How To Apply For The UK Business VISA

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UK Business VISA

The UK Business VISA is for people who intend to invest in the UK, or any other Business meetings.

It is an established fact, that the United Kingdom is a place where Business booms, and many Business people travel or settle in UK.

There are also different types of UK Business VISA.

UK Standard Visitor VISA For Businessperson

This particular type of VISA has replaced the previous Business visitor VISA, alongside with lots of UK VISA types.

It is for people who wish to travel to UK for short term business.

What Can I Do With A UK Standard Visitor VISA For Business Persons?

You can

  • 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.

How To Apply

Application process is the same as UK Standard visitor VISA.

Note: You can stay up to 6 months with a UK Standard visitor VISA.

Read: List Of Countries That Can Apply For The UK Visitor VISA

UK Innovator VISA

As there are positive minded investors all over the world, thinking of setting up a Business or running an already established Business in UK, the innovator VISA is available for them.

An investment fund of at least £50,000 is required for those wishing to set up a Business.

All Non-EEA And Non-Swiss Nationals Are Eligible Applicants

  • You must prove you have the necessary means of subsistence
  • Meet the English Language requirement
  • Be at least 18 years of age.

With a UK Innovator VISA, you can stay in the UK for up to three years, then apply for an extension before its expiration.

You can also apply for settlement in the UK after five years of stay with a UK Innovator VISA.

UK Start-Up VISA

You can also apply for a UK Start-up VISA, if you want to set up a Business in UK as a non-EEA and non-Swiss national.

The major 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.

Note: With a UK start-up VISA, you can stay in the UK for up to 2 years.

UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent VISA

Business VISA for UK

This is a UK VISA for people who have exceptional talent and are not citizens of EEA and Switzerland. If you’re endorsed as either a recognized leader, or an emerging leader and you are a foreigner, you stand a chance to work in the UK.

It is only for Citizen in countries outside the EEA and Switzerland.

Read: Requirements And Guidelines To Apply For Student VISA To Canada

Which Of The Field Can I Be Eligible To Apply?

You will need to be endorsed as a leader or emerging leader, in one of the following fields if you want to apply.

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Medicine
  • Digital technology
  • The arts
  • Fashion
  • Architecture
  • Film and Television.

How Can I Apply For A Tier 1 Exceptional Talent VISA?

You will need to complete some major procedures in order to acquire the Tier 2 exceptional Talent VISA. You will need to follow these steps for a successful process

  • Apply for endorsement at the website of the UK Home office, you will pay for endorsement fee.
  • Complete the application form online which is available at the website of the UK government.
  • Pay for your VISA fee online. The fees depend on your Nationality.
  • Pay the health surcharge online; the amount is between £800 and £1,400, depending on your age, nationality, and the VISA type you’re applying for.
  • Take tuberculosis test
  • Provide your biometrics (finger prints and facial photographs) at either the UK embassy in your Country of residence or a VISA application center representing the UK.
  • Submit the rest of the required documents.

Aside from the endorsement letter, which is the major document for a UK Exceptional Talent VISA application, the rest of the following documents are required.

  • Valid Passport with at least one blank page.
  • A printed copy of your endorsement letter.
  • Your tuberculosis test results, if applicable.
  • Certified translation of documents that are not in English or Welsh.

Note: The endorsement for a UK Tier 1 exception talent VISA, will be applied online at the UK home office website.

It is advisable to apply for the endorsement first, before applying for the VISA, because you might be rejected and your application will be turned down, you won’t be able to get back the endorsement fees and VISA fees you paid.

It will take about 8 weeks for the endorsement to be processed by the Home office.

Also note that if you are a digital technology specialist, you will also need to apply for a Tech Nation VISA endorsement.

If your application is successful, you will receive a copy of the endorsement letter on your email.

Read: How To Apply For A Canada Business VISA

When Do I Apply For The UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent VISA?

You should apply 3 months before the date of your travel to UK. You must apply for the VISA within 3 months of receiving your letter of endorsement from the Home office.

How much does the UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent VISA Cost?

