Post by Roland Perry Post by Neil Williams Post by Clank
Many, if not most, countries treat business activities (meeting suppliers,
clients, subsidiaries, having meetings etc.) as permissible within the same
visa exemption as tourism.
Of the places I've travelled to on business, India is the only one that didn't.
The only two times I've been to India I had in effect a United Nations
"diplomatic visa", so wouldn't know.
But what if I were to organise a meeting, booking a conference room,
greeting guests and holding a seminar (where I was speaking). Is that
closer to "work" than "business"?
That would depend on whether you are planning on becoming an employee of a
company in the country you are visiting in order to do it, one would think.
By way of example - I regularly visit a sister company of my employer in
China, a country which is tediously strict about all such things. I do not
require a work visa when I am there - even though I am obviously working
for the entire duration - because I am employed by a non Chinese company. I
require only a business visa (supported by, among other things, a letter
from the Chinese company extolling our long and fruitful working
relationship. A similar distinction tends to apply to jurisdictions where
business activities are, along with tourism, exempt from visas.
Of course, everyone has the right to do things their own way. I'm
intimately familiar with Russian visas, and there they do have a separate
visa for business as opposed to tourism. That's mainly a mechanism for
charging more for the benefits of a business visa - not, surprisingly the
right to do business in particular (you don't even have to show you intend
to to get one, you just buy your invitation from a different place), but
rather the more expensive business visa gives you multiple entries over a
year, rather than the tourist visa which is issued for the exact number of
days of your planned trip. (This applies to UK passport holders - Russia
applies a "principle of reciprocity" which basically says "you make our
citizens lives hard, we'll make yours the same", so the regime is more
relaxed for citizens of a country with less dickish* immigration.)
It's not hard to do your own research - gov.uk has surprisingly good
information on visa (or other) requirements for anywhere you can think of.
* The number of my friends who have been refused visas to UK is absurd.
(Two who have are currently enjoying a holiday in New York.) What in
God's name makes UK Gov think that someone living like a king, earning 100x
national average salary in a beautiful part of, say, west Ukraine, is going
to want to abscond for a life of misery in Luton... People in the UK
seriously overestimate the appeal of living there, let alone living there