The Visit (Standard) – Business visa is designed for non-EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK for the purpose of undertaking business activities.

Most visitors will need to make an application for a visit visa from their country of residence, before travelling. However, nationals of some countries are exempt from this requirement and can simply apply for leave to enter as a visitor at the UK border. It is important to check whether you are a non-visa national before you set off for the UK.

Requirements for a Visit (Standard) – Business Visa

In order to be granted a UK Visit (Standard) – Business visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you are a genuine visitor. This means that you:

  • will leave the UK at the end of your visit; and
  • will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home; and
  • are genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes and will not undertake any prohibited activities; and
  • have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit without working or accessing public funds.

Permitted purposes

Visit (Standard) – Business visa holders may undertake a wide range of business activities in the UK, including but not limited to:

General activities: attend meetings, conferences, seminars and 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; negotiate and sign deals and contracts; attend trade fairs for promotional (not selling) work; carry out site visits and inspections; gather information for an employer overseas; be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside the UK.

Intra-corporate activities: an employee of an overseas company may advise and consult, trouble-shoot, provide training, share skills and knowledge on a specific internal project with UK employees of the same corporate group, provided no work is carried out directly with clients.

Prospective Entrepreneur: a visitor who can show support from a registered venture capitalist firm regulated by the FCA, an approved seed funding competition or a UK government department may come to the UK for discussions to secure funding to join, set up or take over a business in the UK.

Creative: An artist, entertainer or musician may give performances as an individual or as part of a group; take part in competitions or auditions; make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; and take part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the list of permit free festivals. Personal or technical staff or members of the production team of an artist, entertainer or musician may support the above-mentioned activities, providing they are attending the same event as the artist, entertainer or musician, and are employed to work for them outside of the UK. Film crew (actor, producer, director or technician) employed by an overseas company may visit the UK to take part in a location shoot for a film or programme that is produced and financed overseas.

Sport: A sportsperson may take part in a sports tournament or sports event as an individual or part of a team; make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; take part in trials provided they are not in front of a paying audience; take part in short periods of training provided they are not being paid by a UK sporting body; and join an amateur team or club to gain experience in a particular sport. Personal or technical staff of the sports person, or sports officials, may support the activities mentioned above, if they are attending the same event as the sports person, and are employed to work for them outside the UK.

Overseas roles requiring specific activities in the UK: Individuals employed outside the UK may visit the UK to take part in a wide range of activities in relation to their employment overseas.

Visit (Standard) – Business visa holders may also visit friends and family and/or come to the UK for a holiday. They may also undertake a maximum of 30 days incidental study as set out in the Visit (Standard) – Short Term Study section and access private medical treatment, providing that they satisfy the additional requirements in the Visit (Standard) Private Medical Treatment section.

If you intend to get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK then you should apply for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit visa. If you intend to undertake a Permitted Paid Engagement then you should apply for a Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) Visit visa.

Prohibited activities

Visit (Standard) – Business visa holders are not permitted to work, receive payment from a UK source for any activities undertaken in the UK or undertake more than 30 days’ non-incidental study in the UK.

Sufficient Funds

You must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of your return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities.

Duration of Stay

A Visit (Standard) – Business visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. Within the period for which your visit visa is valid, you may enter and leave the UK multiple times, unless the visit visa is endorsed as a single or dual-entry visa.

Applying for a Business Visitor Visa UK

For expert legal advice and assistance with applying for a Visit (Standard) visa, contact our specialist immigration barristers and immigration lawyers in London on 0203 617 9173 or by e-mail to

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