A lot of people from around the world visit the United Kingdom every year. Some go there as tourists, some as students, some to work and a few others for business purpose. There are different rules and parameters for each type of visitors. Also, rules vary for visitors from different countries. As is the case with any other country, every visitor needs a visa to enter UK. In this article here we will discuss rules, process and the processing time for obtaining UK business visa with special emphasis on UK business visa from India.
Types of UK Business Visa
UK business visa is categorized into two types-short term and long term business visa. Short term business visa or the standard visitor visa for temporary business purpose is valid for six months. The long term business visa for frequent business visitors is issued for a period of 2, 5 or 10 years. Unless specified as single or dual entry visa, you can enter the UK multiple number of times during the validity of the visa and can stay there for a maximum of 180 days on a single visit.
Activities Allowed Under Business Visa
According to United Kingdom Immigration Services a lot of activities are permitted on a business visa. People from around the world visit UK to attend conferences or meetings, arrange and negotiate deals, sign trade contracts and agreements. Visitors are also allowed to check details of goods they wish to import, on site visit, and for promotional activities. There are hosts of corporate and sector specific activities that are permitted on business visa. Exploring work opportunities and attending job interviews are also permitted.
Requirements for UK Business Visa
An applicant needs to specify a clear purpose of visiting the UK. The applicant has to prove that he/she:
- Is financially capable to support himself/herself during the stay
- Would leave the UK after the visit is officially over
- Is capable of meeting the cost of return or onward journey
Mandatory supporting documents, such as a valid passport, one recent photograph conforming to UKVI guidelines and if applying from a country other than the home country, proof of permission to be in that country are also required.
Additionally, documents establishing the purpose of the visit, last six months bank statement, proof of any immovable property in the home country, sponsorship documents if applicable, and evidence of family members in the home country are also required to be furnished.
Visa Processing Time
According to UKVI, processing time for non-settlement visa application, such as Business Visitors Visa Applications should take a maximum of 12 weeks or 60 working days with 90% of them being processed within 3 weeks or 15 working days.
Normally UK business visa processing time is around 15 days or at the most it is 30 days. Data available from different UKVACs across the world indicate that on an average around 50% of applications are processed within 5 working days. This can be attributed to the fact that a lot of business visitors apply via the priority visa service which expedites the processing. Under the normal procedure, visa processing time in 90% of the cases is between 10 to 15 working days. Only a small percentage of visa application processing is delayed beyond 15 working days.
However, the processing time of visa applicants may vary from country to country. Data collected randomly from UK Visa Application Centres in 15 countries show that the minimum processing time was 2 days and the maximum was 30 days.
Visa Application Process for Indians
Application for UK business visa from India can be made physically at the various visa application centres in the major cities or it can be done online.UK visa application can be made three months in advance before the planned date of travel to fix an appointment for an interview. If you wish to change the appointment date, you’ll have to submit a fresh application. It is, therefore, advisable to be extra careful when choosing the appointment date and time. You are required to submit a valid passport, visa fee receipt, two passport sized photograph and appointment confirmation letter along with the visa application.
If you have applied online, you will need to carry a self-attested copy of the online application form along with all the supporting documents mentioned in the form. If you have applied under the sponsorship category, you will have to carry the official sponsorship documents to the interview. Also, carry original and photocopies of your educational certificates, identity and address proof. If you want faster processing and approval of your visa application, you can apply through priority visa service.
Normally it doesn’t take more than 15 days to process your UK business visa from India. However, if you have been ever denied or over stayed your visa in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia or any of the 26 Schengen countries, then it may take a little longer to process your visa.
Amy Jones is an expert legal advisor working at Ahlawat & Associates, top law firms in India. She is one of the top Immigartion lawyers in India who loves to help people in UK immigration services.