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UK Business Visa Explained: Types, Documents And Application Process

Last Update: 16-05-2024

UK Business Visa

⚡Quick Summary

Do Indians need a visa to visit the UK for business?

Do Indians need a visa to visit the UK for business?

Yes, all Indian passport holders require a visa to visit the UK for business-related activities.

UK business visa processing time

UK business visa processing time

3 to 5 weeks

UK business visa fees

UK business visa fees

INR 12,527/-

UK business visa validity

UK business visa validity

6 Months

UK business visa stay duration

UK business visa stay duration

180 Days

How to apply for a UK business visa

How to apply for a UK business visa

  1. Apply through Teleport
  2. Apply through UK Government portal
Documents required for UK business visa

Documents required for UK business visa

  1. Passport
  2. Previous visas
  3. Visa Application Form
  4. Covering Letter from the Indian Company
  5. Invitation Letter From The UK Company
  6. Bank Statement (Last 3 months)
  7. Appointment Confirmation Letter
  8. Income-tax Returns/Form 16 (Last 3 years)
  9. Proof of Investments.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. What is a UK Business Visa?
  3. Who Needs a UK Business Visa?
  4. Eligibility Requirements for UK Business Visa
  5. Documents Required for UK Business Visa
  6. How to Apply for the UK Business Visa?
  7. UK Business Visa Fees
  8. How Long Does it Take to Process a UK Business Visa?
  9. Validity of the UK Business Visa
  10. How Can I Extend My UK Business Visa?
  11. Limitations and Restrictions on the UK Business Visa
  12. Conclusion
  13. FAQs

Introduction

Applying for a UK Business Visa might feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. This guide aims to demystify the process, making it clear and manageable. 

Whether you're aiming to seal deals in boardrooms or network at bustling trade fairs, understanding how to navigate the visa application process is key to your journey. 

We'll walk you through everything from meeting eligibility requirements to submitting your application via Teleport or VFS Global. Let's simplify the steps together, ensuring you step onto UK soil fully prepared for your business engagements.

What is a UK Business Visa?

A UK business visa, specifically the Standard Visitor visa for business purposes, allows individuals to visit the UK for various business-related activities. These activities include:

  • Attending meetings, conferences, and seminars.
  • Negotiating and signing business contracts.
  • Conducting site visits and inspections.
  • Participating in trade fairs for promotional work (provided no direct selling is involved).

The UK business visa does not permit employment or long-term residence in the UK. The duration of stay is typically up to 6 months, and applicants must prove they can support themselves financially during their visit without accessing public funds.

Who Needs a UK Business Visa?

Individuals who need a UK business visa include those planning to visit the UK for short-term business activities. This visa is required for non-UK residents, including:

  • Business professionals attending meetings, conferences, or seminars.
  • Entrepreneurs negotiating and signing business contracts.
  • Investors conducting site visits or inspections.
  • Representatives participating in trade fairs to promote their business (without direct selling).
  • Academics undertaking research or accompanying students on study abroad programs.

Essentially, anyone who intends to engage in short-term business-related activities in the UK needs to apply for this visa.

Eligibility Requirements for UK Business Visa

To be eligible for a UK business visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Valid Passport: You must have a valid passport or travel document that covers the duration of your stay in the UK.
  2. Intent to Leave: You will leave the UK at the end of your visit.
  3. Financial Support: You can support yourself and your dependents during your trip, or have funding from someone else to support you.
  4. Travel Costs: You can pay for your return or onward journey, or have funding from someone else to cover these costs.
  5. Temporary Stay: You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, and you will not make the UK your main home.

Documents Required for UK Business Visa

Mandatory Documents

Visa Application Form

A signed and filled visa application form

Passport

  • Valid for at least 6 months beyond the trip's duration
  • Must have at least 2 blank pages
  • Scan of the first and last pages of the passport
  • First and last pages of previous passport (if any), along with its travel history

Bank Statement (6 months)

  • Original bank statement for the past 6 months.
  • Should be signed and stamped, by the applicant and the sponsor (if applicable).
  • Should have a balance of at least € 150 per day of the trip per traveller. 
  • Any abrupt deposits into your savings account must be appropriately explained and justified.

ITR-V

Income Tax Return Verification of the past 3 years

Covering Letter from the Indian Company

  • Business Letterhead Covering Letter Addressed to the British High Commission, New Delhi. The letter should include the following:
  • Company Profile
  • Nature of Business Relationship
  • Applicant's Passport Name and Number
  • Company Designation
  • Visit Purpose and Duration
  • Expense Details
  • Duly stamped and signed by an authorised company representative.

Invitation Letter From The UK Company

  • Invitation Letter on Company Letterhead Addressed to The British High Commission, New Delhi. The letter should detail the:
  • Business Relationship between the Companies
  • Applicant's Passport Name and Number
  • Visit Purpose and Duration
  • Expense Information
  • Stamped and signed by an authorised representative.

