You don't need a visa for some business and academic visits, but you must get a visa to work in the UK.

You may be able to come to the UK without a visa if you:

  • are invited as an expert in your profession
  • come for other business or academic activities

You may want to apply for a visa if you have a criminal record or you’ve previously been refused entry into the UK.

If you’re invited as an expert

You can stay in the UK for up to 1 month without a visa, but you can only be paid to do certain things, eg:

  • give guest lectures at a higher education institution
  • provide advocacy in legal proceedings
  • take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities

Check the full list of what you can be paid to do - it’s the same as what you can do on a Permitted Paid Engagement visa.

Documents you need

You must show officers at the UK border that you’re eligible for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa, even if you don’t need one.

Check which documents you must bring.

If you come for other business or academic activities

You can stay in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa, but you can only do certain academic or business-related activities, eg:

  • go to a conference, meeting or training
  • take part in a specific sports-related event
  • perform as an artist, entertainer or musician
  • do academic research or accompany students on a study abroad programme

Check the full list of what you can do - it’s the same as what you can do on a Standard Visitor visa.

Documents you need

You must show officers at the UK border that you’re eligible for a Standard Visitor visa, even if you don’t need one.

Check which documents you must bring.

If you want to work in the UK

Apply for a temporary worker visa if you want to work in the UK for a short time:

If your stay is less than 3 months

You don’t need a visa for qualifying work in sports, arts or entertainment if you’re coming to the UK for less than 3 months.

You must bring a certificate of sponsorship and evidence of savings to show officers at the UK border.