UK Business VISA Application

The endorsement fee is £456 for all applicants, VISA fee is £152 for all applicants, except for Nationals of Turkey and North Macedonia, who need to pay a lower fee of £97.

The fee for bringing dependents over with you is £600 for each .

Note: The UK exceptional talent VISA takes about 11 weeks to be processed. It is valid for up to 5 years, but you can apply for extension when the VISA is about to expire. You can also apply for settlement after 3 years.

Things You can Do With The UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent VISA
  • You can work for an employer, as a Director of a Company or be self-employed.
  • You can change jobs without telling the Home Office.
  • Do voluntary work.
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK.
  • You are permitted to bring family members with you.

But you are not permitted to take any public funds, work as a doctor or dentist in training or work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

Can My Families Join me?

If you come to UK with an Exceptional Talent VISA, you can bring with you several family members. The following qualify:

  • Your partner.
  • Your child under 18.
  • Your child over 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependent.

You will have to pay £608 for every dependent that you want to bring over with you. In addition, you will have to pay the health surcharge for each.

UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA is a Business VISA given to residents of foreign Countries, who are Graduates and have been officially endorsed as having a credible and genuine Business idea, to come to the UK to live and establish their Business for one year.

Note: The following criteria must be met to apply for this VISA.

  • Don’t take any of public funds;
  • Be registered with the Police;
  • Don’t get a job in the UK as a doctor or dentist in training;
  • Don’t get a job in the UK as a professional sportsperson
  • Meet the condition to hold an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate – For candidates aged 18-over when given a VISA, or, who will become 18 before the termination of the VISA period.

Read: How To Apply For The Canada Immigration VISA

Who Should Apply?

The VISA is for foreign UK graduates, who are endorsed for entrepreneurial skills combined with genuine and brilliant Business ideas, and for foreign UK graduates recognized as elite global entrepreneurs, that want to open a Business in the UK.

They must not be Nationals of any of the European Economic Area (EEA) member states or Switzerland.

Persons from Foreign Countries who can apply for this type of VISA, must meet up with the following:

  • They must seek to start a Business in the UK within the within the following areas:
    • Sole ownership;
    • Partnership;
    • In a Business that is registered in the UK.
  • Must not come from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland;

How To Apply For This UK Business VISA

A foreigner can apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA in three different ways:

Applying for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA

This application is done when the candidate is out of the UK and seeks to enter the country. In this case, they need to apply for an Entry Clearance or VISA to enter in Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.

Switching into Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

This application is done when the candidate is within the UK with another temporary VISA (known as Leave to Remain) and wants to switch into Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur from such a VISA;

Extending their Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

This application is done when the candidate is within the UK with a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, and wants to stay even longer.

The application to extend the stay in the UK, should be done right before the end of the existing VISA period, not after the VISA has been expired.

Know that you cannot get an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – to settle in the UK with this VISA type.

Process of Application For UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA

Uk Business VISA

It has 2 stages of the VISA application,

  • The Endorsement (validation) – Where one of the following authorized bodies makes the endorsement:
  • Higher Education Institution (HEI) that is listed as an authorized endorsing body;
  • The Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of The Elite Global Graduate Entrepreneur Programme (Sirius)
  • The VISA Application for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
Stage 1: The Endorsement

A foreign graduate is not known for having a good and better Business idea, or as an elite global entrepreneur, if the aforementioned competent authorities do not endorse them first.

The endorsement letter is not a VISA-alike formal application, but is a document, which shows that the education, capabilities, ideas, creativity and entrepreneurial skills of the candidate are evaluated by competent establishments (UK HEI or DIT).

Read: How To Apply For A Tourist VISA To Canada

How To Get The Endorsement Letter From A UK Authorized HEI

An authorized UK HEI will only issue the endorsement letter, if a foreign UK graduate has:

  • A UK recognized Bachelor, Master or PhD Degree – As a replacement, a degree that is qualified as equal to that by NARIC is accepted also;
  • Genuine and Brilliant Business Idea;
  • The Readiness to Remain in The UK for Working and Developing in That Business Idea;

HEIs are allowed to endorse mostly 1,900 graduates in a year.

