Business Visas and doing business in the UK
The UK in its position has both the business culture as well as the collection of markets and sectors. Doing business in the UK is easy and transparent, which is why the Home Office have introduced a number of business & investment categories. Your intention of what you plan to do in the UK, will determine which business working visa is the most appropriate.
Unlike other visa categories, you must make sure that the correct working visa is applied for, to avoid you starting something that would not achieve your long term goal. In most cases, these business visas can lead to indefinite leave to remain, otherwise commonly known as settlement in the UK.
The open market and a very diversified economy provides both investors and entrepreneurs to consider moving to the UK and establish themselves, as this allows them to gain access to the domestic market with ease, without any complications. For example, opening a limited company in the UK will usually take less than a week, depending how complex your business model is and opening a business account does not take more than few days, as most providers can get it opened online.
For that reason, UK creates for any business, a brand, a sense of security, that almost all markets are regulated, giving both customers and investors a sense of secured reliability.
A recent World Bank survey confirms that UK is ranked as the top place in Europe to do business, due to the ease and access to support that is not available anywhere else. Further to this, it is ranked 4th in the world, so coming to the UK provides a high incentive to entrepreneurs and investors. As the UK embracing on their high-tech and evolving technology, there is no place other than the UK to come and do business.
How to apply for a UK business visa
If you intend to come in the UK for a short-term period, then you can apply for the business visit visa, and this can be used to undertake business activities in the UK. The following should explain what is required to meet the business visitor’s visa and the requirements to be met at the date of application.
Eligibility requirements of a UK business visa
The Home Office vision is to make UK a hub for businesses; therefore it allows a person under the business visa to undertake the following activities:
Conducting business meetings, or conference in the UK. This may include discussing business proposals as well.
Business contracts being discussed as well as the signing of UK contracts.
It is not uncommon to find a parent company based outside of the UK with a UK subsidiary office, therefore an employee working outside of the UK, to come and so support or quality assurance checks is permissible.
Prospective entrepreneurs can also enter the UK; to discuss their business plan with potential venture capital firms/investors however cannot start their business in the UK until they have applied for the appropriate business visa.
A manufacturing and supplying business can also enter the UK under the business visa category. For example an inspection of goods being supplied as some of the activities that will be allowed.
A client of a UK export business, which will allow an employee from the contracting business to come and enter the UK, making sure the delivery of the contract is being fulfilled.
Science and researcher. The Home Office will check that researchers and scientists are paid and employed fully overseas, when carrying out activities in the UK. This may include but not limited sharing knowledge on a research whilst working overseas. Where a person intends to complete research in the UK, they can apply for a Tier 2 visa or a Tier 5, depending on the activities and the length of time they intend to be in the UK. In the case of doctors and dentists, they must be specialist in their working area and have extensive experience in their field in order to undertake research, teaching or clinical practices, with the view that they maintain their full time work overseas.
There are special provisions for academics to be in the UK and permitted to be here for a continuous period of 12 months. They must demonstrate that they are highly qualified and expert in their field prior entering the UK.
Where an artist intends to come to the UK to undertake an activity that is connected to the arts (literature, performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts).
A professional sports person from outside of the UK is able to come to the UK under this category. A sportsman who is employed by a team based in the UK, cannot come under this category and will need to apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa.
Conditions of the business visa
The business visitor’s visa does not lead to indefinite leave to remain and is not a basis of settling in the UK. When an application for a business visa is made, it is expected that no exchange of salary or payments of services are made in the UK because a person is providing a service in the UK.
A business visa can be applied for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years or 10 years. However there are conditions of how long they would be permitted under the business visas in the UK.
When applying for the business visa, your financial position as well as evidences of income and intention to return must be demonstrated.
Whilst being in the UK, you will not be allowed switching into other long terms visas, be able to study full time, and have no intention to settle in the UK. Further to this, the visa does not allow you to bring family members in the UK as they would have to apply for a visa that they meet the requirements.
Visa application process for a business visa
As the UKVI is now moving to the digital platforms, all business working visas must be applied online. The application route must be chosen carefully to avoid completing the wrong application, which can lead to the business working visa being refused. Once the application route is chosen, the UKVI digital platforms create the application with questions designed and dictated by your answers.
For those who have applied for business working visas in the past, the application forms were normally 100 pages on average however the new digital application streamlines this based on the answers provided. So making sure you understand the questions on the form is also important.
Decisions for a business working visas can average from 24 hours to 8 weeks or possibly longer. It depends on the country or application and depends on the type of business working visas you have applied for. In any case, we advise that you look at the Home Office website at the time of application which will give you the current service levels.
How ICS Legal can advice and prepare your business visa application
Here at ICS Legal, we're experts in getting you a UK Business Visitor Visa. We will manage your application from start to finish, ensuring that it's done right the first time, avoiding costs in re-applying. To check whether you meet the requirements of a business visa, you can contact us on 0207 237 3388 or you can complete our free assessment, by clicking here.
If you are unsure and would like us to discuss your requirements to apply for a UK Business Visit Visa, call us today on 0207 237 3388 and one of our UK Immigration Lawyers can discuss your requirements.
Following the Immigration Act 2014 changes, there is no right to appeal and there is no administrative review of any negative decisions.
To ask a question or to arrange a telephone or an in-person consultation to discuss your UK Business Visit Visa application, please click here. We are 100% confident that our UK Immigration Lawyers will give you the confidence and the correct information related to the application of a UK Business Visitor's Visa.
Taking legal advice on a working visa in the UK
We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on which route to apply under the business visas and we find this is essential when considering working in the UK. You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.