Appointment Confirmation Letter

  • The appointment letter must include essential information such as the traveller's name, appointment date, time, and location.
  • Applicants must carry this letter with them to gain entry into the visa centre.

Checklist of Documents Uploaded on the UK portal

A visa file checklist document containing a detailed summary of all the documents uploaded to the portal, including relevant information.

Entry and exit passport stamps and previous visas held

Copy of entry-exit stamp pages in passport and visa stickers over the last 10 years.

Proof of Fixed Deposits, Property Investments, Other Investments etc.

Evidence of rental income receipt, interest earnings, and other income sources.

Supporting Documents

If Employed

Last 3 months' salary slips.

If Self-Employed

  • Submit a copy of either the Company Registration, GST Certificate, Memorandum of Association (MOA), or Partnership Deed.
  • Last 6 months company bank statement. The bank should have at least €  50-150 per day of the trip per traveller. 
  • Income Tax Return of the company for the last 3 years.

If Sponsored

  • Documentation of accessible and demonstrated available funds of the sponsor.
  • Should have balance of at least € 50-150 per day of the trip per traveller 
  • Proof of sponsorship and support, including specifics on the nature and method of support provided.

How to Apply for the UK Business Visa?

Apply for Your UK Visa Through Teleport

Teleport simplifies the process of applying for a UK visa. Here are the steps to follow for a streamlined application:

Step 1: Initiate Your UK Visa Application

Visit Teleport's UK visa application portal, find the section for UK Business visas, and click on 'Start Application.'

Step 2: Input Basic Information and Make Payment

Enter essential details such as your passport information. With Teleport, you can choose to fill in your details manually or have them automatically filled. You have the option to pay the entire visa fee or make a partial payment upfront.

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

A Teleport Relationship Manager will assist you in gathering all required documents for your UK business visa.

Step 4: Schedule an Appointment

Your Relationship Manager will book an appointment for you at the visa application centre and upload all necessary documents to the UK embassy website.

✅ Teleport ensures thorough verification of your application and documents before they are submitted to the embassy.

Step 5: Attend the Visa Application Centre

Bring your passport, appointment confirmation letter, and a document checklist to the visa centre to submit your biometrics. Your Relationship Manager will support you throughout this process.

✅ We will keep you updated on the status of your UK business and UK tourist visa application via our platform, WhatsApp messages, and emails. Once approved, your visa will be available for download from the Teleport Dashboard.

Apply for a UK Business Visa Through VFS Global

Step 1: Visa Type Research

Start by identifying the appropriate visa for your needs and confirming that you meet the necessary requirements for a UK business visa. Understand UK business visa requirements, processing times, and associated fees. Translate any non-English documents.

Step 2: Prepare Your Documents

Collect all necessary documents for a UK business visa.

Step 3: Submit Your UK Business Visa Application

Visit the UK Visas and Immigration website to apply for your visa.

Step 4: Visa Fee Payment

After filling out the application, pay the required fee. You will receive a GWF number, which is useful for tracking your application or making any necessary modifications.

Step 5: Book an Appointment

Following payment, go to the VFS Global site to arrange your UK visa appointment at a Visa Application Centre to submit your biometric data.

List of UK Visa VFS Centres in India

LocationDayOpening hours

Ahmedabad

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Bengaluru

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Chandigarh

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Chennai

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Cochin

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Coimbatore

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 14:00

Goa

Saturday

09:00 - 17:30

Gurgaon

Wednesday

09:00 - 16:00

Hyderabad

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Jaipur

Friday - Saturday

09:00 - 16:00

Jalandhar

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Kolkata

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Lucknow

Monday - Tuesday

09:00 - 16:00

Mumbai North

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Mumbai South

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

New Delhi

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Park Plaza Ludhiana

Monday and Wednesday

10:00 – 16:00

Pune

Monday - Friday

08:00 - 16:00

Radisson Blu Amritsar

Thursday

10:00 - 16:00

Radisson Blu Guwahati

Friday

10:00 - 16:00

Radisson Blu Vishakhapatnam

Friday | Saturday

11:00 - 17:00 | 12:30 - 18:00

Radisson Noida

Monday

09:00 - 16:00

Radisson Red Mohali

Thursday

09:00 – 16:00

The Gateway Hotel, Calicut

Saturday

10:00 – 15:00

Vivanta Mangalore

Saturday

09:00 – 14:00

Step 6: Document Upload

Digitally upload all necessary documents for your UK business visa application. You may use the Document Scanning Assistance at the Visa Application Centre for an additional charge.

Go to your scheduled appointment, submit your biometrics, and have your photograph taken. Ensure your passport has at least one blank page. Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Step 8: Visa Collection

After your application has been processed, retrieve your documents from the Visa Application Centre or opt for delivery at an additional cost.

