Types of UK Business Visas

The UK Business visa category is to attract successful business people to come and invest in the UK

The UK is a country where business is continuously blooming, thus luring foreign businesspersons and investors.

Due to the high interest of business people to travel or settle in the UK, there is a variety of UK Business visas, as follows:

  • Standard visitor visa for businesspeople.
  • Innovator visa.
  • Start-up visa.
  • Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1).
  • Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1).
  • Investor visa (Tier 1).
  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa.
  • Turkish Businessperson visa.

UK Standard Visitor Visa for Businesspersons

The UK Standard Visitor Visa has replaced the previous Business Visitor Visa, alongside with several UK visa types. Persons who wish to travel to the UK for business, for short-term can apply for this visa.

The main activities that a businessperson visiting the UK on a Standard visitor visa can perform are as follows:

  • Attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews within the UK.
  • Give a non-commercial non-profitable one-off or short series of talks and speeches.
  • Negotiate and sign deals and contracts.
  • Attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling.
  • Carry out site visits and inspections.
  • Gather information for 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.

You can stay in the UK for up to 6 months with a UK Standard Visitor Visa.

>> Learn more how to apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa!

UK Innovator Visa

The UK innovator visa is for investors who want to set up a business in the UK or run an already established business in the UK. Eligible for application are all non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals. For those wishing to set up a business, an investment fund of at least £50,000 is required.

There are other eligibility criteria as well. If you are applying for this visa, you should prove you have the necessary means of subsistence, meet the English Language requirement and be at least 18 years of age.

You can stay in the UK for up to three years with a UK Innovator Visa. You can then apply for an extension before its expiration. After five years in the UK with this visa, you can apply for settlement in the UK.

UK Start-Up Visa

If you want to set up a business in the UK as a non-EEA and non-Swiss national, you can apply for a UK Start-Up Visa.

The main criterion is that you must be endorsed by an authorized body, that is either a UK higher education institution, or a business organization with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.

You can stay in the UK for up to 2 years with a UK Start-Up Visa.

UK Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1)

If you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed as a recognized leader or an emerging leader, you can apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.

The application process consists of two main steps: 1) endorsement by the home office 2) Visa application.

You can stay in the UK for up to 5 years and 4 months if you apply outside the UK and for up to 5 years if you apply inside the UK.


UK Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa is for graduates who have been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea. The Graduate must have been endorsed by a UK higher education body or the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of the elite global graduate entrepreneur program.

The Tier 1 Gradate Entrepreneur visa  permits you to stay in the UK for one year on a Tier 1. You can extend the visa for another year.

UK Investor visa (Tier 1)

You can apply for a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa if you want to invest at least £2,000,000 in the UK, and you are a non-EEA and non-Swiss citizen.

You can remain in the UK with a Tier Investor Visa for up to 3 years and 4 months. You can also extend the visa for another 2 years.Representative of an Overseas Business UK visa

You can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa if you are from outside of the EEA and Switzerland. You must meet one of the following:

  • You are the only representative of an overseas company which is planning to set up a branch in the UK or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company.
  • You are an employee of an overseas medium, as a newspaper, a news agency or a broadcasting organization, with a long-term assignment in the UK.

This visa enables you to stay in the UK for an initial period of 3 years. You can then apply for an extension of two years. After five years in the UK, you can apply for settlement.

UK Turkish Businessperson visa

Turkish nationals that want to start a new business in the UK or to help run an established business in the UK need to apply for a Turkish Businessperson visa.

There is no visa fee, and the initial permitted period of stay is for 12 months.  The applicant can then extend the visa for another three years.

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