1. Overview

You can apply for a Business Visitor visa if:

You can’t apply if you qualify for British citizenship - including if you can have dual nationality. You must apply for British citizenship instead.

Types of Business Visitor visas

There are 3 types of Business Visitor visa.

Business Visitor visa

This visa is for people working outside the UK who are coming to the UK to carry out activities relating to their job, eg conferences, meetings and training.

Academic visitor

This visa is for academic visitors - eg academics on sabbatical, doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme.

Doctors and dentists

This visa is for doctors and dentists undertaking clinical attachments or clinical observer posts, or taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

How long you can stay

This visa lasts for up to 6 months, or up to 1 year if you’re an academic visitor.

You can apply to extend your visa as long as the total time you spend in the UK is less than 6 months.

You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to make repeat visits over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

Family members of academic visitors

Family members of academic visitors can also apply to stay for 12 months. They’ll need to apply for a general visitor or child visitor visa.


Business Visitor visas cost £85 per person.

Long-term visit visa fees are:

  • 1 year - £324
  • 2 years - £324
  • 5 years - £588
  • 10 years - £737

What you can and can’t do

You can:

You can’t:

  • take other paid or unpaid work
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • get private medical treatment
  • get public funds

You can’t be an academic visitor if you’re on sabbatical leave from a private research company. You should apply for a visa under Tier 2 or Tier 5 - check what visa you need.