uk business visa

UK Business Visa - Definitive Guide

With London being the world’s largest financial centre, and the UK having one of the biggest economy in the world, it is a popular destination for businessmen. However, to visit the country for the motive of performing business activities, you may require a UK Business Visa.

What is UK Business Visa?

UK Business Visa

To enter the UK for business purposes, most people require a business permit. However, if you are from the EU or one of the visa-exempt countries, you will not have to apply for one. For Indian nationals, you will have to apply for a UK Business Visa from India. There are several UK Business Visa types such as the visitor type, Tier 1 entrepreneur, Tier 1 investor, etc. However, throughout this guide, we will focus on the short term visa belonging to the UK Visitor Visa. Over the years, the Business Visitor Visa has been encapsulated under the Standard Visitor Visa along with others. This permit is issued for a duration of up to 6 months. However, if you require to travel to the country more often, you can apply for a long term permit that is valid for up to 2,5 or 10 years. Keep in mind that even in these cases, your stay cannot be longer than 6 months on each entry.

How to get business visa for UK?

UK Business Visa

The process of applying for a business permit is done online. Before finding out how to apply for UK Business Visa from India, you will need to find out if you are eligible for the permit. Once you determine that you are, you can proceed as per the following - 

  1. Obtain the necessary documents for your permit. 
  2. Create an account on the UK visas website, or on the Visa4UK portal.
  3. Fill in the UK Business Visa online application form with your details.
  4. Pay the application fees online.
  5. Book your visa appointment at one of the VACs for the documents and biometric submission.
  6. Attend the appointment with the confirmation mail of your appointment, and your documents.

If the High Commission is not convinced with your application, you may be called up for an interview. Also, ensure that you submit the genuine documents and provide a correct and valid application. Wrong or fake information can get your visa rejected. A visa refusal is treated strictly by the United Kingdom.

Eligibility for UK Business Visa

To be eligible to apply for UK Business Visa, you will have to satisfy the following conditions. 

  •  You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel. 
  • Your main purpose of the visit must be to attend business meetings, conferences, etc. Although, you can visit family/friends, as well as perform tourism-related activities on the side.
  • You must have sufficient funds to support your stay in the UK.
  • You must provide proving to show that you will be returning to your home country towards the end of your visa.
  • You must possess all the documents required for UK Business Visa from India.

 

Documents required for UK Business Visa

As per the UK Business Visa documents requirements for Indian citizens, the following are the list of documents you will need to show -

  • A valid passport
  • 2 photographs, as per regulations
  • Proof of business purpose - invitation letter from the British company/letter of meetings, conferences, etc
  • Proof of legal residence - ID card, passport
  • Proof of previous travel history - copy of visa
  • Proof of employment or studies -
    •  If employed 
  • Employment contract copy or Employee ID card copy
  • Letter from employer stating sanction of leave for the travel period
  • NOC (No objection certificate) from the company

 

  • If self-employed

 

  • A copy of the business license
  • Copy in the commerce register or as a partner in a company
  • Proof of funds to support the stay -  Bank Statements for the last 6 months/ Passbook
  • Proof of ties in the home country - Rent agreement, proof of bank accounts, etc.

    UK Business Visa

Photo specification

  • Recently taken
  • Dimensions- 35mm X 45mm
  • Clear basic cream or light grey background
  • Glasses - allowed only for medical reasons
  • Eyes - directly gazing at the lens
  • Headgear - not permitted except in religious cases
  • Facial expression - neutral
  • No “Red-eye effect” from flash

UK Business Visa process time

The processing time for the business permit depends on several factors such as the type of permit, the duration, the number of entries, as well as any priority or express services. It is normally processed in about 15 days. However, this can also vary based on the appointment waiting times.

UK Business Visa fees

The cost to complete the application can vary upon a few factors such as the duration of the visa, the number of entries, the biometric charges, priority visa or express delivery charges, as well as any additional service charges by the visa application centre or agencies. 

