How to apply for a business visa in the UK

When it comes to opening a new business or starting a new venture, the UK is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative countries to do so. From the straight-forward processes to the infrastructure and the unending number of talents from across the globe, the UK is for sure one of the most sought-after countries to start a successful and thriving business.

That being the case, the country attracts so many entrepreneurs from Europe and all over the world, which makes the business visas to be in such high demand. Nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland aren’t required to apply for this visa though. Nationals that reside outside these regions are the ones required to apply for a business visitor visa for them to be allowed into the UK for business-related purposes for a short period.

You need this visa if you have a UK limited company and are looking to travel to the UK for meetings with service providers or to open a bank account, carry out site visits, etc. But if you qualify for British citizenship or dual nationality, you are not allowed to apply for this visa. Instead, you are required to apply for citizenship.

A business visa can last you for a period of up to 6 months to 1 year for academic visitors but is open for an extension as long as the total time spent in the UK is less than 6 months. And if you will be visiting the country repeatedly, then you can apply for a long term visa. But you will have to prove your reasons for making repeat visits.

How long does it take to get a business visa in the UK?

If you are planning to apply for a business visa, you should do it online 3 months before the travel date. It takes 3 weeks for a decision to be made with regards to your visa application, but the processing of the visa may take a little more time. The processing period varies with the country you are making an application from.

How much does a business visa cost in the UK?

The cost of a business visa depends majorly on the length of the visa, you are applying for. There are also other factors at play such as the urgency of the visa and the policies governing the local visa application center in your country. So, here are the fees that you need to know about:

Visa type                                          fee (GBP)

Standard visitor visa (6 months) –   93

Standard visitor visa (2 years) –        350

Standard visitor visa (5 years)     –     636

Standard visitor visa (10 years)    –   798

So, what are the eligibility requirements for the business visa in the UK?

To qualify for a visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 18 years old and above
  • Reside outside EEA and Switzerland
  • You are able to support yourself financially, at least for the duration you will be in the country.
  • Should not be on transit to another country, unless that country is Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.

The following persons are the ones eligible for a business visa:

  • A business trainer or advisor
  • An academic on sabbatical, accompanying students on a study program abroad or doing research in the country.
  • Medical personnel undertaking clinical observer posts or clinical attachment, or just taking the PLAB (professional and linguistic assessment board)
  •  A nurse taking the OSCE test
  • An overseas crew member coming to shoot in the country
  • A religious worker
  • A driver carrying passengers or delivering goods
  • A researcher or a scientist from overseas working on an international project that’s being coordinated from within the UK.
  • A lawyer whose firm has offices in the UK

What do you need when applying for a business visa in the UK?

You will have to bring the following documents to the visa application office:

  • A passport size photograph (colored)
  • A passport or any other form of travel identification that is valid
  • Proof that you will be able to support yourself during the duration you will be in the UK – payslips or bank statements
  • Your travel plans details – such as the place you intend to stay.
  • Translation of documents that are in other languages other than Welsh or English.

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