You are allowed to visit the UK as a Standard Visitor on business for up to six months.
As a Standard Visitor, you are allowed to engage in the following business-related activities:
Individuals seeking to undertake organised sporting activity should consider carefully which visa is most appopriate for their particular circumstances. If you are unsure which visa is right for you, please consult our dedicated page for sports visits to the UK or contact a member of our team.
Engaging in business activities as part of your overseas job
You can do certain additional activities in the UK as a Standard Visitor for business, if you are employed overseas in a role that requires you to perform specific work duties in the UK.
Below is a list of the overseas roles for which individuals are permitted to visit the UK as a Standard Visitor, in order to take part in activities relating to their overseas employment.
|Overseas role||Activity permitted in the UK as a Standard Visitor|
|An archaeologist||Archaeologists taking part in a one-off archaeological excavation|
|An artist, entertainer or musician||An artist, entertainer, or musician may:
(a) give performances as an individual or as part of a group; and
(b) take part in competitions or auditions; and
(c) make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; and
(d) take part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the list of permit free festivals in the Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Permit Free Festival List
|A bodyguard||Bodyguards may support an overseas business person in carrying out permitted activities, provided they will attend the same event(s) as the business person and are employed by them outside the UK. They must not be providing personal care or domestic work for the business person|
|A camera operator||A cameraman may gather information for an overseas publication, programme or film|
|A driver||Drivers on a genuine international route between the UK and a country outside the UK may:
(a) deliver or collect goods or passengers from a country outside the UK to the UK; and
(b) undertake cabotage operation
Drivers under PA 9.2. must be employed or contracted to an operator registered in a country outside the UK or be a self-employed operator and driver based outside the UK and the operator must hold an International Operators Licence or be operating on an own account basis
|An internal auditor||An internal auditor may carry out regulatory or financial audits at a UK branch of the same group of companies as the Visitor’s employer overseas|
|A journalist or correspondent||A journalist, correspondent, producer or cameraman gathering information for an overseas publication, programme or film|
|A lawyer or expert witness||An expert witness may visit the UK to give evidence in a UK court; other witnesses may attend a court hearing in the UK if summoned in person by a UK court.
An overseas lawyer may advise a UK based client on specific international litigation and/or an international transaction
|A market researcher or analyst||Market researchers and analysts may conduct market research or analysis for an enterprise located outside the UK|
|A personal assistant||Personal assistants may support an overseas business person in carrying out permitted activities, provided they will attend the same event(s) as the business person and are employed by them outside the UK. They must not be providing personal care or domestic work for the business person|
|A professor from an overseas academic institution||A professor from an overseas academic institution accompanying students to the UK as part of a study abroad programme, may provide a small amount of teaching to the students at the host organisation providing this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching role for that institution|
|A religious worker||Religious workers overseas may visit the UK to preach or do pastoral work|
|A scientist or researcher||Scientists and researchers may:
(a) gather information and facts for a specific project which directly relates to their employment overseas, or conduct independent research; and
(b) share knowledge or advise on an international project that is being led from the UK, provided the Visitor is not carrying out research in the UK
|A sports person or sports official||A sports person may:
(a) take part in a sports tournament or sports event as an individual or part of a team; and
(b) make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; and
(c) take part in trials provided they are not in front of a paying audience; and
(d) take part in short periods of training provided they are not being paid by a UK sporting body; and
(e) join an amateur team or club to gain experience in a particular sport if they are an amateur in that sport
|A tour group courier||A tour group courier, contracted to a company with its headquarters outside the UK, who is entering and departing the UK with a tour group organised by their company|
|A translator or interpreter||A translator and/or interpreter may translate and/or interpret in the UK as an employee of an enterprise located overseas|
|A member of a film crew, including actors, producers, directors or technicians||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 or other media content that is produced and financed overseas.|
|A member of the production team supporting an artist, entertainer or musician||Personal or technical staff or members of the production team of an artist, entertainer or musician may support the activities in PA 14.1. or Appendix V: Visitor at V13.3 (e) provided they are attending the same event as the artist, entertainer or musician, and are employed to work for them outside of the UK|
|A member of technical staff supporting an artist, entertainer, musician or sports person||Personal or technical staff of the sports person may support the activities in PA 15.1. or in Appendix V: Visitor at V 13.3.(f), if they are attending the same event as the sports person. Personal or technical staff of the sports person must be employed to work for the sports person outside the UK|
If you want to visit the UK to work for a UK-based business or as self-employed
- As a Standard Visitor, regardless of if you are on a visa or not, you cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK-based business or as a self-employed person. You need to apply for a worker visa if this is the case such as a Skilled Worker Visa or Health and Care Worker Visa.
- If you’re being paid by a UK organisation as an expert in your profession, you may be able to get permission to visit the UK for a Permitted Paid Engagement.
How much does it cost to visit the UK on business as a Standard Visitor?
Visiting the UK on business as a Standard Visitor for up to six months is free.
If you need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa, the fee is £115.
Travel to the UK for business checklist
- Ensure your reasons for your visit to the UK as a Standard Visitor for business are permitted
- Check that you also meet the basic eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor
- Check if you need to make an application for a Standard Visitor Visa
- If you visit the UK often, you can apply for a Long-term Standard Visitor Visa instead
If you’re unsure whether you need a visa or how to apply, you can seek advice from one of our qualified migration agents below.
Neveen is a UK Immigration Solicitor with over 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law. She represents corporate and individual clients seeking assistance with any visa category to the UK. Neveen is a graduate of Westminster University, from which she was awarded the 2021 Westminster Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.
Neveen’s rapid career trajectory saw her progress at pace from paralegal to Head of Department level, and then to earning a place on her firm’s Board of Directors by the age of 28. This achievement was recognised by Who’s Who placing her in their directory of ‘Britain’s Business Elite’ in 2008. Neveen then went on to establish her own boutique Immigration Law Firm in the City of London in 2015. She also co-founded the Hexagon Legal Network in 2017.
Neveen is passionate about all aspects of UK immigration law, and is committed to providing bespoke residence and citizenship solutions to citizens across the globe that wish to relocate to the UK. Neveen’s immigration advisory services are predominately geared towards highly skilled workers and companies wishing to have a UK presence, however she and her team of experienced immigration advisors can also assist with partner-based applications, student visas and all other personal and business immigration matters.
If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.