This visa falls under the standard visitor visa category, which permits a short-term stay of up to six months. The Business Visitor visa is tailored to allow individuals to carry out specific business activities during their stay.

What activities are permitted for business visitors?

  • General business activities
  • Corporate or intra-corporate activities

Business visitors can engage in a range of permitted activities while in the UK:

  • Attending meetings, conferences, seminars, and interviews.
  • Giving talks and speeches, as long as they’re not commercial events and don’t make a profit for the organiser.
  • Negotiating and signing deals and contracts, attending trade fairs for promotional work only, and carrying out site visits and inspections.
  • Gathering information about their employment overseas and being briefed on the requirements of a UK-based customer – however, any work done for the customer must be carried out outside of the UK.

Business visitors who are employees of companies with linked entities in the UK may be allowed to enter the country to engage in the following activities:

  • Advising, consulting, troubleshooting or providing training within the same corporate group.
  • Sharing skills and knowledge on a specific internal project with UK employees of the same corporate group provided no work is carried out directly with clients.
  • Conducting regulatory or financial audits at a UK branch of the same group of companies, if the visitor is an internal auditor.
  • Receiving training from a UK-based company or organisation in work practices and techniques that are required for the visitor’s overseas employment and not available in their home country.

What activities are prohibited for business visitors?

It’s important to note that visitors to the UK are not permitted to work while in the country, which includes:

  • Taking employment in the UK.
  • Undertaking work for a UK-based organisation or business.
  • Establishing or running a business as a self-employed person.
  • Participating in a work placement or internship.
  • Engaging in direct sales to the public.
  • Providing goods or services in exchange for payment.

Requirements for Business Visitor visas

To be eligible for a UK Business Visitor visa, you must:

  • Intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit.
  • Provide evidence of any business activities you plan to undertake.
  • Have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and those of any dependents.
  • Be able to afford your travel to and from the UK.

To increase your chances of a successful UK visa application, you’ll need to provide a portfolio of supporting documents that demonstrate your eligibility and travel intentions.

Note that you cannot work or engage in any work-related activity while on a Business Visitor visa. The UK government may request evidence of your financial situation and ability to pay for expenses such as transport and visas.

How to apply for a Business Visitor visa

To apply for a Business Visitor visa, you need to follow these steps:

  • Apply from outside the UK: You must apply for the visa while you are outside the UK.
  • Complete the online application: Fill out the online application form and pay the application fee.
  • Provide supporting documentation: You need to submit a valid travel document, supporting documents and biometric information (if applicable).
  • Apply in advance: Apply for the visa at least three months before your intended travel date.
  • Wait for a decision: You should get a decision within approximately three weeks, but processing times may vary depending on the country you are applying from.

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