Representative of an Overseas Business visa

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To apply for this visa, you must either be the sole representative of an overseas business planning to set up either a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary, or an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on long term assignment to the UK.

To be eligible you must have enough money to support yourself, and you may need to prove your knowledge of the English language by passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.

An academic qualification taught in English and recognised by UK NARIC * as equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, masters or PHD, would also count as proof.

*TheUK’s National Agency responsible for providing information and opinion on qualifications across the world.

You may also be able to meet the language requirement in other ways, however, you will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are a national of:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

How much does it cost and how long will it take?

Applying from outside of the UK, the visa costs £610. The earliest you can apply is three months before you travel, and you should get a decision within three weeks.

If you apply from inside the UK, you’ll need to pay £704 for the visa and £19.20 to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. You must also pay the healthcare surcharge. You should get a decision within eight weeks. However, the UK Government warns that it can take longer if your supporting documents need to be verified, if you need to be interviewed, or because of personal circumstances such as a criminal conviction.

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expires. The visa lets you stay in the UK for an initial period of three years, and you may be able to extend this for another two years.

This visa can be a route to settle if you have been in the UK for five years.

The visa allows you to work full time and bring your family (dependants) with you. Dependants are a husband, wife or partner and child under 18. They must apply online; the government say it is best to submit your application at the same time as your dependants.

Note, this visa does not allow you to work for yourself or any other business, stay in the UK if the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer, switch to this visa from any other visa category or get public funds

Documentation required

To apply you will need a current passport or other valid travel ID, evidence you can support yourself, and any dependants – bank statements or pay slips for the last six months – and proof you meet the English language requirement. If you’re applying from overseas you also need a blank page in your passport to put the visa on.

Documents not in English or Welsh need a certified translation.

Sole representatives

As the Sole representatives will need to provide a full description of the business’s activities, including details of assets and accounts. You will also need a letter confirming the overseas business will set up a wholly owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK in the same business activity as it runs overseas

You must provide your job description, employment contract evidencing that you are directly employed by the business and recruited from outside the UK. Your salary details, as well as a letter confirming you are familiar with the business and have the power to take operational decisions will also need evidencing.

You will also need to prove you will be working full time for the business or subsidiary for the duration of your stay and will not carry out any other work, and that you do not own or control a majority of the overseas business.

Newspaper, news agency or broadcast employees

As an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation you must also provide a full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts and confirmation that you will be representing them in the UK in a long term, full-time role.

Applying for a visa can be complex, confusing and daunting, but we are here to help, so save yourself time, stress, money and effort. Please contact us to book an appointment. (links to be added)

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