How To Get An Endorsement Letter From A DIT

  • Have a Degree that is equal to UK Bachelor Degree;
  • Have a properly Researched and Developed the Business Idea;
  • Answers Questions of the Application Form with information about the candidate, Business and team members;
  • Prepared a short Video to describe their Business Idea

DIT is allowed to endorse mostly 100 graduates during one year.

Stage 2: The VISA Application

The candidate must be able to comply with the conditions to get a VISA at this stage. The very moment the candidate gets the Letter of Endorsement (from any of the approved authorities), they are ready to apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA.

Note: The endorsement letter can be used within three months from the date of issuance, so the candidate must apply for the VISA in in line to that.

It doesn’t explain that the letter has to be extended after they get the VISA, because in case of a successful VISA application, the letter becomes valid for as long as the VISA is valid. In cases like this, extension of the period of this letter will be made at the time the candidate applies for VISA extension.

What Documents Will be needed for The UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA?

The following are expected of the applicant to fulfill;

  • Fulfill general requirements of application for UK VISA;
  • Pass general grounds for refusal;
  • Have 75 points for attributes
  • Have 10 points for understanding the English language – The Level of English equivalent to B1 level. The candidate is exempt from this requirement if:
  • The study program where they took their degree was held in English Language which is qualified by NARIC for equivalence with a UK Bachelor, Master or a PhD Degree;
  • They are endorsed by the same UK HEI where they took their university degree;
  • Was never issued the following VISAs:
  • Tier 1 (Post-Study Work);
  • As a participant in the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland;
  • As a participant in the International Graduates Scheme;
  • As a participant in the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme.
  • The unconditional written consent of the sponsor to the VISA application
  • Maintenance funds of £945 per month
  • Don’t have a history of overstaying in the UK.

What Are The Requirements Of Holders Of HEI Endorsement Letter?

If you have a valid HEI endorsement letter, you can apply, if posses

  • UK recognized Bachelor, Master or PhD Degree
  • Endorsement letter from an authorized HEI;
  • Approval letter from a financial sponsor – In cases when a candidate was a financially covered student from a Government or from an International Scholarship Awarding Institution (in the last year);

What Are The Requirements Of Holders Of DIT Endorsement Letter?

Persons who are endorsed from DIT must possess:

  • Degree equal to a UK Bachelor degree;
  • Endorsement letter from DIT;
  • Confirmation letter from NARIC – To confirm the equality of a foreign degree with a UK Degree.
Can I Apply For UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Extension VISA?

If a candidate wishes to stay longer in the UK as a graduate entrepreneur, beyond the period the existing VISA, he or she should apply for a Leave to Remain (LR) in Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur.

Note: The longest extra period one can get by a LR in this VISA category is six other years.

Here are the Requirements to Apply for UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Extension VISA

  • Fulfill the criteria to apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur;
  • Have 10 points minimum for maintenance – The candidate must give documents to evidence having £1,890 saved, to support himself financially while in the UK.
  • Should be a holder of a permit to work as a postdoctoral researcher (in the institution issuing the endorsement letter).

What Are The Requirements if I Want To Switch To The UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA?

You will need to fulfill the following;

  • Endorsement letter from an authorized HEI in UK;
  • Endorsement letter from DIT;
  • Maintenance funds of £945 per month – there is not needed to show maintenance funds if DIT Endorsement covers such costs for the candidate;
  • Unconditional written consent of the sponsor to the VISA application;
  • Bachelor, Master of PhD degree recognized in the UK;
  • Biometric Information (fingerprints and photos).

Financial Requirements For This UK Business VISA

If application is done from within the UK, the main applicants must show they have at least £945 per month, and £1,890 per month when applying from outside.

Moreover, they must show they have at least £945 per month for each of their applicant when applying from within the UK, and £1,890 per month when applying from outside.

Note: Money for Maintenance must be kept in the candidate’s Bank Account, for at least three months before the application.

