Business Visit Visa

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Business – general activities

A holder of a Business Visit Visa may.

(a) attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;

(b) give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;

(c) negotiate and sign deals and contracts;

(d) attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling;

(e) carry out site visits and inspections;

(f) gather information for their employment overseas;

(g) be briefed on the requirements of a UK-based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK.

Application & Eligibility ​

A business visitor must also meet the requirements of Appendix V.  In summary you must demonstrate that you are a genuine visitor meaning that you intend to leave the UK before the expiry of your visa and not breach the terms of your visa when here.  

If the Entry Clearance officer believes you intend to work in the UK or otherwise take paid employment it is likely to be refused. In addition, if the Entry Clearance officer has reason to believe you will remain beyond the time limit the application will not be successful.

To assist in your application the following documents are required.  This is not an exhaustive list and will change according to the specifics of your application.

  • Invitations on letterhead from the companies and people you intend to visit.
  • Your bank statements 
  • Evidence of occupation
  • Evidence of assets such as land, property, shares etc.
  • Evidence of where you will live during the intended period of your stay in the UK.
  • Evidence you can afford the cost of the trip and meet your expenses, flights, hotels, food, travel within the UK etc. 
  • If you stay with friends or relatives, mortgage statements or tenancy agreements would be essential.  

Nominated Individuals

It is very important to pick the nominated individuals carefully since the UKVI will carry out checks on everyone against the role they are nominated for.  

The nominated individuals must: 

  • Be based permanently in the UK 
  • Be either a paid member of your organisation or someone holding an official role 
  • Not work for you as a consultant or contractor on specific projects only 
  • Not be subject to bankruptcy restriction order or undertaking, or a debt relief restriction order or undertaking 

If the nominated persons are not suitable for either of the roles stated above, your licence will not be approved, or revoked if you already hold student sponsor status. 

The nominated individuals must not have: 

  • Any unspent criminal convictions 
  • A fine issued by UKVI in the past 12 months 
  • Breached any laws or been reported to UKVI

This type of visa is granted for a maximum of six months and the cost is £93.

For questions or more information on the nominated individual criteria, online application process, or correct relevant supporting documents, do not hesitate to contact our student sponsor guidance experts today for further advice. 

 

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Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies is a very important document which you must assign and issue to each international student you wish to enrol and sponsor within your institution. It is an electronic or virtual document containing important information about the international students personal, financial and course details. 

Once you have formally accepted an overseas individual for study at your institution, you must complete the process to draft, assign and generate the unique CAS document. Once issued, the CAS, which is also a digital document, links with UKVIs digital database. 

Once the CAS document is generated, it confirms that: 

  • You wish to sponsor the named overseas student for study in the UK at your chosen institution or campus 
  • The student satisfies the requirements for a CAS to be issued and they will be able to make a successful visa application  
  • You accept the responsibility to report to the UKVI any changes and progress to the individual’s study with your institution 

 

You must provide a copy of the unique CAS document to the correct student so that they may check it for any mistakes and if correct then apply for the correct type of student visa online. 

Without a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, an overseas student cannot submit a valid student visa application. Any application submitted without the CAS digital reference number will be rejected as invalid and not considered by the UKVI. 

With the Student Sponsor Licence application, you must estimate and provide the number of CAS required in the first year of your licence. This will include any new students that you wish to sponsor and any existing students (already in the UK) who you wish to apply for an extension visa. The limit of CAS you can request for the first year is 50% of your current UK National students, and this request must be supported with evidence. 

Licence fee and consideration

The fee for a Student Sponsor Licence is £536.00. 

When you have submitted the application, supporting documents and a signed submission sheet, your application will take up to 4 weeks to be decided. You will be notified by email reply when UKVI have reached a decision. 

In considering your application, the UKVI may decide to visit your institution at the address stated online or that confirmed in your application. During these visits, UKVI will check that all your sites meet the education standards in the UK.  

You must: 

  • Have achieved the required rating at a ‘student educational oversight inspection’; whereby a student educational oversight body will make this assessment in respect of all sites included in your student sponsor licence application; 
  • Have undergone a ‘statutory education inspection’; with all courses that you will be offering to international students having been considered as part of the inspection; or 
  • Be recognised as an overseas Higher Education Institution (publicly funded colleges and independent schools)

 

For the first 12 months after your licence is approved, you will have a probationary licence, in this time you must demonstrate further to UKVI that you can fulfil all the responsibilities and duties as a Student Sponsor Licence holder.  

Upon completing the initial 12-month probationary period you must apply for compliance assessment to confirm that you meet the core requirements to remain a Student Sponsor. To learn more about the annual Basic Compliance Assessment, please contact our team and ask to speak with someone in the student sponsor (corporate) team. 

Requirements to sponsor international students under the Student or Child Student routes

In considering your application, the UKVI will consider several factors including your history as an education provider, and the suitability of each person nominated for the roles stated above and involved in the day-to-day running of your organisation. 

As stated above, you must ensure prior to applying that you have been inspected and approved by the relevant educational oversight body. Most, if not all educational oversight inspections include the following requirements: 

  • Quality assurance, including academic governance; and 
  • Financial sustainability, management and governance 

 

Each provider must achieve and maintain the required rating when inspected by its educational oversight body, for the entire duration that it holds student sponsor status.  

For every successful student sponsor licence application, it is important to provide honest and credible information which can also be supported by evidence. This assesses your ability to act faithfully and ensures you fulfil the sponsorship duties.

Sponsorship duties and compliance are based on two important principles: 

  • Sponsorship is a privilege and not a right so those who obtain a student sponsor licence must help UKVI to prevent the system from being misused; and  
  • Student applicants must be eligible and have a reputable education provider who is able to assess this.

  

The types of documents that can be useful are your policies and processes, especially how student attendance is monitored. You must always have these on hand because the UKVI can visit you before deciding and if there are still any doubts it may refuse your application. 

Contact Our Lawyers

If you would like more advice or to discuss your visa application with one of our UK Visa specialists, you can contact our team of specialists on 0161 843 9000 or complete our enquiry form below.