Apply for a UK visa

    Anyone from outside of the European Economic Area and Switzerland may need to apply for a UK visa to work in the UK or visit for business reasons.

    Overview

    There are more than 200 visa application centres worldwide, with priority processing (3 to 7 days) in over 100 of them. The UK also offers a Super Priority Visa service providing a visa decision within 24 hours. This service is available in several countries including India and China.

    Check if you need a UK visa and if so, book an appointment at your nearest visa application centre.

    Understand the range of UK visas

    There are different types of visa for individuals and business depending on your situation. All of these visas are for people from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

    Visas For individuals

    A Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa may be suitable for you if:

    • you want to set up or run a business in the UK
    • you’re from outside the EEA and Switzerland
    • you meet the other eligibility requirements

    Learn more about Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas.

    A Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa may be suitable for you if you’re:

    • a recognised leader (exceptional talent)
    • an emerging leader (exceptional promise)

    Learn more about Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas.

    A Tier 2 (General) visa may be suitable for you if:

    • you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK

    Learn more about Tier 2 (General) visas.

    A Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) visa may be suitable for you if:

    • your overseas employer has offered you a role in a UK branch of the organisation

    Learn more about Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) visas.

    A Representative of an Overseas Business visa may be suitable for you if you’re:

    • the sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company
    • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK

    Learn more about Representative of an Overseas Business visas.

    A Standard Visitor visa may be suitable you if you wish to carry out limited business activities.

    There are restrictions on the type of activities in which they can take part (this has replaced the Business Visitor visa).

    Learn more about the Standard Visitor visa.

    For companies

    You may need a sponsor licence if you wish to employ someone on a Tier 2 visa.

    Learn more about a Tier 2 sponsor licence.

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