Visit for Business
When visiting the UK for business activities, you need to
- Check if you need a visa to visit the UK
- Check you meet the eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor visa
- Apply for a Standard Visitor visa – if you need one
You can visit the UK for up to 6 months to do the following business activities:
- attend interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars
- negotiate and sign deals and contracts
- attend trade fairs to promote your business (you cannot sell things),
- get work-related training if you’re employed overseas and the training is not available in your home country,
- give a one-off or short series of talks as long as they’re not for profit or a commercial event (you must not be paid),
- carry out site visits and inspections,
- oversee the delivery of goods and services provided by a UK company to your overseas company or organisation,
- deliver training or share knowledge on internal projects with UK employees of the company you work for overseas,
- install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, computer software and hardware, if your overseas company has a contract with a UK company or organisation.
What additional activities can I do as part of an overseas job role?
You can do certain additional activities in the UK as a Standard Visitor, if you’re employed overseas as:
- an archaeologist
- an artist, entertainer or musician
- a bodyguard
- a camera operator
- a driver
- an internal auditor
- a journalist or correspondent
- a lawyer or expert witness
- a market researcher or analyst
- a personal assistant
- a professor from an overseas academic institution
- a religious worker
- a scientist or researcher
- a sports person or sports official
- a tour group courier
- a translator or interpreter
- a member of a film crew, including actors, producers, directors or technicians
- a member of the production team supporting an artist, entertainer or musician
- a member of technical staff supporting an artist, entertainer, musician or sports person
Check the Visitor Rules for details of what you can do as a Standard Visitor in these job roles.
Can I work in the UK on visit for business purposes?
You cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person as a visitor. You’ll need to apply for a work visa.
If you’re being paid by a UK organisation as an expert in your profession, you may get permission to visit the UK for a Permitted Paid Engagement.
UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa:
What is the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa?
The UK Permitted Paid Engagement is a UK short stay visa for foreign experts seeking to serve through your expertise in the UK. You can apply and visit the UK with a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa if you have been invited as an expert in your profession by a UK-based organisation or client not requiring a prior sponsoring employer.
What areas of expertise are covered by the visa?
You can be invited and paid by a UK-based organisation or client:
- as a professional artist, entertainer or musician
- as a professional sportsperson
- as a qualified lawyer – to represent a client
- to give a lecture or series of lectures
- as an academic – to be a student examiner or assessor
- as an air pilot examiner
- Before applying for the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa, you need to:
- Check if what you plan to do in the UK is allowed.
- Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
- Check if you need to apply for a visa to visit the UK.
- Prepare your invitation and other documents.
- Apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa online – if you need one.
What are the permitted activities on the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa?
The activities you can carry out depend on the area of your expertise. These can be found at
These are in addition all the permitted activities allowed as a Standard Visitor, except for studying and transiting to another country.
What are the non-permitted activities on the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa?
- do paid work unrelated to your main overseas job or area of expertise
- do self-employment jobs, internship related to studies, internships of other kinds or direct selling
- study – you can study in the UK as long as the study program lasts up to 30 calendar days. This is relevant, for as long as commitment in studies doesn’t affect your success of your expert work for which you were issued the visa.
- live in the UK for extended periods
- claim public funds (benefits)
- pass through the UK to another country (‘in transit’)
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership – you’ll need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa
what are the eligibility requirements for the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa?
To qualify for the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa you must be able to show that:
- you’ve been formally invited by a UK-based organisation to attend a pre-arranged event or other permitted engagement
- the event or engagement relates directly to your expertise, qualifications and main job in your home country
- you’re 18 or over
- you’re visiting the UK for no more than 1 month
- you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
- you’re able to support yourself during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
- you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey)
- you’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home
How to apply for the UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa?
Once you have decided you need to apply for a UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa, you can apply online.
A Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa costs £95 for up to 1 month. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
The application process is similar to that of the Standard Visitor visa. The following is further required for a UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa:
- official invitation from the UK host organization (the inviting organization has to be either an academic, creative, sport, research, or an aviation organization regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, or a client if you are a lawyer),
- proof of correlation between your expertise and the job you’ll work in the UK (if you are employed),
- confirmation letter of your current home-country employer (it must confirm the type of job you currently do, which must match the job you are expecting to get on your expert guest visit),
- proof of professional status.
- For the different job categories mentioned above, there are further documentations that you may need to provide. For instance, if you are visiting as a foreign examiner or a guest lecturer, you will also need to provide: proof of publications in your field of expertise and proof of earlier engagements as a lecturer in the same field.
Once you have submitted the application form online, you will be required to book an appointment at a visa application centre. At your appointment, you will be required to:
- Prove your identity with your passport or travel document
- Have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken
- Provide the required documents to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements
The documents provided in support of your application must be translated in English by a certified translation services providers if they are not already in English or Welsh. There may be further documentation that you will be required to submit depending on the specific circumstances of your purpose to visit.
How long does it take to get a decision on my application?
Once you have applied, it takes up to 3 weeks for a UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa to process. For a faster visa decision, you have to pay £212 or £956 to get a visa response in 5, or 1 working day.
You cannot stay in the UK with a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa more than 1 month. Likewise, you are not eligible to switch into a different UK visa type. With this visa, your relatives cannot accompany you, neither to join you after you arrive in the UK.
You’ll get an email or a letter containing the decision on your application. This will explain what you need to do next.
Why Adam Bernards?
- We understand the importance of making these applications and the impact they have on our clients’ lives. We balance sensitivity with professionalism to ensure that our clients’ meet their goals.
- Our team of best immigration solicitors in Central London and East London have years of experience in navigating the requirements under this route and will ensure that your application is comprehensively covered.
- We have achieved numerous clients settlement over the years as evidenced through our clients testimonies