What is a UK overseas business representative visa 2021?

A UK overseas business representative visa is a kind of UK business immigration visa is for those who wish to come to the UK as a representative of a business located and based outside of the UK and to remain in the country in order to help set up and run the business. Also known as a UK sole representative visa, this visa category also includes journalists and other employers of non-UK based media companies who must relocate to the UK in order to carry out a long-term assignment on behalf of their organization

Who is eligible for UK overseas business representative visa?

You are eligible for UK overseas business representative visa 2021 if you:

  • Do not require public funds for financial support
  • Are not from Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Satisfy the requirement for the English language

 

When to apply for UK overseas business representative visa?

  • You should apply for your UK sole representative visa around 3 months (not before) prior to your journey to the UK

UK overseas business representative visa Processing time

  • Applicants for the visa from outside the country should receive a decision in around 3 weeks

Overseas Business Visa Fees

  • The fee for a representative of an overseas business visa is £610
  • In addition to the above costs for this visa, those applying for it will also be subject to the Healthcare surcharge. For more information on healthcare surcharge fees, click here

Duration of stay in UK

  • The base period of time allowed to you on a representative of an overseas business visa is 3 years
  • For eligible applicants, your original visa can be extended for 2 additional years, for a total period of 5 years
  • Following a period of 5 years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for permanent settlement in the country

Requirements for a UK overseas business representative visa

The requirements for the UK overseas business representative visa are outlined below. If you are on a British sole representative visa, you may do the following:

  • Bring families members with you
  • Work full-time at your job
  • Apply for a visa extension
  • (After 5 years) Apply for settlement

Those who are on a business visa are NOT allowed to do the following:

  • Settle in the country
  • Receive public funds
  • Switch into this visa category
  • Work for anyone other than your main employer
  • Work for yourself
  • Remain in the country if your company terminates your sole representative contract

UK Sole Representative Visa

What are uk sole representative visa requirements?

One of the categories of the representative of an overseas business visa is the UK sole representative visa. In order to be eligible for this category, you must:

  • Be hired and employed by an active and trading business, which is registered and located outside of the country, along with its headquarters and physical offices
  • Be sent in the capacity of establishing that businesses’ first registered branch or completely owned subsidiary (its first official commercial presence) in the UK
  • Possess the requisite knowledge, abilities, and professional background relative to your position
  • Have a position within the company that is senior enough to allow you to have complete power to make decisions for the business (while not being one of the majority controllers or owners)

Eligibility for British sole representative visa may also be extended in the event:

  • The company does have a legal entity in the country, but it does not conduct any business or have any employees
  • You replace your company’s preceding sole representative in the event that the company has not yet established a subsidiary or branch in the country

Media employees for UK Sole Representative Visa

You may travel and remain temporarily in the UK on a representative of an overseas business visa if you are employed by a non-UK newspaper, news organization, or other media company who has been sent by your company to carry out an assignment requiring a long-term presence in the UK.

English language requirements

Applicants who are not from the United States, Canada, or one of the following countries will need to prove their knowledge of English for UK business immigration:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The English requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways:
  • Taking an approved English language test and receiving at least a CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Having a degree from an English-language university or college that is recognized by UK NARIC as being equal to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
  • Those who have already satisfied the English language requirement on a previous successful UK business immigration application do not need to again fulfill this requirement

Personal required documents for UK Sole Representative Visa

All documents not written in either English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please note that you may be asked to submit additional supporting documents.

The below documents are required for a British sole representative visa:

  • A valid passport or other valid ID, with one blank page for your new visa
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself and your family throughout your stay, such as through pay slips or account balances
  • Materials giving insight into your intended living place
The following may also be required
  • Tuberculosis test results(if from a country where a TB is required)
  • Proof of English language competency

Required documents for UK Sole Representative Visa

  • one of the Required documents for UK Sole Representative Visa is materials confirming and explaining the specifics of your job, compensation, and employment contract
  • A complete and detailed explanation of your company’s financial assets and accounts
  • A letter attesting to your understanding of the business and the fact that the company has invested you with decision making power on its behalf
  • Letter affirming that company you will work for in the UK (which is based abroad) will either register a branch in the country or establish a completely owned subsidiary there, in the identical business activity it conducts outside the country
As well as proof of the following:
  • That you are not a sales agent but that you are employed directly by the company
  • That you were hired by the company while you were overseas
  • That you will be working exclusively and entirely for this company, and that you will not do any work for other business throughout your time in the UK (even part-time work)
  • That you are endowed with the authority to establish and continue to manage either a wholly owned subsidiary or a registered branch (by virtue of your high position within the company, which has invested you with decision making power)
  • That you are not one of the majority controllers or owners of the business abroad

Required documents for media employees

  • Proof that you have been selected to represent your company in the country over the course of a substantial time period as a full-time employee
  • A complete and detailed account of your company’s financial assets and accounts

How to apply (from outside the UK)

