Business Visitor Visa

uk business visitor visa

If your partner wants to come to the UK for business purposes, he/she should apply to come here as a business visitor. This kind of visa is for academic visitors, visiting professors, overseas news media representatives and film crews on location as well.

Basic requirements

In order to be able to come to the United Kingdom as a business visitor, your partner or a colleague should intend to carry out any of the following ’permitted activities’ here:

  • attending meetings (including interviews that have been arranged before you come to the UK) or conferences;
  • arranging deals, or negotiating or signing trade agreements or contracts;
  • undertaking fact-finding missions;
  • conducting site visits;
  • delivering goods and passengers from abroad (as a lorry driver or coach driver, for example, provided you are genuinely working an international route);
  • accompanying a tour group as a tour group courier, provided you are contracted to a firm outside the UK, and you intend to leave with that tour group;
  • speaking at a ’one-off’ conference where this is not run as a commercial concern;
  • representing a foreign manufacturer by coming to service or repair its products within their initial period of guarantee;
  • representing a foreign machine manufacturer by coming to erect and install machinery too heavy to be delivered in one piece, as part of the contract of purchase and supply;
  • interpreting or translating for visiting business persons, provided you are employed by the overseas company and are coming solely to provide this service for the visiting company member;
  • acting as a monteur (a worker such as a fitter or serviceperson) for up to 6 months to erect, dismantle, install, service, repair or advise on the development of foreign-made machinery;
  • attending board meetings in the UK as a board-level director, provided you are not employed by a UK company (although you may be paid a fee for attending the meeting); and
  • representing a computer software company by coming to install, debug or enhance their products. You may also come here as a business visitor to be briefed about a UK customer’s requirements — but if you use your expertise to make a detailed assessment of a potential customer’s requirements, we will regard this as consultancy work, for which you will need a visa under the points-based system.

Additionally, he/she must not:

  • receive funding for your work from any UK source (except payments of expenses or reasonable honoraria, and payments on an exchange basis); or
  • engage in any work other than the academic activity for which you are being admitted; or
  • fill a normal post or a genuine vacancy in the UK.

To come to the UK as a business visitor, you must be able to show that:

  • he/she is 18 or over;
  • he/she intends to visit the UK for no more than 6 months (or 12 months if he/she is an academic visitor), unless he/she is a doctor taking the PLAB test (in which case he/she can apply to extend his/her stay and undertake a clinical attachment if he/she passes the PLAB test);
  • he/she intends to leave the UK at the end of his/her visit;
  • he/she has enough money to support and accommodate him/herself without working or help from public funds, or he/she and any dependants will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;
  • he/she is based abroad and do not intend to transfer his/her base to the UK, even temporarily;
  • he/she receives his/her salary from abroad (although it is acceptable for him/her to receive reasonable travel and subsistence expenses while he/she is in the UK);
  • not be replacing someone in the UK, including for temporary leave periods;
  • he/she can meet the cost of the return or onward journey;

He/she must also show that, during his/her visit, he/she does not intend to:

  • take employment, produce goods or provide services, including the selling of goods or services directly to members of the public;
  • undertake a course of study;
  • marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership;
  • receive private medical treatment.

Necessary documents

Your colleague or business partner should provide the correct documents with his application, otherwise the entry clearance officer may refuse his/her application. Below, you can find a common list of necessary documents.

Information about your colleague or business partner

  • A current and valid passport
  • 1 passport-size colour photograph
  • Previous passport, if any
  • Evidence of his/her marital status
  • Evidence of his/her current employment

Information about your colleague’s or business partner’s finances and employment

  • Bank statements or a letter from bank
  • Payslips
  • Tax returns
  • Evidences of income

Accommodation in UK and travel detail

  • Details of accommodation and return travel bookings
  • Business invitation (we will provide you with a sample)
  • Evidence of any previous dealings with the UK company he/she visits

You will get the full list of documents from us according to your personal circumstances.