UK Business Visa For Indians - UK Business Visa Requirements, Costs, and Applications


9 min read

The United Kingdom is an island country consisting of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It is one of the most influential nations in the world, birthing the English language, having a long history and giving rise to many talented writers. The UK is now famous for being a global business hotspot, where people from all over the world come to make the most of entrepreneurship. For Indians, this is a must-go-to place for business, but to get there you will first need a UK business visa from India.

What Is The UK Business Visa?

The UK Business Visa is a specialized type of visa that allows foreign business people and workers to travel to the UK for the sake of business motives, especially if this business involves UK citizens. It is a visa that allows holders to stay in the United Kingdom for 6 months at a time, which is about 180 days.

In general business visas make commerce and trade much easier between foreign countries. However those with a business visa are not allowed to carry out business ventures that amount to any form of employment or work. For example, with a business visa you will be able to have activities such as meetings, plan new opportunities for your business, and hold conferences, but you will not be able to find employment in the country you are visiting with the business visa.

The Types Of UK Business Visas

There are different types of UK Business Visas, each with their own purpose and perks, such as the Start-up visa, the Standard Visitor visa, the Innovator visa, the Representative of an Overseas visa, the investor visa, the Graduate Entrepreneur visa, and the Exceptional Talent visa. But for the sake of this blog we will be sticking to the Standard Visitor Visa which is the most applied for UK Business visa and allows holders to do general business in the UK.

It can be a tricky task to determine and decide which UK business visa is right for you and your travels, much less which visa services you should use, not to mention having to go through the whole application process. Luckily Atlys makes it easier for you, making the whole process less than 10 minutes. That way you can spend more time traveling and less time worrying.

The Business Visa To UK From India - Everything You Need To Know

Every country and every visa has its own requirements and processes, and the UK Business Visa for Indians is no different.

Who Can Apply For The UK Business Visa?

There are plenty of countries that do not even need a visa to enter the UK such as Australia, all countries in Europe, Canada, and the United States. However, India, along with countries like South Africa, Mali, Kenya and Egypt require a visa to enter the UK. Therefore Indians who are business people, investors, or entrepreneurs need to apply for the business visa from UK to India.

What Activities Can I Do With A Business Visa In The UK?

While you are in the UK on a business visa, you will be able to host and partake in business-related activities since that will be the intent of your visit. These activities include:

  • Business purposes such as meetings, interviews, and conferences

  • Discussing deals or contracts, as well as signing them

  • Visiting work sites for any necessary inspection

  • Having business events that are non-profitable

  • Having trade fairs but with no selling of products or services

  • Collecting information about international employment

However, you may not seek employment, provide goods or services, work for any organization, directly sell products to the public, or partake in an internship while in the UK on a business visa.

Where Can I Apply For The UK Business Visa From India?

As an Indian citizen, you can apply for the business visa from UK to India at a United Kingdom embassy or consulate, through VFS, or a legitimate visa or travel agency. Note that the application form for the UK business visa is strictly online so make sure you have the digital means to apply.

What Is The Processing Time?

On average the visa processing time for successful applications take between 3 and 5 days, yet sometimes it may take up to three weeks for an application to complete processing. Certain issues can cause your application to be processed for longer such as:

  • Personal circumstances (a criminal record, or debt for instance)

  • Not yet attending a visa appointment

  • Your documents are yet to be verified

What Are The Financial Requirements And Costs?

You will need to provide a bank statement for yourself and your company or business which shows that you are financially able to provide for yourself while in the UK on your business trip.

A visa fee of about 9,500(INR) to 10,000(INR) will need to be paid once you have submitted your business visa application.

In addition there is also the cost of staying in the UK, covering food, transportation, and living arrangements. Daily costs for these items are about 11,600(INR) for one person, with a month in the UK costing about 690,000(INR).

What Are The Requirements For The Business Visa To UK From India

In order to apply for the UK business visa there is a set of requirements that you will have to meet. Meeting these requirements will improve your eligibility for the business visa to the UK from India; without them you will not be able to have your application processed or accepted.

