to get a TB test depending on where you are applying.
Let’s sum up …
In this blog, we explained all the general information about the UK Business Visa.
We have covered the requirements, application process, the limitations of UK business visa, processing time, validity, etc.
You can find all the UK visa information in the world here. To find out more about the visa that suits you, go through the menu of the site. You can find all types of Germany visas at the left sidebar.
You can check the Visa Library to find more information about other countries’ visas.
In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.