Business Short Stay
A person permanently residing in a country outside the UK can visit in order to carry out certain business activities. They will need to apply for a UK Business Visitor Visa for stress-free travel into the country. At the same time, it is important to take into account that business travel in the UK cannot involve being paid for employment, providing goods or services, or running a business in the UK.
What is the UK Business Visitor Visa?
According to the current legislation, entry to the UK can be allowed for business purposes if the correct type of visa is obtained. A special feature of the UK Business Visit Visa is that the document belongs to the category of Standard Visitor Visas. It is issued for short term business visitors. Their stay in London or other UK cities usually does not exceed 6 months. Business Short Stay Visa recipients have the right to participate in certain business events and activities.
In the UK, there are strict rules and regulations allowing business activity to be carried out by overseas citizens who have crossed the border by obtaining a UK visit visa for a business trip. If the rules are not observed, a person may be denied entry to the country for any future UK trips, or have their visa cancelled.
Business Visit Visa permitted activities
The applicant for a Short Term UK Business Visit Visa needs to provide confirmation that they intend to engage only in permitted activities. The following business activities are allowed to be carried out:
- conducting some general types of business activities;
- an artist, entertainer, or musician can take part in promotional activities and perform;
- a sportsperson may take part in a sports tournament or sports event.
Common types of business activities include attending conferences, seminars, and business meetings. Participation in speeches and conducting conversations with a certain group of listeners is allowed on the condition that these events are not organised as commercial events and are not held for profit. It is possible to hold negotiations with business partners and sign contracts. Visa holders have the right to attend fairs, but for the purpose of advertising goods or services, not selling them directly. Visits to facilities for the analysis of business processes are allowed.
Some positions require duties to be performed abroad. Having obtained a UK Business Visitor Visa, you can attend events or carry out activities in relation to the following professions:
- Bodyguards and personal assistants can attend events to support an overseas business person.
- Tour group couriers, contracted to a company with its headquarters outside the UK can enter and leave the country accompanying a group organised by their company.
- Translators and interpreters are allowed to perform their duties as long as they are doing so as an employee of an overseas enterprise.
- People associated with journalistic activities, including journalists, correspondents, producers or cameramen have the right to visit the UK to collect information necessary for an overseas publication, programme or film.
- Professors of overseas educational institutions, who are accompanied by student groups, can carry out teaching activities in the UK to a limited extent. Performing permanent work in a UK educational institution is not allowed.
- Market researchers and analysts have the right to conduct market research or analysis for an enterprise that is located outside the UK.
- Archaeologists can visit the country for one-off archaeological excavations.
- Drivers performing transportation on an international route must have a contract with an overseas operator or be a self-employed operator and driver based outside the UK.
- Seafarers working on a vessel on a genuine international route between a port in the UK and a port outside the UK may perform limited transportation activities.
Holders of a UK Business Visitor Visa also have the opportunity to collect information necessary for future employment abroad.
Before making a decision, representatives of the Home Office will assess the reliability of the information provided about any events in which the applicant wants to participate.
Business visitors may take part in UK internal corporate activity. This will involve participation in conferences for the purpose of consulting, optimising business processes and troubleshooting. UK Business Visit Visa holders can take part in these activities. 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.
Visiting a country for the purpose of conducting internal corporate activities should be tied to a specific project. According to the law, an overseas visitor must not directly work with clients.
Employees of foreign companies can be allowed to install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on machinery, equipment, computer software or hardware (or train UK based workers to provide these services) if their employer has a contract of purchase, supply or lease with the UK company or organisation. In such cases, itis important to comply with the following conditions: the overseas company must be a manufacturer or supplier of goods, or must be part of a contractual arrangement for after-sales service. The terms must be clearly spelled out in the terms of sale or lease.
Representatives of the Home Office may require the provision of a contract that specifies the relevant agreements.
Short term business visitors can come to the UK in order to ensure compliance with the requirements for goods and services that are exported from the UK. The visa holder must provide the Home Office with documentary evidence confirming their rights to conduct such activities.
What is not allowed on a Business Visitor Visa?
