Business Visas – When Are They Required?

If you're travelling for business, you'd think it's a given that you'd require a business visa for the country you're visiting. In reality, that depends on what you'll be doing on behalf of your company in the destination country, as well as which country you will be visiting. What's classified as a "business trip"? Here we look at some classification examples for popular economic centres.

What We’ll Cover

  • Business visa types for China

  • Business visas for India

  • Business visas for Peru

  • Other tips for applying for business visas

Business Visa for China

China is an ever-growing economic power and many companies are now expanding their operations into the country as well as building partnerships. Previously, there were two types of visit visas – tourist or business. Now the business visa is split into two categories, dependant on your activities once you reach China.

F-Visa – If you are visiting China to attend a lecture, an investigation, for research, to take part in scientific and cultural exchanges, training, study tours or other non-commercial activities in China, you can apply for an F-Visa. As this is a non-commercial visa, you can not be paid for any activities you undertake on this document.

M-Visa – This is a commercial business visa. If you will be attending trade fairs, visiting clients and factories, negotiating with clients and signing contracts, you can apply for the M-Visa. This is aimed at individuals employed by companies outside of China who intend to nurture business within the country. You still can’t earn money directly during your visit from a China-based company with this document.

The original F business visa which encapsulated both of these visit purposes was split into two types in 2013. At first, this seemed to cause confusion for those wishing to visit China for non-tourism purposes, but it can be easily determined from the requirements above.

A tip when visiting China for business or any other purpose is to be as specific as possible regarding your plans throughout your journey. If you’re travelling to several places, list all of them. If you are visiting several companies during your stay, provide a letter from each one. China are exacting in their requirements and it is always better to provide too much information that not enough, risking a delay in processing.

Business Visa for India

For work and business purposes, India has several specific visa classes, dependant on your purpose of visit. These are as follows:

  • Intern Visa – since 2017 you can undertake an internship with an Indian company if less than 1 year has elapsed since you completed formal education.
  • Business Visa – If you work for a company based outside of India, you can apply for this visa for business meetings, attend private conferences, trade deals, etc. so long as you are not earning money from an Indian-based company whilst you are there.
  • Conference Visa – If you are attending a conference organised by the government, you can apply for this visa type.
  • Research Visa – Those in the medical or education profession can apply for this visa if they are undertaking research within India.

It’s important to be specific about your purpose of visit to ensure that you obtain the correct class of visa when travelling to India.

Business Visa for Peru

If you are travelling to Peru as a tourist, UK Citizens can do so visa-free for a short period of time. The business terms are much more regulated however and, regardless of your citizenship, all visitors to Peru who intend to engage in business in the country must personally attend the nearest Peruvian Embassy to apply for a visa.

They will require a series of documents to issue the visa, and once you reach Peru you must register with the nearest Dirección General de Contribuciones for taxation purposes.

You can enter Peru as a tourist if you are seeking work, but you are limited in what you can agree to. Any contracts are only be legally binding if signed by a business visa holder.

Other tips for business travel

Even if you are travelling to a country which does not require you to have a visa to enter, or is issued on arrival, it is wise to carry supporting documents if you are on business. For instance, if you are travelling to Brazil as a UK citizen, you will not require a visa. However, if you state your purpose of visit as business, you should be able to produce an invitation letter from the company you will be dealing with in the country.

For the Dominican Republic, you can attend business meetings or undergo any training as a UK Citizen under their visa-waiver program for up to 30 days. However, if at any point during your visit you will engage in any financial business transactions or investments, you will need a pre-travel business visa.

Being prepared

It’s important to be prepared and check the details on a per-country basis as soon as you begin to plan your trip. If you do require a visa, you’ll need to check the available classes and see which you qualify for. In the case you don’t require a visa, you need to check whether any documents should be carried with you and whether anything you plan to undertake there will contravene the visa-free waiver.

Ashraf Vachhiat
Ashraf Vachhiat

Ashraf is the Marketing Technologist at Vital Consular, which means he handles all the technicalities involved in bringing this blog to life! He also enjoys creating in-depth articles around current affairs which impact the travel and relocation industry. In his free time, Ashraf relishes travelling as much as possible, and is always looking for quirky spots to take some great photos.

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