Header image for Passports and Visas

Passport & Visas

To come to the UK as a business visitor, you must be able to show that:

·      you are 18 or over;

·      you intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months (or 12 months if you are an academic visitor), unless you are a doctor taking the PLAB test (in which case you can apply to extend your stay and undertake a clinical attachment if you pass the PLAB test);

·      you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;

·      you have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or you and any dependants will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;

·      you are based abroad and do not intend to transfer your base to the UK, even temporarily;

·      you receive your salary from abroad (although it is acceptable for you to receive reasonable travel and subsistence expenses while you are in the UK);

·      not be replacing someone in the UK, including for temporary leave periods;

·      you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and

·      you are not in transit to a country outside the 'Common Travel Area' (Ireland, the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).

You must also be able to show that, during your visit, you do not intend to:

·      live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits;

·      take paid or unpaid employment, produce goods or provide services, including the selling of goods or services directly to members of the public;

·      do a course of study;

·      marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership; or

·      receive private medical treatment.

You will need a visa if you:

·      are a visa national; or

·      are stateless (you do not have a nationality); or

·      hold a non-national travel document (a travel document which does not give you the nationality of the country that issued it); or

·      hold a passport issued by an authority that is not recognised in the UK.

Even if you do not need a visa, you may decide that you should apply for one anyway .If you do not need a visa and you travel to the UK without one, the Documents page describes the documents that you should bring with you.

 We strongly advise you to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK if:

·      you have any unspent criminal convictions in any country, including the UK;

·      you have previously been refused entry, deported or otherwise removed from the UK;

·      you have breached the terms of any previous entry to the UK (for example, by working illegally or staying here after your permission to stay expired);

·      you have previously applied for a visa and been refused; or

·      you have been warned by a UK official that you should obtain a visa before you travel to the UK. 

If you apply for a visa, you should provide these documents with your visa application. If you travel to the UK without a visa, you should bring them with you so that you can show them to our officers at the border.

You should provide as many relevant documents as you can to show that you qualify for entry to the UK. If you do not provide them, we may refuse your application.

You must decide which documents will best support your application. We advise you to consider providing documents that contain:

·      information about you

·      information about your finances and employment

·      your accommodation and travel details

·      information about your visit to the UK

 If you cannot show that you meet the requirements for a general visitor, our officers at the UK border may refuse to let you enter the UK.

For further information see: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/business/

Download the UK Guide to Supporing Documents from the UK Border Agency here