If you wish to visit the UK on business e.g. attend interviews or conferences, conduct site visits, arrange deals or sign contracts or deliver international goods and/or passengers from abroad, you will need to apply as a business visitor.
Other categories of individuals who must also apply as a business visitor are:
- Academic visitors
- Doctors taking the PLAB test
- Doctors on clinical attachments
- Dentists on observation
- Visiting professors accompanying students on study abroad programmes
- Film crews on location shoots (as long as they are paid or employed overseas)
- Representatives of overseas new media (as long as they are paid or employed overseas)
- Secondees from overseas companies
- Religious workers (as long as they are based overseas and do not wish to take a position in the UK)
- Interpreters and translators accompanying business visitors(as long as they are employed by an overseas company)
- Advisers, consultants, trainers, trouble shooters who are employed abroad by the same company which has the UK branch
- Individuals undertaking specific, one –off training in techniques and UK work practices
It is advised that you seek legal advice if you are uncertain whether your purpose for coming to the UK is covered by a “business visitor” category.
1. You will need to demonstrate that you only intend to visit the UK for a short period – no more than 6 months.
2. You must demonstrate that you intend to visit the UK for a genuine business activity. (There are a wide range of activities permitted under this visa category and it is advised that you obtain advice from us at XANTO TRADING LLP. to ensure that your proposed activity falls under a ‘permissible activity’ as outlined by the UK Border Agency).
3. You must intend to leave the UK after the end of your visit and demonstrate that you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey
4. You must show that you have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself (and any dependants) without working in the UK or receiving assistance from UK public funds. Alternatively you can show that your relatives or friends or the company will be financially supporting and/or accommodating you.
B. Activities not permitted on a business visitor visa
- You must not intend to study in the UK
- You must not intend to charge the public for services provided or goods received
- You must be based abroad and have no intention of setting up a base in the UK
- You must receive your salary/remuneration from overseas
- You must intend to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK
- You must not intend to receive private medical treatment during your visit to the UK
- You must not be a transit passenger to a country outside the Common Travel Area
C. Documents required
If you wish to apply as a business visitor, you should ensure that you have basic documentation as follows:
- Invitation letter from the UK company/business/establishment
- Confirmation and details regarding the purpose you are visiting the UK
- If employed: Letter from employer approving your leave for a specified period. The letter should include details of your employment, duration, your position, salary etc. and should detail when you are expected to resume work.
- If self-employed: Evidence of your business activities, accounts and financial credibility
- Evidence of ties to your home country – e.g. ownership of property, family ties/responsibilities, employment ties
- Evidence of your travel plans – ticket bookings, hotel bookings, itinerary
- Bank statements for the last 3 to 6 months
- Evidence of additional savings
The maximum you can stay in the UK, at any single time is six months as a business visitor.
If however your visa was granted for a period less than six months, you may apply for an extension of your visa which takes you up to the maximum of six months.
NB. There is an exception if you are an ‘Academic Visitor’ as you are entitled to stay in the UK for a maximum of 12 months.
Please note that upon the expiry of your visa, you are required to leave the UK. If you stay beyond the expiry of your visa, you will remain illegally in the UK and you will be considered an “overstayer”. This may have an adverse impact on your immigration record and is likely to affect any future UK immigration applications.
E. Right of Appeal
Applicants can often be refused a visa to enter the UK as a business visitor and will receive a detailed letter explaining the reasons for refusal.
Only applicants who are visiting close family members are able to appeal against a refusal decision. All other applicants who are visiting the UK for other reasons are not entitled to appeal against a refusal decision.
We therefore advise that if applicants have been refused a business visitor visa, please seek legal advice on the procedure for submitting a fresh application.
F. Our Services
- We can advise on the procedure of making a ‘business visitor’ application and discuss the merits of your application.
- We can advise on the procedure involved for applying for visit visas for members of your family.
- We can advise on the evidence required for the entry clearance application.
- We can advise on the merits of an appeal – should your application be refused and attract a right of appeal.
Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of your immigration matter.