United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The below provides a high level summary of immigration requirements for the United Kingdom. Whether a traveler may enter as a business visitor or requires a work permit depends on the traveler's nationality, duration of stay and activities in the country.

Allowable Activities

  • Attending business meetings, discussions and/or trade fairs
  • Arranging business deals for an employer outside the UK
  • Gathering information or conducting site visits

Basic Requirements

To be considered a business visitor, the foreign national must show:

  • That the purpose of the visit is limited, specific and determined prior to applying
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months from expected date of entry for visa issuance
  • Intention to leave the U.K. at the end of the specified period of visit

Maximum Period Stay

The maximum period of stay in the UK as a business visitor is six months in any 12-month period. Non-visa nationals are normally granted six months entry as a business visitor on arrival in the UK. Visitors may not apply to extend their stay in the UK beyond six months, except in special circumstances.

Work Permit Types

The United Kingdom has a tiered work permit system.  One of the most common work permit categories used by business in the UK is the Tier 2 work permit, which includes the Intracompany Transfer (ICT) and General subcategories, among others.

Maximum Period Stay

The maximum amount of time a foreign national is authorized to work in the UK on a Tier 2 permit varies based on the sub-category. The maximum stay under both the ICT and General categories is generally five years.