0203 384 4389
Menu

REPRESENTATIVE OF AN OVERSEAS BUSINESS VISA

UK BUSINESS VISA LEADING TO BRITISH CITIZENSHIP FOR APPLICANT AND DEPENDENTS

Until March 2019, the UK offered the hugely popular Entrepreneur Visa under the Tier 1 visa category.

This route allowed those who wanted to establish a new business in the UK or were investing a minimum of £200,000 into an existing UK business to utilise this route to achieve residency for the main applicants and their dependents. The route offered residency and a pathway to British Citizenship (subject to compliance with UKVI requirements).

UK Immigration Solicitors have amassed an enviable track record of assisting with Entrepreneur visa’s and we have 100’s of clients who have now successfully obtained British Citizenship for themselves and their families or are in the processing of doing so.

We understand that many of you may have intended to use this route but missed out on the opportunity to submit your application before the route closed.

Whilst the Entrepreneur visa has now been closed for more than a year, we have been very busy helping our clients take advantage of alternative immigration routes.

One of the most notable substitutes for potential Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants is the “Sole Representative visa.”

Formally, this visa is called the Representative of an Overseas Business.

It has been designed for businesses that wish to send a senior employee to the UK in order to establish a first commercial presence for the company in the United Kingdom.

We cover the basics below but you are reminded that although seemingly relatively straightforward, this is a particularly complex and niche area of immigration with a very high failure rate and therefore we would strongly recommend that you consult us for tailored advice as early as possible to avoid costly mistakes.

What is a Representative of an Overseas Business visa?

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa allows a senior employee of an overseas business to come to the UK to set up and run a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary of the overseas parent company.  Note that this visa type is aimed at employees and in contrast to the entrepreneur route, you should not be the business owner. This issue is explored in further detail later.

 

What next?

Take a look at the at the questions section so that you can understand the basics of this route along with our service.

Then get in touch with us 24/7 365 and a friendly member of our team will be able to discuss your circumstances in more detail.

We will provide you with a completely free, no obligation assessment so that you understand your position and the options available to you.

Together, we can understand your needs and wants better and make suggestions accordingly.

Call us now on 0203 384 4389 or fill out the enquiry form on this page for a fast call back wherever you are in the world.

We have a fully trained, bilingual team on standby ready to assist you now.

 

How much do I need to invest?

The Representative of an Overseas Business does not have any formal investment requirement. That means that unlike the Entrepreneur route, you do not have to invest £200,000. There are, however, many other requirements that need to met so keep reading for a better understanding of the requirements.

What will the business need to show to apply?

There are several specific and complex requirements that need to be met in order to meet the eligibility criteria. These will vary between applicant’s dependent on their individual circumstances. Our expert team would be pleased to discuss your exact requirements with you during a one to one consultation but below we have explored some of the basic requirements:

You will have to show that the overseas company:

  •  Is an active and trading overseas business;
  •  Has, and will continue to have, its headquarters and principal place of business outside the United Kingdom;
  • Has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;
  • Intends to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK that will actively trade in the same type of business as the overseas business and will not be established solely for the purpose of facilitating the entry and stay of the sole representative;
  • Intends to maintain the centre of its operations overseas.

Once compliance at the company level can be established, you will need to consider your own circumstances and relationship with the company and, you will be required to show that:

  •  Are  genuinely an existing senior employee of the overseas business with a historic employment record demonstrated by historic contracts, payslips and corresponding bank entries;
  •  Have been recruited and taken on as an employee of the overseas business and were not solicited for the position from within the UK
  •  Have demonstrable skills, experience and knowledge of the overseas business which makes you a suitable candidate to act as a representative of the overseas business when in the UK;
  • Have demonstrable full authority to negotiate and make operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business;
  • Genuinely intend to be employed full-time as a representative of the overseas business;
  • Will not engage in business of your own or represent any other business interest in the United Kingdom;
  • Do not have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, that overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement;
  • Are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level A1 (speaking and listening);
  • Can maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants.

The above is a very generic overview only and the requirements will vary between applicants depending on many different variables hence this information should not be relied upon as an exhaustive guide.

Speak with a member of our corporate team for a free dedicated assessment of your circumstances now on 0203 384 4389. We will carefully consider your circumstances and advise you on the best way forward for you

Will my employer be able to establish a UK branch or subsidiary?

