How to Get a Business Visa in the UK

How to Get a Business Visa in the UK —Requirements and Eligibility 

Feb 20, 2024
Last Updated on Apr 18, 2024

If you are a non-UK resident willing to start your business in the UK, you must apply for a UK business visa. The eligibility and application procedure will depend on multiple factors, such as the type of business activities you wish to carry out, the kind of business you want to establish in the UK, the duration of your stay. 

As an effect of Brexit, the UK visa requirements and rules for EEA (European Economic Area) and non-EEA nationals are the same. Also, the CTA (Central Travel Area) ensures that no restrictions are put on Irish citizens who want to set up a business or work in the UK. 

A UK business visa allows interested individuals to stay in the UK and carry out overseas business-related activities. Under the present UK immigration business rules, there are several kinds of business visas,  The following categories allow for business activities:

  • Short-term business 
  • Standard visitor visa
  • Long-term UK business visa 
  • Global Talent Visa
  • Innovator Founder Visa
  • Global Mobility visa

If you want to know how to get a business visa in the UK, keep reading. 

Visiting the UK as a Standard Visitor for Business  

You can stay as a Standard visitor in the UK for business purposes for up to six months at a stretch, often without a visa. However, you will have permitted business activities to only partake in permitted activities, such as

  • Attending seminars, meetings, conferences, and interviews 
  • Negotiating and signing contracts and deals
  • Attending trade fairs that will promote your business (but you are not allowed to sell)
  • If you are employed overseas, and training is only available in the UK, then you can take it
  • Carrying out inspections and site visits
  • Sharing knowledge, etc

Here’s how to apply for a standard visitor visa:

You cannot apply more than 3 months in advance for your travel date as stated on the visit visa from UK. It will cost you £115, and you can stay for six months. You can also apply for a 2-year Standard Visitor visa for £400, a 5-year Standard Visitor visa for £771, and a 10-year Standard Visitor visa for £963. The maximum stay in the UK per visit will be capped at six months regardless of the type of Standard Visitor visa you apply for. You will need to book an appointment at a Visa application centre, where you need to provide your biometric information, identify proof, and other eligibility documentation. 

Long-term UK Business Visas

Non-UK residents who wish to stay in the UK on a long-term basis for business purposes can apply for the following types of visas:

  • Global Talent Visa
  • Innovator Founder Visa
  • Global Business Mobility 

You need to meet these UK business visa eligibility criteria and requirements. If “How do I start a business in the UK” commonly pops up, here is a detailed list of information:

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa replaces the Tier 1 Visa. If you are a potential leader or a leader in any one of the following areas, you can apply for the Global Talent visa:

  • Digital technology
  • Arts and Culture
  • Research or Academia

This visa will also allow you to live and work for up to 5 years in the UK as a self-employed person, the director of a company, or an employee. A relevant authority must endorse your application with expertise in your field, or you should have an eligible award stating your expertise. It would cost you £716 plus a healthcare surcharge. 

If you want to know how to start a business in the UK, you must first apply for a genuine visa route.

Applying for a Global Talent visa:

You can apply online for a Global Talent visa. You need to provide the following details:

  • A valid passport or any other document that shows your nationality and identity 
  • Proof of your relationship to your partner or children who are applying with you
  • A certified translation of documents that are not in Welsh or English
  • Tuberculosis test results if your country falls under the list where tests are required 

Eligibility Requirements 

To get your Global Talent visa, you need to have one of the following:

  • An eligible job offer as a researcher or an academic
  • An eligible award
  • A research grant approved by UKRI (UK Research and Innovation)
  • An individual fellowship

It may take around three weeks to process your application, but it may take longer, depending on your circumstances. 

Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder Visa replaces the old Innovator and Start-Up visas. If you are considering getting an entrepreneur visa in the UK, apply for the Innovator Founder Visa. This visa will enable you to live in the UK for three years and extend it again three years after the visa expiration. 

Applying for a visa outside of the UK will cost you £1,191 per person and £1,486 if you switch your key while living in the UK. You have to pay for the immigration health charge. 

People with different business minds often ask this question:” How to start a company in the UK“? Applying for an Innovator Founder visa is the right answer to their question. 

You can apply online for an Innovator Founder Visa by providing the following details:

  • An endorsement letter
  • Proof that you meet the English language requirement 
  • A valid passport or any other document that shows your nationality and identity 
  • Bank statements that show you had savings of a minimum of £1,270 for 28 consecutive days in your bank account 
  • A certified translation of documents that are not in Welsh or English
  • Tuberculosis test results if your country falls under the list where tests are required

It can take around three to eight weeks, depending on your type of application. 

You can apply for an Innovator Founder Visa if you have a new, innovative, viable, and scalable business idea. 

Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker Visa

The UK government designs UK expansion worker visas for senior business professionals and employees with exceptional talent in their fields. This visa route allows overseas businesses to transfer their extraordinary employees to establish a subsidiary or branch in the United Kingdom. 

If you are currently hired as a senior manager or specialist employee for an overseas company, then you can apply for Global Business Mobility. 

Let’s understand the financial requirements you need to meet:

  • Pay £298 as an application fee
  • Pay £624 as a healthcare surcharge 
  • Have at least £1,270 in your account 

Global Business Mobility visa is the answer to your often-asked question “how to start up a Business in UK:

  • The reference number of your sponsorship certificate 
  • Your annual salary and job title
  • The occupation code of your job
  • The name of your overseas firm, along with the sponsor licence number 
  • A valid passport or any other document that shows your nationality and identity

You may be asked to provide additional documentation or information. 

High Potential Individual Visa

You can opt for a high-potential visa if you have any doctoral qualifications. You must pay £210 for Ecctis to prove your stuff is valid and £822 as an application fee. Ecctis is a UK-based organisation that provides information, advice, and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide. Formerly known as UK NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre). You would also be required to pay £1,248 for two years as a healthcare surcharge or £1,872 for three years. You must also have a minimum of £1,270 in your account. Though it’s not a long-term visa, this route considered as a UK work visa. 

Here’s how you can apply for a High Potential Individual Visa:

You can apply for a High Potential Individual Visa online by providing the following documents:

  • Proof of Your English knowledge 
  • Proof that Ecctis verify your qualifications
  • Evidence of your immigration status or biometric residence permit
  • A valid passport or any other document that shows your nationality and identity
  • A certified translation of documents that are not in Welsh or English
  • Tuberculosis test results if your country falls under the list where tests are required

You must have a doctorate qualification from an eligible university or institution equivalent to a UK postgraduate degree, bachelor’s degree, doctorate, which must have been obtained in the last five years. 

Transform Your Business Together

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all visa for entrepreneurs and businesspeople. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!

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