Also, you will have to submit the following documents as evidence that you can support yourself and your dependents financially while in UK:

  • Personal Bank or other Financial Institution Statements – They must cover a period of three consecutive) months before the application
  • Financial Institution Pass Book – Covering the period of three consecutive months before the application
  • Letter from a Bank or other regulated Financial Institution – UK (FCA) or other home regulatory body must regulate Bank or Financial Institution for saving accounts;
  • DIT Endorsement Letter – If the candidate has a type of Endorsement from DIT, which also covers maintenance costs of the candidate and their dependents, then the they are not needed to give other documents to prove they have enough funds for living in the UK.

Note: The letter should include the period of three consecutive months before the application.

It must contain the name of the candidate, their account number, date of letter issuance, name and other official information of the issuing institution, and the amount of money in the account of the candidate.

When the money is in other foreign currency, they must be converted to pounds sterling.

Money must be held in the form of cash, both in a saving account or existing account.

How much Is The Cost of The UK Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA?

The Application Cost of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA, depends on whether you are applying from within or outside the UK.

There are also lower fees for Turkish and Macedonian Nationals.

Candidates that are applying from outside the UK will need to pay a fee of £349, aside of Turkish and Macedonian Nationals who will pay a lower fee of £294.

Whereas, every applicant will need to pay an extra £294 for each of their dependants, they are planning to bring to the UK.

On the other hand, if the applicant is already in the UK and is applying to switch to or extend their Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA, then they will have to pay a fee of £474, while Turkish and Macedonian citizens will have to pay a lower fee of £419.

As for dependants, each applicant needs to pay an amount of £474 for each of their dependants no matter of their Nationality.

The Endorsement Letter

The letter should provide the following information:

  • Reference number;
  • Date of issue and validity;
  • Applicant’s name, birthday, nationality, passport number;
  • Information for dependant) of the candidate (those inside the UK already and those seeking to join him);
  • Name and contact details of the endorsing institution;
  • Name and contact details of the authorizing body of the endorsing institution;
  • Name, degree level, date of taking the degree;
  • Information about the Business idea, including Business plan and the sector;
  • Reason for endorsement of the candidate;
  • Confirmation that the candidate’s Business idea is genuine and brilliant;
  • Confirmation that the candidate plans to remain in the UK in working and developing on that Business idea;
  • Confirmation that the endorsing institution is contented with the work made by the candidate in developing their Business idea (only needed to apply for LR)
  • Candidates who are Endorsed (given a Letter of Endorsement) from the same HEI where they took their Bachelor, Master or PhD Degree (before being endorsed), they are RELEASED from brining documents to prove their level of education (degree).
Candidates who hold a letter of endorsement issued by DTI or, from another UK HEI must also provide:
  • Awarding certificate of qualification – It must be original, with the name of the candidate, the title of the qualification, date of receiving it, the name of the issuing institution – if the candidate has graduated already
  • The academic certificate – It must be official and original, with the name of the candidate, title of qualification, date of receiving it (or date they will be receiving it), date of issuing certificate (if candidate yet has not undergone the graduation ceremony), a letter of confirmation from the issuing HEI for the impossibility to reproduce the certificate or awarding certificate of qualification – if the candidate has not undergone yet the graduation ceremony, or, if the Issuing body cannot reproduce the academic certificate;
  • The academic transcript – It must be original and official, with the name of the candidate and of issuing HEI, title of the course, and the confirmation of the award – if the awarding certificate of qualification cannot be reproduced
  • Academic reference from university – Is allowed as a substitute of aforementioned documents – The issuing university must be that where the candidate took their degree and IT IS TOLERABLE only for candidates who have a qualification in exceptional research areas, i.e., a doctor and they cannot provide original documents, yet such reference must include the aforementioned information.
Degrees not permitted for endorsement in Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur VISA are:
  • Foundation Degrees
  • Honorary Degrees
  • Qualifications Awarded in The UK By Overseas Awarding Bodies
  • Qualifications Undertaken at Overseas Campuses of UK Institutions
  • Professional and Vocational Qualifications
  • Postgraduate Certificates or Diplomas


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