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The Business Visitor is now a part of the 'Standard Visitor Visa' category. Applicants wishing to come to the UK to undertake short-term business activities can apply for a Business Visitor Visa. The acceptable business related activities includes: to attend meetings, including interviews or conferences, that have been arranged before coming to the UK; to arrange deals or to negotiate or to sign trade agreements or contracts; board level directors attending board meetings in the UK; visiting professors accompanying students undertaking study abroad programmes etc.

To be eligible to apply for the Business Visitor Visa, the applicant must be able to show that they want to visit the UK for not more than six(6) months to carry out business activities. They must prove that they can support themselves and any dependants financially whilst in the UK and have every intention to leave UK at the end of their visit.

Visa Entitlements

Successful applicants can stay in the UK for a maximum period of six (6) months at one visit. During this period, they may be allowed multiple entries to the UK.

Frequently asked questions

Does a non-visa national require a visitor visa?

Applicants who visa nationals need an entry clearance to enter the UK as a visitor. A non-visa national does not require an entry clearance prior to their entry, they need to satisfy the Immigration Authorities at the port of entry that they are a genuine visitor and intend to leave UK after their visa. Non-visa nationals may wish to apply for a visa where they are in doubt about their admissibility; for example, they may have been refused a visa / entry in the past, and should not be discouraged from applying.

What is the frequency and duration of visit?

There is no specific limit on the number of visits an applicant can make to the UK, such as a definitive rule which states that a visitor can only remain in the UK for ‘6 months in 12 month period’ rule. But visitors must not be living in the UK for extended periods because of frequent, successive visits and they cannot live in the UK on a continuous basis even if this is punctuated by short absences from the UK to avoid overstaying.

What is multiple visa entry?

Visit visas are normally valid for six (6) months, one (1) year, two (2) years and five (5) years. The visas are valid for unlimited journeys within the validity period of the visa. However, applicants of visit visas may only remain in the UK for a maximum of six (6) months on any one visit, or until the visa expires if less than six months. Applicants may not remain (without further permission) in the UK after the “valid until” date on the visit visa, even if this is less than six (6) months.

Processing Times?

In line with the Home Office service standards for processing UK visa applications, they decide 90 per cent of the applications within 3 weeks, 98 per cent within 6 weeks and 100 per cent within 12 weeks of the application date. Applicants apply for the Same Day at one of Public Enquiry Office (PEO) in the UK; the application is normally decided on the same day.

Government Fees?

Biometric Requirement?

Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area making certain applications to the Home Office have to apply for a biometric residence permit. This applies to both postal applications and applications made in person (known as ‘premium applications’). The biometric residence permit is a residence permit which holds a migrant’s biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK. This also means that a UK visa will no longer be stamped in applicant’s passport and all applicants will be issued one of the new Biometric visa cards instead. These cards look very similar to a (pink) UK driving license except they have a microchip on the back. Applicants who wish to extend their stay in the UK by post, the Home Office will send them a letter asking them to enrol their biometrics after the Home Office have received their application. Applicants will be able to enrol their biometric information one of the Post Offices offering this service across the UK using their walk-in service. Applicants who are submitting their application in person can do this at one of the Public Enquiry Offices by using the premium service. Applicants will enrol applicants’ biometric information at the same time as making their application. For application submitted overseas, the applicants have to provide their biometric enrolment at one of the Visa Facilitation Centres. However, they will continue to receive a sticker (vignette) in their passport.

Conditions of Stay?

Applicants will have the following conditions attached to their leave:

  • No recourse to public funds;
  • Intend to leave UK after the end of your stay;
  • No intention to work; or produce goods or study (unless a student visitor).

Can I get National Health Service (NHS) treatment?

Applicants are not allowed to enter or stay in the United Kingdom to receive free medical treatment from the NHS (National Health Service). They should ensure that they have enough medical insurance to cover their stay. However, the following NHS treatments are free of charge:-

  • Treatment given in an accident and emergency (A&E) department or in an NHS walk-in centre that provides services similar to those of an A&E department;
  • Treatment for certain infectious diseases (but for HIV/AIDS, only the first diagnosis and counselling that follows it are free);
  • Compulsory psychiatric treatment; and
  • Family planning services.
  • On a visitor visa, applicants may be able to register with a General Practitioner (GP) in their area and receive free treatment. The GP can decide whether or not to register them. They may not be able to receive the full range of hospital treatment, because they must be a permanent resident or have lived here for a year to qualify for it.