Again, your specific requirements may vary dependant on your circumstances but, you would need to check the following;

  • Is the overseas parent company actively trading? (Will need to be active)
  • How long has the company been established? (Will need to be at least 2 years old
  • Will the company continue its existing operations overseas? (Must remain active and trading
  • Where are the company’s headquarters? (Must remain at the overseas parent location
  • Where will the principle place of business be? (Must remain at the overseas parent location
  • Does the parent company have any presence in the UK? (Must not have any existing presence in UK
  • Will the business follow the same trade as the parent? (Must be the same type
  • Is there a genuine need for the UK office? (Cannot be set up only for the visa)

What if I have some shares in the parent company?

As we have explained earlier, this route is designed for senior employees and not business owners or controllers. Having said that, the rules do allow for you to hold a minority stake in the parent company. This means that you must not be a majority shareholder or otherwise be the controller of the parent company.

Ultimately, the UK government is trying to establish whether you can be shown to have actual shareholding and most importantly control of the parent. This is a particularly complex area as businesses are structured differently in different parts of the world. As is the norm for legal matters, early, diligent preparation is the key and having lawyers with real hands on expertise can make all the difference.

Often, we are contacted by new enquirers who have been advised that they do not qualify but our diligent and technically minded lawyers have been able to assist them in ensuring that their case is not only prepared and presented positively, but is technically sound and compliant thus ensuring that they are successful in their application.

If you have doubts over your circumstances and are concerned that your position in the business may affect your eligibility, speak to our friendly team in complete confidence now to further discuss your problem and possible solutions on 0203 384 4389.

What if my partner is a shareholder?

If the partner is intending to join you in the UK then they, equally must not have a majority shareholding or controlling position in the company via any means.

Share structuring and assignment of control can be a very complex area but our specialist team are on hand to simply explain the implications and options when considering the parent company structure in line with your objectives.

Knowledge Of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • 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

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances

Documents you must provide

Sole representatives

When applying as a sole representative of an overseas company you’ll need to provide:

  • a full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts
  • a letter confirming the overseas company will establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK in the same business activity as the parent company
  • your job description, employment contract and salary details
  • a letter confirming you’re familiar with the company and have the power to take operational decisions

You should also provide evidence that you:

  • are directly employed by the parent company and aren’t acting as a sales agent (ie hired by a company to sell or distribute their products within the UK, but working for yourself and providing your services for a fee)
  • were recruited to the company outside of the UK, hold a senior position and are able to make decisions on its behalf and have the authority to establish and operate a registered branch
  • will be working full time for the company for the duration of your stay and won’t carry out any other work
  • are not a majority shareholder in the company

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
  • confirmation that you will be representing them in the UK in a long term, full-time role.

Extend your visa

You can apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must already have this visa as either:

  • a representative of an overseas business
  • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • you’re still working for the same employer as when you were issued your previous visa
  • you’re still working to establish the company’s first presence in the UK
  • your employer’s principal place of business is still outside the UK

You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

How long you can stay

A Representative of an Overseas Business visa can be extended for up to 2 years after the original visa duration of 3 years.

Your visa can be extended for 3 years if your previous Representative of an Overseas Business visa was issued before 1 October 2009.

You can apply to settle once you have been in the UK for 5 years and you have an ongoing job with the same company.

How long it takes

A decision will be made within 8 weeks for online applications.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Switch to this visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

You can also switch from one of the following categories if you have specific types of funding:

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.

You must meet the extension criteria, not the switching criteria, if you have had leave in this category in the 12 months before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay a maximum of 3 years after switching to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer. This could be because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Family Members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.

What will it cost to set up a UK Representative Office?

Costs of setting up will of course vary depending on what you the need the office to do and any specific operational requirements such as location, equipment etc.

Our expert team will be able to guide you through every aspect of this process and can save you £000’s by utilising our extensive professional network and experience to ensure that your new venture is both cost effective and compliant. Speak to us now on 0203 384 4389 to discuss this further.

Will the overseas parent company have to pay me a specific amount?

There is no formal requirement to pay the overseas representative any specific amount but it should be noted that given that you are sending an individual to another country to represent your business based on their skill set and expertise, that the remuneration package that will be offered will be suitably aligned. Salaries must also meet UK legal requirements.

Our expert team can assist you in navigating this complex area with effortless simplicity. We will work with you and utilise our professional network and expertise to ensure that you can take advantage of the most efficient and compliant options available to you.

Speak to us now on 0203 384 4389 to discuss this further.

Will there be complex conditions that I need to meet to live in the UK?

There are many different immigration routes leading to residency and ultimately citizenship in the UK. Each visa type will have complex and very specific requirements which you will need to meet to get the initial visa as well as well as things that you need to do to ensure that you remain compliant so that when the need for a subsequent applicant arises, you are in a strong position.

