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I am expecting to visit UK several times in next 2.5 years, staying for a period of 3 days to 6 months on any visit. I am employed in EU, for this whole time, with a contract. All my travels are paid by my employer. I also have invitation for all my visits from the partner company in UK.

I already have a 6 months regular visitor visa. I have traveled once (5 days) on it. But this visa would not suffice for all of my future travels, and I might need to apply again while on a visit.

I am thinking of applying for a long-term visitor's visa before leaving for UK a second time. My question is, how are the chances of getting it approved..?? Can someone please share experiences related to this, which might help me decide whether to take a chance or not..?

Thank you

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6 months seems a long time for a business visit. As a general rule the business visitor should conduct the actual work in their home country and only visit the UK for meetings. From the UK government webpage Business – general activities

5 A visitor may:
    (a) attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;
    (b) give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;
    (c) negotiate and sign deals and contracts;
    (d) attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling;
    (e) carry out site visits and inspections;
    (f) gather information for their employment overseas;
    (g) be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor-rules

  • Thank you for the reply. My question is unanswered though. I am part of an academic exchange and will require to stay for longer periods. Considering the guidelines laid out for different visas, the (long term) visitor visa is the only one I qualify for. And the question is how easy is that to get approved, given my situation. – pprr Jan 19 '18 at 10:04
  • There is a special case for academic visitors and the university in the UK or on the continent should have people with experience in this who can help. I really don't think you qualify for the ordinary long term business visit visa since what you described would amount to working in the UK, but for the academic special case. – user16259 Jan 19 '18 at 11:59
  • They have an academic visitor visa for one year (which is again a visitor visa). And with this, I will have to apply once or two times again, as my work continues for 2.5 to 3 years from now. I do not have a contract any kind of monetary exchange with UK for my work, so it is unlike working in UK. It is an exchange. – pprr Jan 19 '18 at 12:40
  • There is no need for monetary exchange for it to be considered as work and so I still think you will be at risk of breaking the terms of the visit visa, which would be bad for your project. I advise you to get the help of your institution's administration. They want to deploy you on this so they should make sure neither you nor they are at risk of breaking the law. Really they should do most of the paperwork for you so that even if you have to get 3 visas in 3 years you don't have to spend much time on the task. – user16259 Jan 19 '18 at 13:38
  • UK doesn't allow applications by agency, which my institution usually gets such tasks done through. So, most of the work, as I know from past experience, has to be done by me directly. And plus it is costly, because for each application one needs to travel to the embassy/application office in person. The offices are in 1 or 2 cities in any country, meaning one needs to make day trips for such applications. – pprr Jan 19 '18 at 14:43

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