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 2 years 125932.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 5 years 70706.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 6 months 9042.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 2 years 30124.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 5 years 54706.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 2 years 46124.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 6 months 23956.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 68561.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 68561.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 6 months 23956.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 2 years 46124.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 5 years 70706.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 10 years 84561.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 6 months 67956.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 2 years 90124.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 5 years 114706.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 10 years 128561.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 6 months 9042.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 2 years 30124.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 5 years 54706.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 68561.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 6 months 23956.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 2 years 46124.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 2 years 30124.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 5 years 54706.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 6 months 9042.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 5 years 70706.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 10 years 84561.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 6 months 67956.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 2 years 90124.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 5 years 154044.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 10 years 175222.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 6 months 67956.0
Multiple entry Express 6 months 10 years 84561.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 10 years 170013.0
Multiple entry Super Express 6 months 5 years 62631.0

After submission

After the submission of your application, it will be processed. If they require any additional documents or information to process, you will be asked to attend an interview. You will usually get a response within the stipulated processing time.

How to check visa status?

Normally, you will receive updates regarding your application via email. Alternately, you can get SMS notifications about your application. You can track it by contacting the High Commission, or VAC via email or phone and telling them the application number. If your visa has been approved, and you have chosen for them to deliver it to you, you can track the status using the GWF application number and entering it on the courier company’s website.

When you have this visa

While you are on a business type of the Standard Visitor Visa, you will have to keep in mind the following.

  • Carry all your travel documents along with the passport and visa. You may have to show it to the security officers at the port of entry.
  • Make a note of the visa expiry. You cannot stay beyond the date in that. 
  • You cannot extend your visitor permit unless it has been issued for a duration of fewer than 6 months.
  • You can take part in tourism, unpaid charity work, as well as visit family. However, your main objective of the visit has to be business.
  • You cannot work or use public funds. You cannot also sell goods or services while you are on a business permit.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the UK business visa hard to get?

No, the UK visa is fairly easy to get if you do all the processes with great accuracy and submit all the correct documents. You will also have to be very clear about the purpose of your visit. However, keep in mind that it can get hard to get if you submit an incorrect application or have other complications. It is suggested to ask for the professional help from visa agencies to ensure that you face almost zero difficulties in your process. 

How much funds are needed for a UK business visa?

There is no regulation on the exact amount you will require for the application. Your sole motive must be to show that you have funds to support you throughout the stay. This can include food, travel, accommodation, as well as other expenses. Most of the time, your visa duration will depend on the number of funds you can show. 

Can I travel to Schengen countries with a UK business visa?

No, since the United Kingdom is no longer a part of the Schengen region, there is no rule permitting visa-free travel between them. As a result, despite your UK permit, you will have to apply for a Schengen visa to enter those countries. However, possessing a UK permit will make it easier for you to obtain a Schengen visa.

How can I extend my UK business Visa?

You may extend your business permit if you have been staying in the UK for a period of fewer than 6 months. For example, if your visa expires in March, but you enter the UK in February, you may get it extended to up to 5 more months. As per the rule, you cannot stay in the UK for longer than 6 months on a visitor permit. Once you have completed 6 months, you will not be able to extend your stay unless you have an unforeseeable emergency situation according to which you may be given a 14 day period extension.

After expiring my UK business Visa how long can I stay?

You cannot stay for any further duration once your visa expires. You are expected to leave the country before the date of expiry. A history of overstaying can affect your future travel. However, under special circumstances, you may be granted a 14 day period for a “good reason”. These include medical reasons, unfavourable situations in the home country, and so on. 

Are there medical tests for UK business Visa?

No, since the business permit is issued for less than 6 months, there is no requirement to get a medical test done. However, for visas longer than this, you may need tests to be performed. It is suggested that you get a health checkup and medical tests done before travelling to the UK as healthcare in the UK can be expensive.

Can I convert my UK business Visa into a tourist visa?

The tourist and the business permit both come under the Standard Visitor Visa category. As a result, you do not need an additional visa. Your visitor visa can work for both purposes. With your visitor visa issued on the basis of business-related purpose, you can take part in tourism, as well as visit friends/family, and even perform unpaid charity work.

 

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