The main thing from your perspective would be that you understand that you are coming to the UK on a business visa to represent an overseas parent company which means that your true intentions must be that you will only engage in work with furthers the objectives of the overseas parent.

You will not be allowed to carry out any other business or paid work which is outside of the scope of your overseas representative remit.

As with all categories of the immigration rules, a Representative of an Overseas Business visa holder must comply with certain conditions of stay.  The most important condition is that Representatives are only able to be employed by the company that sent them to the UK.  It is not possible to have any other business interests or undertake any other part-time or consulting work in the UK on the side of employment for the business.

At UK Immigration Solicitors, we have vast first-hand experience and expertise of this route, so we understand where the pitfalls are and how to ensure you avoid them.

Very often we will be contacted by new enquirers who are now stuck as they did not know about or comply with the very strict criteria which they should have been meeting over the last few years. This is usually because they used an agent or inexperienced lawyer who does not have first-hand experience of the practical challenges of this route.

Sadly, you cannot rewrite historical mistakes, so it is vital you deal with professionals who ensure that you are and remain compliant throughout your immigration journey to save you time, money and the heartache of losing your overseas representative immigration status.

Our expert team can assist you in navigating this complex area with effortless simplicity. We will work with you and utilise our professional network and expertise to ensure that you can take advantage of the most efficient and compliant options available to you.

Speak to us now on 0203 384 4389 to discuss this further

Will I be able to bring family members to the UK with me?

A Representative of an Overseas Business may bring, or be joined by, their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner and any children under the age of 18. Unfortunately, as with most other categories of the Immigration Rules, Representatives of Overseas Businesses cannot bring their parents, siblings or other extended family members.

What rights will I get in the UK under this route?

The overseas representative gives the main applicant, and their qualifying dependents the right (subject to compliance) to live in the UK. Initially you and your dependents are given the right to live in the UK for around 3 years.

The main applicant must continue to act solely as a representative of the overseas business and must not do any other paid work.

The dependents will be free to live, study and work in the UK as per their own discretion if they remain compliant with their visa rules (We can provide complete guidance and ensure compliance).

Can I get a British Passport with this route?

The Overseas Representative route is a valid pathway to British Citizenship which means that as long as you have followed the rules whilst here and have remained compliant and eligible, both the main applicant and their dependents can obtain British Citizenship after 6 years of residency.

Year 1 – An initial residency of 3 years is granted.

Year 3 – A 2-year visa extension is required for all applicants

Year 5 – You can apply for permanent residency in the UK for all applicants

Year 6 – You can apply for British Citizenship for all applicants

Our expert team will provide you with a tailored breakdown which will simply explain your bespoke roadmap to citizenship. We remain at your side to support you all the way through the journey and always ensure that our clients fully understand their obligations and avoid any mistakes which could cause them irreparable harm.

I like the route, but I am unsure if my company can/will make a good business case for me.

UK Immigration Solicitors are experts in this area and can work with you to ensure that a sound business case can be demonstrated which explains why the business needs an overseas representative and fully explains the logistics and operations of the UK branch office in detail.

We have a strong professional network that can assist you in arranging a detailed and technically sound business plan which will be used by the UK government to consider your application. This is an extremely important part of the application and most refusals are a result of an inadequate business plan.

Please note that a business plan for immigration purposes is not the same thing as a commercial business plan as the two have different objectives. A tailored plan is required in order to support the business case for you wanting to represent the overseas parent in the UK.

Our expert team will explain this to you in more detail to ensure you have complete peace of mind and guidance on what is required and how.

How long does the process take?

There are a lot of complex criteria that need to be met so how long the process takes will depend on many things such as your structure, availability of documents, verification of information etc.

UK Immigration Solicitors will always ensure that we are happy with all the information obtained and that we are comfortable with submitting the application before it is finalised.

Our focus is on the outcome and we will make sure that the application is the strongest it can be before submission.

Typical timeframe for a non-complex case would be 8 weeks from initial enquiry until submission of application but this will vary dependent on your individual circumstances.

We will be able to give you a more accurate answer once we are instructed and have carried out a detailed review of all the relevant circumstances.

How long does it take for the UK government to decide the outcome?

The typical time is takes for a decision to be made once everything has been submitted is around 3 weeks. In some cases, we may be able to take advantage of specialised processing routes which will provide a decision within 5 days of the application being submitted.

How can UK Immigration Solicitors help me with my application?

