Fewer overseas business visas granted in the UK

The number of overseas business visas granted to individuals belonging to overseas businesses has fallen in the UK since last year’s Brexit vote, new figures show.

According to law firm Collyer Bristow, just 125 visas were granted to individuals representing foreign businesses in the year ending March 2017. This is down 11 per cent from the 140 that were handed out in the previous year.

However, while successful applications for this visa were down, the number of applications made for overseas business visas was actually up by 33 per cent.

Collyer Bristow said the impact of Brexit, and the stricter reviews that have been carried out regarding immigration in the wake of last year’s referendum, are reasons behind the fall in visa approvals.

Workers from Australia and the United States were granted the most overseas business visas in this period (20 apiece), followed by those from China, India (15 each) and Japan (10).

“More visas have been applied for year on year, but far fewer have been granted since the Brexit vote,” said James Badcock of Collyer Bristow. “The figures suggest the Home Office has clamped down on overseas business visas since the vote. Overseas business visas can serve a valuable function in attracting often high-profit businesses from other countries to the UK, and can help to encourage trade, investment, innovation and competition. However, the government seems to be reluctant to promote the use of overseas business visas,” he added.

A ‘representative of an overseas business’ visa is valid for three years and granted to individuals representing a company from outside the EU looking to expand into the UK.

Article published 1st November 2017