UK Business Visas | A 2023/24 Application Guide

UK business visa


Focus Area Key Takeaway
Visa Types Choose the right UK business visa type based on your professional needs
Fees Be aware of the fee structure and the upcoming fee increase
Application Process Seek professional guidance to ensure a successful application
Documentation Gather all necessary documentation in advance


The United Kingdom has long been a hub for international business, making it a desirable destination for entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals from around the globe. Obtaining a UK business visa is a crucial step towards launching or expanding your business ventures in the UK. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the UK business visa process, including the different types of business visas available, fee structures, challenges in visa acquisition, and much more.

Understanding Different Business Visa Types

The UK offers a variety of business visas to cater to different professional needs.

Here are some of the prominent business visa types:

  • Business Visitor Visa: Ideal for individuals looking to attend meetings, conferences or short-term business engagements in the UK.
  • UK Start-Up Visa: Perfect for early-stage entrepreneurs looking to establish a business in the UK.
  • UK Expansion Worker Visa: Designed for individuals tasked with expanding a foreign business into the UK market.

Each of these visas has its set of requirements, eligibility criteria, and benefits, which are crucial to understand before embarking on the application journey.

UK Business visa Fees Structure

Understanding the cost associated with applying for a business visa is crucial as it aids in financial planning for your UK venture. The fees for UK business visas vary based on the type of visa you are applying for. As of 2023, the visa fees for work visas in the UK are £259 for Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, £259 for Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker) visa, and £626 for the Tier 2 (General) visa. It’s noteworthy to mention that there will be a fee increase effective from 4 October 2023.

This includes a 15% increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, and at least a 20% increase in the cost of priority visas, study visas, and Certificates of Sponsorship.

For a more detailed breakdown of the fee structure, you can visit our Fees page.


What Is The National Success Rate For Business Visas?

The success rate for UK business visa applications has shown promising trends. In the year ending March 2023, the number of work visas granted to main applicants significantly increased, totalling 299,891 grants. This was a 61% rise from the previous year, mainly due to the increasing demand for skilled worker visas. Additionally, from 2019 to 2022, the average success rate for the UK Start-up visa was 89.58%, and for the UK Innovator visa, it was 87.8%.


Visa Type

National Success Rate

Start-Up 89.58%
Innovator 87.8%

Starting The the Application Journey

Initiating the application process for a UK business visa requires thorough preparation. Meeting the specific requirements, proving your identity, and awaiting the application decision are crucial steps in this journey. It’s advisable to seek professional guidance to ensure all your documentation is in order and to improve the likelihood of a successful application.

Gathering the Necessary Documentation

Before applying, gather all the necessary documentation. This typically includes a valid passport, recent photographs, proof of enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, and for an Innovator Visa, having at least £50,000 in investment funds.


Venturing into the UK business landscape can be a rewarding experience, opening doors to numerous opportunities. However, navigating the visa application process can be challenging. Being well-informed about the different business visa types, fee structure, and application process, along with having all the necessary documentation ready, can significantly smooth your path to obtaining a UK business visa.

Final Recap Table:

Focus Area Key Points
Visa Types Business Visitor, Short-term Business, Innovator, Start-up, Global Business Mobility visas
Fees £259 for Tier 5 visas, £626 for Tier 2 (General) visa; Fee increase from 4 October 2023
Challenges Restrictive new visa schemes; success rate varies
Success Rate Significant increase in work visas granted; Average success rates: 89.58% for Start-up visa, 87.8% for Innovator visa
Application Process Meeting specific requirements, proving identity, awaiting application decision
Documentation Valid passport, recent photographs, personal savings, investment funds for Innovator visa

Your journey towards securing a UK business visa is a meticulous process, but with the right guidance and preparation, you are one step closer to realising your business aspirations in the UK.


uk business visa infographic