If you have read this page, chances are that you already know about this route and the basic requirements. You would have also picked up along the way that there are many technical and complex pitfalls along the immigration journey In simple terms, anybody can apply for anything but, what’s really important here is not whether you can apply but whether in fact, you can get the right result on the application.

We are not experts because we can read the government guidance – you can do that yourself!

We are not experts because we can fill out forms – you can do that yourself!

We are experts because we have personally handled 1000’s of Overseas Representative visas.

We are experts because we know exactly what needs to be done, how, why and when.

We will see the problems before they become problems and act proactively.

We have excellent geographical knowledge and understand different cultures so we know how things work around the world and understand which problems you will face in your corner of the world.

We have an excellent track record and can produce many real-life case studies which can be heard and seen directly from our clients.

Our technical knowledge and problem solving know how is unrivalled in the industry and we fix problems created by other agencies and lawyers daily as they lack the experience and expertise.

We have global presence and regularly meet clients around the world.

Our team had more than 60 years of collective first-hand,  genuine immigration experience.

Our professional team contains lawyers, forensic accounts, barristers, ex HMRC staff, Ex UKVI staff.

What fees do UK Immigration Solicitors charge for their services?

We look at every client as an individual. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, business moguls, visionaries etc. Whatever you are, wherever you are, you matter. Your lives, goals and dream matter so we don’t do black and white off the shelf services.

We offer completely bespoke, tailored and personalised services for our clients.

This means we take the time to understand who you are and what you need before we talk about prices.

This way, we know what your wants, needs, preferences, objectives and challenges are before formulating a plan and legal strategy to ensure all that we do is sympathetic and personalised for you,

Our fees will vary depending on what we need to how and how.

We will first carry out an initial assessment with you to fully understand you and your circumstances, this assessment will be totally free of charge and will be delivered in an easy to understand and simple fashion.

By the end of the assessment, you should be able to understand your current positions and options.

Once we have done that, we will prepare a bespoke quotation for you on a completely fixed fee basis so you have total peace of mind and control over your fees so that unpleasant surprises are avoided and your case progresses smoothly from start to finish.

We are confident that you will find our rates to be competitive and excellent value for money.

We have flexible payment options and, as a token of our confidence in our abilities, can even offer pay on success options in some cases (terms and conditions apply).

What next?

Take a look at the at the questions section so that you can understand the basics of this route along with our service.

Then get in touch with us 24/7 365 and a friendly member of our team will be able to discuss your circumstances in more detail.

We will provide you with a completely free, no obligation assessment so that you understand your position and the options available to you.

Together, we can understand your needs and wants better and make suggestions accordingly.

Call us now on 0203 384 4389 or fill out the enquiry form on this page for a fast call back wherever you are in the world.

We have a fully trained, bilingual team on standby ready to assist you now.

 

Visa Overview

How much do I need to invest?

The Representative of an Overseas Business does not have any formal investment requirement. That means that unlike the Entrepreneur route, you do not have to invest £200,000. There are, however, many other requirements that need to met so keep reading for a better understanding of the requirements.

What will the business need to show to apply?

There are several specific and complex requirements that need to be met in order to meet the eligibility criteria. These will vary between applicant’s dependent on their individual circumstances. Our expert team would be pleased to discuss your exact requirements with you during a one to one consultation but below we have explored some of the basic requirements:

You will have to show that the overseas company:

  •  Is an active and trading overseas business;
  •  Has, and will continue to have, its headquarters and principal place of business outside the United Kingdom;
  • Has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;
  • Intends to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK that will actively trade in the same type of business as the overseas business and will not be established solely for the purpose of facilitating the entry and stay of the sole representative;
  • Intends to maintain the centre of its operations overseas.

Once compliance at the company level can be established, you will need to consider your own circumstances and relationship with the company and, you will be required to show that:

  •  Are  genuinely an existing senior employee of the overseas business with a historic employment record demonstrated by historic contracts, payslips and corresponding bank entries;
  •  Have been recruited and taken on as an employee of the overseas business and were not solicited for the position from within the UK
  •  Have demonstrable skills, experience and knowledge of the overseas business which makes you a suitable candidate to act as a representative of the overseas business when in the UK;
  • Have demonstrable full authority to negotiate and make operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business;
  • Genuinely intend to be employed full-time as a representative of the overseas business;
  • Will not engage in business of your own or represent any other business interest in the United Kingdom;
  • Do not have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, that overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement;
  • Are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level A1 (speaking and listening);
  • Can maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants.

The above is a very generic overview only and the requirements will vary between applicants depending on many different variables hence this information should not be relied upon as an exhaustive guide.

