Immigration Business Visitor – Tips for Employers


business visitor visa

Activities in which they can engage – remember that your business visitor must retain strong ties abroad when visiting here for business and that they can’t engage in productive work while here. What they can engage in, however, includes:

  • meetings
  • interviews
  • site visits
  • specialist software / IT installation
  • manufacturers installing specialist machinery
  • translating
  • Board-level Directors attending meetings
  • Secondees – where there is no common ownership between the hosting and the seconding organisations but where contractual relations exist (this category sounds broad but it is quite specific)
  • Advisors – where a link between the advising and advised organisation needs to exist
  • Internal Auditors – this is a recent addition; foreign auditors can come as business visitors but only to audit their internal UK clients, NOT any others

Sticks and stones may hurt your bones but words and wording matters: it is crucial for your business visitor to use the correct wording when faced with an immigration officer enquiring after the nature of their visit to the UK. You must ensure you brief them well and be clear they do not say they will be working here. Although they will be engaged in meetings related to their work and area of expertise, they are not here to work under that capacity and fill a position of a resident worker. As such, they must be clear to explain whether they are attending a meeting, interview, etc., as specified above

Frequent Business Visitor Travellers: the Border force will query further if someone is a frequent business visitor. Please ensure they carry evidence from you, in the form of a letter detailing the reason for their travel as well as direct contact details (name, direct dial etc) of appropriate person within the organisation who is aware and responsible for the nature of their visit. This will avoid any delays and ensure immigration officials speak to the right person should they have further questions. Also, remind your business visitor that it is their responsibility not to stay here over 6 months (even if on a 12 month visa) and that they do not use this visa as a means to live in the UK. Alongside your letter, ensure they also carry evidence of their ties to the country of origin / country to where they work and will return.

What if they buy a property in the UK ? – we have many Business visitor clients who often buy a flat here due to the frequency of their business visits, though they are permanently based abroad. If this is a case with your business visitors, please ensure they carry evidence (e.g. property and family abroad, etc) of their ties to the home country.


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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