  • Apply online, here, for a representative of an overseas business visa
  • Go to a visa application center to have your biometric information taken. This is where you will have your fingerprints collected and your photo taken for UK immigration purposes
  • Please note that the online option is closed to those applying from North Korea. If you are applying for a representative of an overseas business visa from North Korea, you must apply by downloading application form and following its written in instructions, available here
  • Expediated service may be available for this service at an additional cost

How to apply (from inside the UK)

You cannot apply for a new representative of an overseas business visa if you are already in the country. You can, however, extend your visa if you are already on it

Extended UK visa: eligibility

  • You are eligible to extend your representative of an overseas business visa if:
  • You are physically present in the UK
  • You are working for the same company that you put down as your employer on your original visa
  • You are continuing to do the work of establishing the company’s first branch in the country
  • 1) You are a representative of an overseas business on that specific visa or 2) You are employed by a non-UK newspaper, news organization, or other media company who has been sent by your company to carry out an assignment requiring a long-term presence in the UK

Extended UK visa: duration of stay

  • Those who successfully extend their representative of an overseas business visa can stay an additional 2 years after the expiry of the original visa
  • Theoretically, someone who successfully extended their representative of an overseas business visa could remain in the UK for a total of 5 years on that visa (3 years of the original, plus 2 years with the extension)
  • If you have worked with your original company for 5 years in the UK and you plan on working for them continuously, you may be eligible to apply to settle in the country. 

Extended UK visa: fees

  • The base price for a visa extension is £704

Additional charges:

  • In addition to the basic fees, those who are applying to extend in the UK will be subject to a £19.20 fee for the collection of your biometric information, which includes a photo as well as your fingerprint
  • In addition to the above costs, those applying for a UK sole representative visa will also be subject to the Healthcare surcharge. For more information on healthcare surcharge fees, click here

How to extend a UK visa?

  • Apply online to extend UK sole representative visa
  • Attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point, where you will:
  • Supply the required fingerprints and photos (biometric information)
  • Supply the required/supplemental documents (either in person at your appointment or by uploading them online)
  • Remain inside the UK (including the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and Ireland) while you await the decision on your extension. Those who travel outside of the UK while their application for an extension is pending will have their application canceled

Extended visa: processing time

The processing time for extending a UK sole representative visa is generally 8 weeks, although it can take longer depending on the following:

  • You are called to appear at an in-person interview
  • Your application materials require additional verification
  • You have been arrested or are facing other relevant personal issues
  • Please note so long as your application was submitted prior to the expiration of your previous visa, you may remain in the UK while your application is being processed

Family members

  • Family members can accompany you on your representative of an overseas business visa and complete UK immigration
  • Family members will each need a visa unless they are from either Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Please note that if your partner cannot be claimed as a dependent on a representative of an overseas business visa in the event that he or she owns or controls a majority stake in the company you intend to work for

Family members are classified as dependents, which are any of the following:

  • Your partner
  • Your child:
  • Under 18 years old
  • Over 18 years old, but only if they are already a dependent in the UK.

How to apply as a dependent (from outside the UK)

  • Apply online as a dependent for a UK sole representative visa here
  • Go to a visa application center to have your biometric information taken. This is where you will have your fingerprints collected and your photo taken
  • Please note that the online option is closed to those applying from North Korea. If you are applying from North Korea, you must apply by downloading application form and following its written in instructions, available here
  • Expediated service may be available for this service at an additional cost

How to apply (from inside the UK)

  • Family members who are already in the UK may submit an application for visa extension as the dependent of someone on a representative of an overseas business visa so long as they are physically present in the country when they apply, and not already in the county on visitor’s visa
  • Dependents should apply online, here
  • Applications for dependents should ideally be lodged when you lodge your own application for a representative of an overseas business visa
  • For UK born dependents
  • Children who are born to you while you are in the country can be added to your UK Sole representative visa in order for them to be allowed to enter and exit the country
  • You can apply online by filling out the form and providing the birth certificate of the UK born child, which should also have the names of his or her parent’s

Hiring an agent or solicitor

  • If you seek further guidance throughout your visa application process, you may hire an agent or solicitor
  • If you do employ an agent/solicitor, he or she will receive your application decision
  • If you employ an agent/solicitor from the UK, you must select someone who is already registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Agents or solicitors not bound by this regulation include those belonging to the below bodies (including advisors under their respective employ/supervision):
  • Student unions/state education intuitions
  • Health sector bodies
  • Employers advising their staff on immigration matters or potential future staff exclusively
  • Law Society
  • Law Society in Scotland
  • Law Society in Northern Ireland
  • Institute of Legal Executives
  • Faculty of Advocates
  • General Council of the Bar
  • General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland
  • Agents/solicitors from outside the UK are also allowed as advisors, and are exempt from registering with the OISC. However, they cannot receive or send passports

Advantages of the representative of overseas business visa UK

Representative of overseas business visas allow you to remain in the UK for up to 3 years, with the possibility of extending the period to 5 years and even ultimately applying for permanent settlement within the country

More info:

For more information on various UK business investment visas, such as those allowing foreigners to work in London, click here

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