Speak with a member of our corporate team for a free dedicated assessment of your circumstances now on 0203 384 4389. We will carefully consider your circumstances and advise you on the best way forward for you

Will my employer be able to establish a UK branch or subsidiary?

Again, your specific requirements may vary dependant on your circumstances but, you would need to check the following;

  • Is the overseas parent company actively trading? (Will need to be active)
  • How long has the company been established? (Will need to be at least 2 years old
  • Will the company continue its existing operations overseas? (Must remain active and trading
  • Where are the company’s headquarters? (Must remain at the overseas parent location
  • Where will the principle place of business be? (Must remain at the overseas parent location
  • Does the parent company have any presence in the UK? (Must not have any existing presence in UK
  • Will the business follow the same trade as the parent? (Must be the same type
  • Is there a genuine need for the UK office? (Cannot be set up only for the visa)

What if I have some shares in the parent company?

As we have explained earlier, this route is designed for senior employees and not business owners or controllers. Having said that, the rules do allow for you to hold a minority stake in the parent company. This means that you must not be a majority shareholder or otherwise be the controller of the parent company.

Ultimately, the UK government is trying to establish whether you can be shown to have actual shareholding and most importantly control of the parent. This is a particularly complex area as businesses are structured differently in different parts of the world. As is the norm for legal matters, early, diligent preparation is the key and having lawyers with real hands on expertise can make all the difference.

Often, we are contacted by new enquirers who have been advised that they do not qualify but our diligent and technically minded lawyers have been able to assist them in ensuring that their case is not only prepared and presented positively, but is technically sound and compliant thus ensuring that they are successful in their application.

If you have doubts over your circumstances and are concerned that your position in the business may affect your eligibility, speak to our friendly team in complete confidence now to further discuss your problem and possible solutions on 0203 384 4389.

What if my partner is a shareholder?

If the partner is intending to join you in the UK then they, equally must not have a majority shareholding or controlling position in the company via any means.

Share structuring and assignment of control can be a very complex area but our specialist team are on hand to simply explain the implications and options when considering the parent company structure in line with your objectives.

Knowledge Of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • 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

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances

Documents you must provide

Sole representatives

When applying as a sole representative of an overseas company you’ll need to provide:

  • a full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts
  • a letter confirming the overseas company will establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK in the same business activity as the parent company
  • your job description, employment contract and salary details
  • a letter confirming you’re familiar with the company and have the power to take operational decisions

You should also provide evidence that you:

  • are directly employed by the parent company and aren’t acting as a sales agent (ie hired by a company to sell or distribute their products within the UK, but working for yourself and providing your services for a fee)
  • were recruited to the company outside of the UK, hold a senior position and are able to make decisions on its behalf and have the authority to establish and operate a registered branch
  • will be working full time for the company for the duration of your stay and won’t carry out any other work
  • are not a majority shareholder in the company

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
  • confirmation that you will be representing them in the UK in a long term, full-time role.

Extend your visa

You can apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must already have this visa as either:

  • a representative of an overseas business
  • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • you’re still working for the same employer as when you were issued your previous visa
  • you’re still working to establish the company’s first presence in the UK
  • your employer’s principal place of business is still outside the UK

You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

How long you can stay

A Representative of an Overseas Business visa can be extended for up to 2 years after the original visa duration of 3 years.

Your visa can be extended for 3 years if your previous Representative of an Overseas Business visa was issued before 1 October 2009.

You can apply to settle once you have been in the UK for 5 years and you have an ongoing job with the same company.

How long it takes

A decision will be made within 8 weeks for online applications.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Switch to this visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

You can also switch from one of the following categories if you have specific types of funding:

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.

You must meet the extension criteria, not the switching criteria, if you have had leave in this category in the 12 months before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay a maximum of 3 years after switching to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer. This could be because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Family Members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.

What will it cost to set up a UK Representative Office?

Costs of setting up will of course vary depending on what you the need the office to do and any specific operational requirements such as location, equipment etc.

Our expert team will be able to guide you through every aspect of this process and can save you £000’s by utilising our extensive professional network and experience to ensure that your new venture is both cost effective and compliant. Speak to us now on 0203 384 4389 to discuss this further.

Will the overseas parent company have to pay me a specific amount?

There is no formal requirement to pay the overseas representative any specific amount but it should be noted that given that you are sending an individual to another country to represent your business based on their skill set and expertise, that the remuneration package that will be offered will be suitably aligned. Salaries must also meet UK legal requirements.

