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Business Visitors to the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 5 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
Business Visitors To The Uk

The UK is a global business centre and every year people travel from all over the world to do business here. Different rules apply to people who are ordinarily resident and work abroad but wish to visit the UK on business, than to those who work in the UK full-time or set up a business here.

A list of all countries whose citizens require a visa to visit the UK is available from the UK Border Agency.

Definition of Business Visitors

Foreign nationals who will be classified business visitors include people who visit the UK:
  • To attend a trade fair, seminar, meeting or conference;
  • To attend a job interview;
  • To purchase, deliver or examine goods;
  • To negotiate or sign contracts or agreements;
People travelling to the UK on a business visitor’s visa will not be able to stay in the UK for longer than six months.

Additional Requirements for Business Visitors to the UK

Business visitors to the UK have to pass the same test as all visa applicants to the UK but will also have to satisfy additional requirements in order to obtain their visa. In particular they will have to prove that:
  • They are resident and work abroad and do not intend to settle in the UK; and,
  • They do not intend to provide services or produce goods whilst they are in the UK.
Under the entry rules visitors will still be classified as business visitors if, for example, they come to the UK to speak at a one-off conference or to attend a job interview for UK employment.

Applying for a UK Visa as a Business Visitor

The application for a business visitor’s visa is made on the same form as a standard visitor’s visa application: the Visitor Form (VAF1). In some cases it may be possible to apply online. Business visitors will have to provide the following information about their proposed visit:
  • The purpose of their visit to the UK;
  • The name, address and a description of the business or organisation they will be visiting whilst they are in the UK;
  • The address where they will be staying whilst they are in the UK.

Business Visitors with Family in the UK

An applicant for a business visitor’s visa who has family in the UK will have to declare this on the application form. If a business visitor intends to visit family members whilst in the UK this will also have to be declared and the Family Visitor part of the form will have to be filled in. This section requires applicants to provide full details of all close family members in the UK, including the employment status of any family members the visitor intends to stay with.

Finance and Employment Details

As with all applicants for visitor visas to the UK, business visitors must provide full details of their employment, income and savings to show that they are able to provide for themselves financially whilst they are in the UK.

Completing the Application

As well as filling in the application form, visitor visa applicants will also have to:
  • Provide a valid passport or other travel document;
  • Provide a photograph of themselves which complies with the UK Border Agency’s requirements;
  • Provide any necessary supporting documents – such as evidence of the business or organisation who invited the applicant to the UK and documents to prove their income and employment status;
  • Pay the fee for the application – since 30 June 2008 this has been £65 for a single business visitor visa.

Regular Business Visitors to the UK

Those who regularly travel to the UK on business can apply for a long-term visa which allows multiple entries into the UK during the visa’s validity. These visas contain the applicant’s biometric information and cost £205.

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[Add a Comment]
@Josh - your girlfriend needs to leave the UK voluntarily at her own cost, serve the one year ban for overstaying in the UK and after that she can apply for an EEA family permit valid for 5 years. Please note that the longer she remains here illegally, the longer her ban from returning will be.
TJ. - 20-Feb-18 @ 6:32 AM
Hello. I want to marry with my girlfriend and have a baby in UK. I am from EU and my girlfriend from Colombia. She came here 1 year ago and her visa is expired. I have been living and working here since Jan 2014. How can we get married legally and have a fammily here? What is the correct and the the right way to do it ?? Thabk you
Josh - 19-Feb-18 @ 6:17 PM
Can I work in the UK with visatreatment?
new - 5-Feb-18 @ 11:10 AM
Hi, My wife I have lived in the UK 09/2011 to 03/2015. Once our visa expired we came back to our country. During that time my wife obtained the medical treatment for IVF in government hospital. However, the IVF was unsuccessful (during that time they don't anything from us). However, we have paid 175 GBP for freeze 2 embryos. Which a e belongs to us. Now my wife wants to go back and do the IVF again with that frozen embryos. according to the hospital we have come through the GP which we have resisted medical center in the UK. There is possibility to book an appointment online to the GP. Please let me know what would be the successful procedure toapply visa for this medical treatment.
Alex - 14-Oct-16 @ 7:19 PM
carlos1974 - Your Question:
Hya I am EU citzen live in uk around 16 years my wife 12 years both portuguese we have on child borne in uk 6 years ago and he got bristish passport the parents they can aply for britsih passport straight away? once we are live here permanent. thanks

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here for more information.
AboutImmigration - 7-Oct-16 @ 1:59 PM
hya i am EU citzen live in uk around 16 years my wife 12 years both portuguese we have on child borne in uk 6 years ago and he got bristish passportthe parents they can aply for britsih passport straight away? once we are live here permanent . thanks
carlos1974 - 7-Oct-16 @ 1:50 AM
i have had a long distance relationship with a st lucian since january 2011 we agreed to meet when i was in jamaica march 2011 unfortunately i was involved in a serious car accident smashing my hip and pelvis and was hospitalised in jamaica for 6 months and due to medical negligence there i was left permanately disabled and bedbound for 3 years. we finally met in 2013 when my partner came to london for 1 month and cared for me, he then worked for 2 years to buy ticket to come visit again in march 2015 staying for 6 months and promised if i walked again he would take me to st lucia to meet his family and get married, with lots of hard work i finally walked and went to st lucia as planned with him when he returned september 2015 we were then married 5th october 2015 i am unable to work and have limited mobility my husband has a trade as mechanic, welder,body paneller/spray painter we want to be together and he wants to work and support me so i can come off benefits we have plans to have our own business in the future. will my husband be able to get a stay as my spouse if not how can we be together as man and wife i have children and grandchildren and due to health need to be in this country he has no children or ties back home. thank you
meme - 24-Dec-15 @ 3:19 AM
I am a EEA member and my wife is an indain national with a 5yr british Visa, my baby was born in the uk,If i apply for an Indian passport for my baby can i apply for British Visa for my baby in UK?
Os - 2-Sep-15 @ 9:36 AM
@Alice - You must register your child’s birth according to the regulations in the country where your child was born. Your child will be issued with a local birth certificate. It will not stop you returning to the UK. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jan-15 @ 2:10 PM
Please just to make an enquiry on a visitor giving birth to a child while on visit to the UK. Does it affect the right of the person to re enter the UK after returning to her country?
Alice - 26-Jan-15 @ 2:23 PM
@applicant - Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months, but I can't be sepcific with regards to Uganda-UK.I think to be on the safe side I would see if your colleague can get his passport renewed. As you say you will have to be quick as it takes three weeks or so to get a decision on a visa.
AboutImmigration - 21-Jan-15 @ 11:50 AM
Hi, I wanted to ask for your advice please? I work at the University of Liverpool and I am arranging travel for a colleague who holds a Ugandan passport, and who is coming to attend two conferences in March 2015.His Ugandan passport expires in August 2015. He needs to apply for a business visa and I wanted to know whether he needs to have a full six months left on his passport in order to apply for his visa and travel to the UK? It would be really helpful if you couldlet me have a response to my question as soon as possible as if my colleague needs to apply for a passport he will need to move very quickly. kind regards
applicant - 20-Jan-15 @ 3:43 PM
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