Apply for a UK visa

Anyone from outside of the European Economic Area and Switzerland may need to apply for a UK visa to work in the UK or visit for business reasons.

UK immigration and visa rules for investors

UK immigration visa rules are clear and applying for a visa is straightforward. You need a visa if you are coming to the UK from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Before coming to the UK, you should:

There are more than 300 visa application centres worldwide, with application processing of less than 7 days available in more than 100 of them. In many countries, including India and China you can get a visa decision within 24 hours.

Services to help you get a UK business visa

The government can help you understand more about the UK’s visa system. Information online is available here. You can also contact us to find out more about the appropriate route for you.

Many companies in the UK can offer specific advice on the process for obtaining a visa. The UK government is working in partnership with the following companies;

The range of UK visas: quick guide

The type of visa you need depends on your situation and how you are applying.

A tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa may be suitable for you if you want to set up or run a business in the UK and meet eligibility requirements, such as having access to at least £50,000 investment funds. Learn more about tier 1 entrepreneur visas.

A tier 1 (exceptional talent) visa may be suitable for you if you are a recognised or emerging leader in science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology. Learn more about tier 1 (exceptional talent) visas.

A tier 2 (general) visa may be suitable for you if you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK. Learn more about tier 2 (general) visas.

A tier 2 (intra-company transfer) visa may be suitable for you if your overseas employer has offered you a role in a UK branch of the organisation. Learn more about tier 2 (intra-company transfer) visas.

Other types of visa

A representative of an overseas business visa may be suitable for you if you’re the sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company. Learn more about representative of an overseas business visas.

A standard visitor visa may be suitable you if you want to carry out certain business activities. There are restrictions on the type of activities in which they can take part. Learn more about the standard visitor visa.

You may need a sponsor licence if you wish to employ someone on a Tier 2 visa. Learn more about a Tier 2 sponsor licence.

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