Our expert team can assist you in navigating this complex area with effortless simplicity. We will work with you and utilise our professional network and expertise to ensure that you can take advantage of the most efficient and compliant options available to you.

Speak to us now on 0203 384 4389 to discuss this further.

Will there be complex conditions that I need to meet to live in the UK?

There are many different immigration routes leading to residency and ultimately citizenship in the UK. Each visa type will have complex and very specific requirements which you will need to meet to get the initial visa as well as well as things that you need to do to ensure that you remain compliant so that when the need for a subsequent applicant arises, you are in a strong position.

The main thing from your perspective would be that you understand that you are coming to the UK on a business visa to represent an overseas parent company which means that your true intentions must be that you will only engage in work with furthers the objectives of the overseas parent.

You will not be allowed to carry out any other business or paid work which is outside of the scope of your overseas representative remit.

As with all categories of the immigration rules, a Representative of an Overseas Business visa holder must comply with certain conditions of stay.  The most important condition is that Representatives are only able to be employed by the company that sent them to the UK.  It is not possible to have any other business interests or undertake any other part-time or consulting work in the UK on the side of employment for the business.

At UK Immigration Solicitors, we have vast first-hand experience and expertise of this route, so we understand where the pitfalls are and how to ensure you avoid them.

Very often we will be contacted by new enquirers who are now stuck as they did not know about or comply with the very strict criteria which they should have been meeting over the last few years. This is usually because they used an agent or inexperienced lawyer who does not have first-hand experience of the practical challenges of this route.

Sadly, you cannot rewrite historical mistakes, so it is vital you deal with professionals who ensure that you are and remain compliant throughout your immigration journey to save you time, money and the heartache of losing your overseas representative immigration status.

Our expert team can assist you in navigating this complex area with effortless simplicity. We will work with you and utilise our professional network and expertise to ensure that you can take advantage of the most efficient and compliant options available to you.

Speak to us now on 0203 384 4389 to discuss this further

Will I be able to bring family members to the UK with me?

A Representative of an Overseas Business may bring, or be joined by, their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner and any children under the age of 18. Unfortunately, as with most other categories of the Immigration Rules, Representatives of Overseas Businesses cannot bring their parents, siblings or other extended family members.

What rights will I get in the UK under this route?

The overseas representative gives the main applicant, and their qualifying dependents the right (subject to compliance) to live in the UK. Initially you and your dependents are given the right to live in the UK for around 3 years.

The main applicant must continue to act solely as a representative of the overseas business and must not do any other paid work.

The dependents will be free to live, study and work in the UK as per their own discretion if they remain compliant with their visa rules (We can provide complete guidance and ensure compliance).

Can I get a British Passport with this route?

The Overseas Representative route is a valid pathway to British Citizenship which means that as long as you have followed the rules whilst here and have remained compliant and eligible, both the main applicant and their dependents can obtain British Citizenship after 6 years of residency.

Year 1 – An initial residency of 3 years is granted.

Year 3 – A 2-year visa extension is required for all applicants

Year 5 – You can apply for permanent residency in the UK for all applicants

Year 6 – You can apply for British Citizenship for all applicants

Our expert team will provide you with a tailored breakdown which will simply explain your bespoke roadmap to citizenship. We remain at your side to support you all the way through the journey and always ensure that our clients fully understand their obligations and avoid any mistakes which could cause them irreparable harm.

I like the route, but I am unsure if my company can/will make a good business case for me.

UK Immigration Solicitors are experts in this area and can work with you to ensure that a sound business case can be demonstrated which explains why the business needs an overseas representative and fully explains the logistics and operations of the UK branch office in detail.

We have a strong professional network that can assist you in arranging a detailed and technically sound business plan which will be used by the UK government to consider your application. This is an extremely important part of the application and most refusals are a result of an inadequate business plan.

Please note that a business plan for immigration purposes is not the same thing as a commercial business plan as the two have different objectives. A tailored plan is required in order to support the business case for you wanting to represent the overseas parent in the UK.

Our expert team will explain this to you in more detail to ensure you have complete peace of mind and guidance on what is required and how.

How long does the process take?

There are a lot of complex criteria that need to be met so how long the process takes will depend on many things such as your structure, availability of documents, verification of information etc.

UK Immigration Solicitors will always ensure that we are happy with all the information obtained and that we are comfortable with submitting the application before it is finalised.

Our focus is on the outcome and we will make sure that the application is the strongest it can be before submission.

Typical timeframe for a non-complex case would be 8 weeks from initial enquiry until submission of application but this will vary dependent on your individual circumstances.