The United Kingdom has strict immigration laws, so you should familiarise yourself with the current restrictions before applying for a visa. They include:
- During your stay in the UK, you cannot be employed or receive payment. If a visa is issued to an employee of a foreign company, then they must find out in advance what types of activities they are allowed to engage in relating to their employment.
- You cannot live in the country for a long time (the period of stay is most often limited to half a year). You will need to apply for a long-term visa if you wish to enter the country for a longer period.
- You cannot apply for state payments or benefits. When applying, you will be asked to provide proof of the availability of financial resources necessary for a hassle-free stay in a country with a high standard of living.
- You cannot run a business as a self-employed person.
- It is not permitted to engage in direct sales of goods and services to the public.
Eligibility requirements for Business Visitor Visa
What criteria should a person meet to obtain a successful visa approval:
- The ability to prove the authenticity of the intentions to visit. You must intend to leave the country at the end of the permitted period.
- You should provide the necessary evidence of your participation in business activities. You will need a UK Business Visitor Visa invitation letter in many cases.
- You will need proof of financial security. Any person entering the country as a visitor must have sufficient material resources to support themselves without additional assistance from the state. There should also be enough money available to pay for the return journey.
The amount of funds required to be demonstrated is not precisely defined. However, confirmation of financial stability is one of the main requirements for obtaining a visa. In some cases, a third party may undertake to cover the expenses for travel and accommodation of the applicant. The third party will need to provide evidence of material security in writing.
It is important to keep in mind that according to UK Business Visitor Visa requirements, you do not need to provide proof of English language proficiency.
How to apply for a Business Visitor visa for the UK?
You may apply for this visa while being outside the UK. You will need to fill out an online form and pay an application fee. You will also need to provide all supporting documentation and your biometric data.
It is advisable to apply for a visa at least three months before your trip. Applications normally take three weeks following the biometrics appointment, but the timeframe varied depending on which part of the world you are applying from.
Documents required for the UK Business Visitor visa
In addition to documents confirming the reasons for travel, you need to provide a passport or travel document.
It may able be advisable to submit:
- previous travel documents showing dates of previous travels;
- details of trips abroad for the last 10 years;
- information about any relevant organisations;
- confirmation of the availability of financial resources;
- information about the planned accommodation;
- contact details of the applicant;
- dates of birth and names of parents and spouses;
- if there are criminal or immigration offences in the past, you will need to disclose them.
It is important to remember that any documents not in English must have a certified translation.
The Visa Processing Time
It is advisable to consult with lawyers who may be able to advise on the UK Business Visitor Visa processing time in the country from which the application will be made.
Applicants may be able to use a Priority Service. In this case, your application may be considered first in the queue at each stage of decision-making. In addition to the visa fee, you would need to pay the Priority Service costs. In case of refusal, this is not refunded to the applicant. In exceptional cases, compensation can be obtained, if evidence is provided that the application was not considered as a priority and there is no good excuse for this on the part of the decision maker
Choosing a priority service can significantly reduce the duration of the process, but does not guarantee that a positive decision will be given on your application. If the applicant’s documents do not meet the requirements of the immigration services, the visa will not be issued.
How much does a Business Visitor visa cost?
If an application is made for a Business Visit Visa to be issued for a short period not exceeding 6 months of stay in the UK, the fee will be £115. If an application is made for a longer term visa, with which the holder may stay for up to 6 months at a time, the fees are as follows:
- 2 years – £400;
- 5 years – £771;
- 10 years – £963.
How can we help?
The UK immigration rules state that the holder of a UK Business Visitor Visa has the right to engage in various business activities, but there are also a large number of restrictions. These rights and restrictions must be taken into account when making an application, otherwise the application may be refused. Experienced lawyers of Sterling Law will conduct a thorough check of the available documents. Our lawyers are competent in immigration matters and will do their best to provide a better chance of a positive response by the UK immigration service.
- Our company is reliable;
- Our services are legally regulated;
- We have an individual approach to each client;
- We offer consulting at every stage of decision-making.
Contact us to obtain more details of obtaining a Business Visitor Visa in the UK or another type of visa. We welcome every client. Our lawyers are always ready to provide qualified assistance.