Business Visitor Visa UK – Advantages and Disadvantages
Business Visitor Visa for UK is a popular category. The UK is one of the prime destinations for business people from all over the world. London has recently been labelled the most attractive city in the world for employers and businesses and the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy. These factors, along with the country’s proximity to Europe and North America, make it a primary hub for business people who are attending meetings, conferences, or training.
Many people visiting the UK for business require a business visitor visa to enter the country. If you fall into this category, you will need to apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa prior to entry. This visa, which has replaced the former Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors, and dentists, permits you to conduct business activities and represent a foreign business in the UK.
The UK Standard Visitor Visa provides many advantages to non-EEA business people. However, there are disadvantages. An experienced immigration lawyer such as A Y & J Solicitors, after hearing your reasons for wanting to come to the UK, may advise that your objectives may be better served by acquiring a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.
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The Advantages of a UK Business Visitor Visa (Standard Visitor Visa for business-related activities)
You can stay in the UK for up to six months
The UK Standard Visitor Visa allows successful applicants to come to the UK to conduct permitted business activities for up to six months. For representatives of non-EEA based companies coming to scope out possibilities for UK expansion, carry out site visits or negotiate a large contract, this is a generous amount of time to allow for these activities. Prospective Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants and Tier 1 Investor Visa applicants may also use this time to investigate the UK market they plan to launch their start-up or invest in.
Business people can also study for up to 30 days, so long as this is not the main reason for the visit to the UK.
There are a number of permitted business activities attached to the UK Standard Visitor Visa
As well as those activities listed in the above paragraph, those using a UK Standard Visa for business purposes may:
- attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;
- give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;
- attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling;
- gather information about their employment overseas;
- be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK
- install, dismantle, repair, service, or advise on equipment, computer software or hardware if the company they work for has a supply or service contract with a UK-based company
In addition, scientists can gather facts and information for specific projects which relates to their overseas work, and artists and entertainers can give a performance or appear on an interview show to take part in promotional activities.
Disadvantages of the UK Business Visitor Visa (Standard Visitor Visa for business-related activities)
You cannot undertake paid work
If you wish to come to the UK to undertake paid work, even for less than six months, the UK Standard Visitor Visa will not provide an appropriate solution. Taking on paid work is not permitted under this visa category. Instead, our immigration lawyers would advise you to consider entering the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa or Tier 2 Intra-Company transfer Visa or a visa in the Tier 5 category.
If you wish to invest in a pre-existing company or launch a start-up, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa may be the best option. You will need £200,000 to invest in the venture and pass the Genuine Entrepreneur Test.
The advantage of working with an immigration lawyer from A Y & J Solicitors is we will get to know you and the reason you want to come to the UK and ensure if the UK Standard Visitor Visa does not assist you in your commercial objectives, we can advise you of the next best solution.
The refusal rate is high
Unfortunately, the refusal rate for a UK Standard Visitor Visa is high. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) often turn down applications because entry-clearance officers are not convinced applicants will leave the country at the end of the six-months or they plan to conduct unpermitted business activities during their stay.
It is therefore essential that if you need to come to the UK for an important meeting or conference, that you contact experienced solicitor for advice on your UK Standard Visitor Visa application. Our multi-lingual team understand the types of issues UKVI will refuse an application on and aim that your application contains none of the potential elements which can lead to a refusal. We have also helped Business Visitor in challenging the refusal successfully.
For non-EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK for business purposes, the UK Standard Visitor Visa provides a good length of time to undertake a variety of permitted business activities. However, it is recommended to seek the advice of an immigration specialist, to ensure the visa is fit for your commercial purposes.
A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.
Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.
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