We will be able to give you a more accurate answer once we are instructed and have carried out a detailed review of all the relevant circumstances.

How long does it take for the UK government to decide the outcome?

The typical time is takes for a decision to be made once everything has been submitted is around 3 weeks. In some cases, we may be able to take advantage of specialised processing routes which will provide a decision within 5 days of the application being submitted.

How can UK Immigration Solicitors help me with my application?

If you have read this page, chances are that you already know about this route and the basic requirements. You would have also picked up along the way that there are many technical and complex pitfalls along the immigration journey In simple terms, anybody can apply for anything but, what’s really important here is not whether you can apply but whether in fact, you can get the right result on the application.

We are not experts because we can read the government guidance – you can do that yourself!

We are not experts because we can fill out forms – you can do that yourself!

We are experts because we have personally handled 1000’s of Overseas Representative visas.

We are experts because we know exactly what needs to be done, how, why and when.

We will see the problems before they become problems and act proactively.

We have excellent geographical knowledge and understand different cultures so we know how things work around the world and understand which problems you will face in your corner of the world.

We have an excellent track record and can produce many real-life case studies which can be heard and seen directly from our clients.

Our technical knowledge and problem solving know how is unrivalled in the industry and we fix problems created by other agencies and lawyers daily as they lack the experience and expertise.

We have global presence and regularly meet clients around the world.

Our team had more than 60 years of collective first-hand,  genuine immigration experience.

Our professional team contains lawyers, forensic accounts, barristers, ex HMRC staff, Ex UKVI staff.

What fees do UK Immigration Solicitors charge for their services?

We look at every client as an individual. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, business moguls, visionaries etc. Whatever you are, wherever you are, you matter. Your lives, goals and dream matter so we don’t do black and white off the shelf services.

We offer completely bespoke, tailored and personalised services for our clients.

This means we take the time to understand who you are and what you need before we talk about prices.

This way, we know what your wants, needs, preferences, objectives and challenges are before formulating a plan and legal strategy to ensure all that we do is sympathetic and personalised for you,

Our fees will vary depending on what we need to how and how.

We will first carry out an initial assessment with you to fully understand you and your circumstances, this assessment will be totally free of charge and will be delivered in an easy to understand and simple fashion.

By the end of the assessment, you should be able to understand your current positions and options.

Once we have done that, we will prepare a bespoke quotation for you on a completely fixed fee basis so you have total peace of mind and control over your fees so that unpleasant surprises are avoided and your case progresses smoothly from start to finish.

We are confident that you will find our rates to be competitive and excellent value for money.

We have flexible payment options and, as a token of our confidence in our abilities, can even offer pay on success options in some cases (terms and conditions apply).

Rated excellent by our clients on:

How we work in 3 simple steps

Call us or submit your details online

You decide if you want our assistance

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF USING UK IMMIGRATION SOLICITORS?

Immigration rules are complex and subject to regular changes and revisions. This itself presents problems as it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of and have complied with any changes to the routes, processes and evidence requirements. 

Failure to meet strict rules is likely to result in the application being refused which, in turn, is likely have an emotional and financial strain on you and your family. 

It is our job to ensure we are fully aware of the latest immigration rules, policies and procedures. We don’t leave matters to chance. Once you become a client of ours, we explain our strategy and tell you exactly how we propose to get you the right result. We will pinpoint the positives and negatives of your circumstances and explain where issues may arise and what would need to be done to fix them. We provide step by step guidance and advice throughout the entire process professionally. Our vast experience allows us to foresee problems before they arise and pro-actively adopt a strategic action plan.

Our legal fees are always agreed and fixed with you right at the beginning of your case, so you have complete peace of mind and control over the costs to ensure there are no restrictions or unpleasant surprises.

There are many online agencies, advisors and marketing companies who claim to be immigration experts but, provide very little expertise.

Let us be very clear here, if you are paying for someone just to fill in the forms for you, you should think about how you can put that money to better use and avoid gambling with your future by using inexperienced and ineffective companies.