  • You must be 18 years or older

  • You must be an Indian passport holder

  • You must schedule and attend an appointment at a visa application center, and also have your biometric information

  • You must be be physically healthy (a basic health test might be done on arrival at the UK)

  • Be able to support yourself financially

  • You can provide proof of a business and business activities you will partake in while in the UK

  • You are able to pay for both the arrival and return flight

  • You intend to leave the UK after your business ventures

  • You need to have an invitation letter from a valid company which you plan to do business with

  • Proof of strong ties to your home country India (this shows that you will return back to India

  • Be a genuine traveler (in some cases you may be required to submit a Police Clearance Certificate to prove this)

What Documents Are Needed To Apply For The UK Business Visa

It is crucial that you present the correct documents when applying for your UK business visa from India, and that all these documents have the right information. Incorrect documents or incorrect information will result in your application being rejected.

  • An original passport which is valid for 6 months after the visa expires, as well as an old passport if applicable

  • Proof of travel history, travel itinerary, hotel bookings, and hotel itinerary (this shows you have a plan for your travels as well as a place to stay during your duration in the UK)

  • Proof of flight bookings (to the UK and returning from the UK. This shows that you intend to leave the country and not exceed your stay after business is done)

  • An online visa application form that is completed

  • An invitation letter from the respective business or company in the UK (this serves as evidence that you are in fact traveling for the sake of business and nothing else)

  • 2 recent passport sized photographs of yourself

  • Financial documents of your business in India, including a valid bank statement with 6 months of signed turnover

  • A cover letter from your business in India (this is to show that there is some kind of relation to your business in the UK and it is legitimate)

  • Proof of Income Tax Returns for the past 3 years

  • Proof of personal finances such as a bank statement (this serves as proof that you can financially cater to yourself during the trip)

  • If you are employed: pay slips covering the past 3 months, a leave letter, and an employment contract

  • If you are a company owner or self-employed: 2 letterheads and the business/company registration certificate

How To Apply For The UK Business Visa

Step 1: Complete Your Business Visa Application Form Online

You will need to first complete your visa application form online. This needs to be done 3 months in advance before you travel to the UK. You can either apply through VFS, a reputable visa agency, or via your local Indian government, or embassy. Keep in mind that you will need to apply for this visa while you are outside of the UK and make sure you have the correct visa information for your UK visa application.

Step 2: Submit Your Documents

After completing your online visa application form, you will need to submit the required documents. Make sure that you submit all of them with the correct personal information so that your application is eligible for acceptance.

Step 3: Schedule and Attend A Visa Appointment

A visa appointment is another important part of the visa application process. A visa appointment can be made online through VFS, and the appointment will take place at a visa application center near you. At the appointment you will need to bring your documents; your biometric information will also be captured such as your fingerprints and a photograph of your face.

Step 4: Collect Your UK Business Visa

Once you have completed the previous three steps and have your application submitted, you will need to have some patience and wait for your business visa to the UK from India. It takes about three weeks for the authorities from the visa application center, or wherever you applied, to be in touch with you about the final decision, however successful applications can take just a few days.

And just like that you are ready to do business in the United Kingdom!

Written By: Vida Owusu
Fact Checked By: Naya Kumar

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Business Visa And A Work Visa?

A business visa and a work visa may sometimes be confused for one another, but there is a difference between the two. The business visa is short-term for those you intend to do business in a foreign country but business that does not contribute to any sort of employment.

On the other hand, a work visa is a long-term visa that allows foreigners to work in another country and have access to employment while they are there. This includes full employment, working under a contract, and gaining an income.

What To Do If Your UK Business Visa From India Is Rejected

Either a letter or an email will be sent to you if your UK business visa is rejected. From there you will either be able to make an immigration decision appeal or review your application to see what went wrong.

When it comes to making an appeal, you will be told in the letter or email you receive if you are eligible to do so. Majority of the time, you will be able to make your appeal online to British authorities where it will be dealt with quicker. After submitting your appeal, you will need to add supporting documents, ask for a hearing, and then get feedback on your appeal.

Why Your UK Business Visa From India May Be Rejected

Visas can be rejected for a number of reasons. In most cases a business visa being rejected is due to mundane problems like documents not being valid, or forms are not filled in correctly. Another reason that a business visa could be rejected is because of dishonesties in your application, not meeting the visa requirements, a criminal record, not stating your purpose for traveling clearly, leaving blank spaces in your form, not being able to meet financial requirements, violating laws during your previous visit to the UK, and applying for the wrong kind of visa for your travel purposes.

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