Do not visit the Visa Application Centre until instructed. Bring your centre receipt and a valid government ID to collect your documents in person.

UK Business Visa Fees

Business Visa TypeFee TypeAmount

Visa with 6 months validity

Embassy Fees

INR 12,527/-

How Long Does it Take to Process a UK Business Visa?

The UK business visa processing time, which falls under the category of a Standard Visitor visa, is typically around 3 weeks. This timeframe begins when:

  • Identity Verification and Document Submission: You either use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to verify your identity and submit your documents and application online (if applicable), or
  • Biometric Information Submission: You attend your appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) to provide your fingerprints and a photograph.

The UK business visa processing time concludes when you receive a notification, either through a letter or email, informing you that a decision has been made on your application.

Extended Processing Times: Your application might require more time due to various factors such as:

  • Inaccuracies or necessary additional considerations in your application.
  • Requirements for further evidence (e.g., proof of funds).
  • Need for verification of supporting documents.
  • Requirement to attend an interview.
  • Need for more information about your personal circumstances, such as a criminal conviction.
  • Periods of high visa demand at UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

If additional information is needed for your visa application, UKVI will contact you via letter or email. It is essential not to visit the visa application centre until you have been prompted to do so, and there is no need to contact UKVI to track your application if it is still within the normal processing times.

Validity of the UK Business Visa

The UK business visa, categorised under the Standard Visitor visa, typically has the following characteristics:

  • Validity Period: 6 months
  • Stay Duration: Up to 180 days within the validity period
  • Entry Type: Can be issued as either single or multiple entry

This means you can enter the UK for business-related activities such as meetings, conferences, and short-term projects within the six months of the visa's validity. Depending on whether you have a single or multiple entry visa, you may enter the UK once or multiple times during the six-month period.

How Can I Extend My UK Business Visa?

To extend your UK business visa under the Standard Visitor visa category, you must follow specific guidelines. Here is a summary of the process and requirements:

Eligibility for Extension

  • General Rule: You can extend your stay only if your original permission was for less than 6 months, and the extension can only be up to a total stay of 6 months.
  • Specific Cases for Longer Extensions: Extensions beyond 6 months are typically only granted in special circumstances such as:
  • You are receiving medical treatment in the UK.
  • You are an academic and still meet the eligibility requirements.
  • You are a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or undergoing a clinical attachment.

Application Process

  1. Timing: You must apply while you are still in the UK and before your current visa or permission expires.
  2. Application Fee: The standard fee to extend your stay as a Standard Visitor is £1,000.
  3. Super Priority Service: An additional £1,000 if you choose to use the super priority service to get a faster decision.
  4. Biometric Information: You will need to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) as part of the application process. There is no additional fee for biometric enrollment.

Important Notes

  • Continuous Extensions: There is no limit on the number of times you can extend your stay for medical reasons, with each extension costing £1,000.
  • Documentation: Ensure that all required documents, especially those proving your eligibility for an extension, are well-prepared and submitted with your application.

Limitations and Restrictions on the UK Business Visa

The UK business visa, under the Standard Visitor category, permits a range of business-related activities for up to 6 months, but it also comes with certain limitations:

Permitted Activities:

  • General Business Activities: You can attend interviews, meetings, conferences, and seminars; negotiate and sign deals and contracts.
  • Trade Fairs: Participate in trade fairs to promote your business, without selling directly.
  • Work-Related Training: Receive training that's not available in your home country if employed overseas.
  • Speaking Engagements: Give talks, provided they're one-off or a short series and not part of a commercial event. Certain paid speaking engagements are allowed under 'permitted paid engagements'.
  • Site Visits and Inspections: Oversee operations, including site visits and inspections.
  • Internal Projects: Deliver training or share knowledge with UK employees of the company you work for overseas.
  • Technical Support: Install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, software, and hardware if your company has a contract with a UK entity.

Restrictions:

  • Employment: You cannot work for a UK company or self-employed in the UK unless it's a permitted paid engagement. Any other form of paid or unpaid work requires a work visa.
  • Business Activities Limit: Activities should be connected to your job role in your home country and should not extend beyond the scope of the visitor visa.

This visa is designed for those who need to conduct short-term business in the UK without entering the workforce or engaging in long-term employment. It's crucial to adhere strictly to the visa's limitations to avoid compliance issues.

Conclusion

This guide has broken down the process into digestible steps to help you apply with confidence. Remember, respecting the visa's limits and knowing what activities it permits can prevent any legal headaches.

For those looking at a longer stay, we've covered how to extend your visa in certain situations. Equipped with the right knowledge, you can approach the visa application process with ease. 

So, gather your documents, and let's make your business trip to the UK a reality!

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