We are a fully regulated nationwide, multi award winning law firm that specialises in immigration. Having more than 60 years of combined expertise and having handled more than 8,000 cases we have unrivalled experience and expertise to ensure you get the right result first time around – Don’t take our word for it though, check out our reviews to see why our clients trust us with their futures. We are rated 5* across the board and 98% of our clients have confirmed that they would recommend us to others. *

We have illustrated our typical scope of service below so you can understand what we do for you as paid of our service:

 

  • Our immigration specialists carry out a free detailed assessment with you to understand your circumstances and needs.
  • The collated information is then reviewed by a senior immigration solicitor who will have no less than 8 years’ immigration experience.
  • Based on the information collected, the senior solicitor will then confirm what your options are and will also confirm if we are able to help you.
  • We will offer you an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation for us to handle your entire case until initial conclusion without obligation. 
  • If we have officially taken your instructions, we will create a client file for you and collect detailed initial information.
  • We will then ensure you receive a personalised one-to-one legal consultation with a senior immigration solicitor who will take your full instructions by exploring your circumstances in detail and advise you on the best way to meet your objectives. The solicitor will explain the relevant legislations and provide you with advice on the steps that we would need to take to get a successful result.
  • The senior solicitor who carried out your legal consultation will then send you detailed written legal advice explaining everything that needs to be done and which documents will be required as part of the process. We will tell you about any problem areas and formulate a strategy to overcome/mitigate these. 
  • We will carefully review any documents that you have provided in support of the application. These documents are then validated and formatted to ensure that they meet the UKVI specified evidence requirements. Where they do not, we will explain what needs to be done to address the issues.
  • Where required, we will prepare any necessary written legal arguments or representations that are required to support your application and gain an approval. Often, we may be required to make discretionary submissions.
  • We will complete a draft application and share this with you to ensure that all parties are happy with the representations that will be submitted to the Home Office.
  • We advise you on what application processing routes are available. In some cases, there are fast track or premium processing routes available. We may be required to book a Home Office appointment on your behalf.  Will also be able to confirm typical processing times for any processing centre in the world. We explain all options, routes and fees comprehensively allowing you to make the best choice.
  • We lodge the application on your behalf using our secure authenticated processes. Whilst your application is pending, we continue to ensure you receive maximum legal protection and ensure that your rights and allowances are upheld throughout the processing stage. We ensure that you are aware of and remain compliant with the immigration rules and regulations during this period. We will also keep you updated on the progress of your matter.
  • If any follow up work is required in response to any queries raised by the UKVI, we will also deal with these as part of the comprehensive service.
  • We secure a decision on your matter and further advise you on the relevant implications of that decision. If required, we will also confirm if any secondary applications are required and brief you on the necessary process and procedure for those also.

WHY SHOULD I USE UK IMMIGRATION SOLICITORS TO HELP ME?

Here are just some of the reasons to choose us:

 * We are the UK’s #1 Immigration Specialist Law Firm

* We are a fully SRA regulated law firm so you are working directly with our in house legal team

* No agencies, middlemen or outsourcing

* We have achieved 99% success rate across all application types

* We have a 24 hour helpline that operates 7 days a week – 365 days a year

* We have multiple offices across the UK but 90% of our clients are not required to visit in person

* We have more than 60 years combined immigration expertise

* Our team have handled more than 8,000 cases

* We offer a free initial assessment which will explain your options and check your eligibility for your chosen route

* We operate a 100% Agreed Fixed Fee model with all fees fixed and agreed before work is started

* 98% of our clients would recommend us to family & friends

* Our average rating is 4.6/5 across major review platforms (based on over 300 reviews).

WHAT IS A FREE NEEDS ASSESSMENT?

If you have an immigration related problem or question, you can have a free assessment with a member of our assessments team.

The assessor will establish why you are calling and what you are looking for assistance with. The assessor will ask you a series of questions to determine your circumstances in relation to your objectives.

The assessment is 100% private and confidential. As we are a private law firm, we work with our clients to overturn Government decisions daily. We do not share any information with any third party.

Although the assessor will be a trained immigration specialist, they are not solicitors and therefore will not give you detailed legal advice or guidance.

If you want to establish what your options are and the best way forward for you, your assessor will collate the necessary information and then speak with one of the resident senior solicitors at the firm to determine what your options are, if and how we could assist and confirm whether we would be prepared to take your case. If we can assist, you will be provided with an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation which is a single legal fee to cover the firms cost of representation agreed from the outset and binding for all parties.

The free assessment is no obligation and you are merely given clarity on your position and options to move forward.

If you have a complex matter or require legal advice regarding a specific issue, you will most likely require a legal consultation.

This is a separate service and is chargeable at the prevailing rates.

Please note, UK Immigration Solicitors are a private law firm and are not part of the Government. We do not accept legal aid instructions. Although we are happy to assist genuine callers, we are not a directory service and sadly are unable to provide you with Government telephone numbers.

To get started you can either call us on 0203 384 4389 or complete the assessment form and one of the team will call you

What do you want to do next?