You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you are either:
To be eligible for this type of visa to enter the UK you must be able to show that:
You may also be eligible if the company has a legal entity in the UK that does not employ staff or transact business.
Your company has been working to establish a branch but it is not yet set up, you can replace a previous representative
News agents can come if they are assigned on a long-term assignment.
Also, you will need to provide:
When applying as a sole representative you will need to show:
Newspaper, news agency or broadcast employees will need to show:
To be eligible for a possible extensions after the initial 3 years of residence, you will be expected to show that:
A representative of an overseas business can extend his visa for up to 2 years after the initial visa duration of 3 years
Your visa can be extended for 3 years if your previous sole representative visa was issued before 1st October 2009
You can apply to settle once you have been in the UK or 5 years and you haven an ongoing job with the same company.
For an Entrepreneur to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, the necessary documents are:
Upon a successful application you can apply for British Citizenship after 12 months (in total 6 years of residency). However, if you wish to apply for a British Citizenship you should not leave more than 90 days per one year
Is it possible to apply with someone else
No, there can be only one Sole Representative per company. However, it is possible to change the existing sole representative with another one.
How much funds will I need to bring with me
You will need to bring an amount that does not seem to disproportionate in terms of starting a branch. In other words, the amount of money must reflect the need to start a branch and not be to big.
Do I need to prove that I can use the money
Yes, you will need proof from your company that you can use the money and you are allowed to make decisions on how the money can be used for your employers company's branch.
How long will I be able to stay in the UK
With a successful initial application you will be granted a visa with 3 years. After that you are allowed to extend your visa (if you fulfil the necessary criteria) for an additional 2 years.
Is it possible to leave the UK during the visa period
Yes, you can spend time outside the UK. However, if your aim is to receive a British Passport you should try not to leave the UK for more than 90 days.
Am I allowed to settle
Yes, you can apply for settlement (ILR) in the UK. As long as you are still the sole representative in the UK, the company headquarters are still based outside the UK and the branch is still establishing its first commercial appearance in the UK.
Can I acquire funds from anywhere else
If the funds are for you personal use as maintenance you may. However, for the sake of opening the branch, the money should only come directly from the parent company.
The company's circumstances have changed will this affect me
If you have been in the UK for at least two years and the company, for example appoints a superior, you will be able to stay in the UK
Is there any restrictions on this visa
You cannot work in any other business or stay in the UK if your company appoints a new sole representative.
Can anyone else apply for this type of visa
Yes, you can apply for this type of visa if you are the employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation. However, you have to be posted here on a long-term assignment.
Can I bring my family members with me
Yes, under this visa you can bring your family members. The people whom you can bring are: your husband, wife or partner and children under the age of 18.
When should I consider applying for settlement and/or British citizenship
You can apply to settle in the UK after 5 years of residence. You will have to satisfy the relevant criteria regarding your workplace, your status as a Sole Representative, prove your English Language Skills and pass the Life in The UK test. For British Citizenship, can apply 1 year after receiving your settlement (ILR). However, you should aim not to leave the country more than 90 days per year during this 6 year period.
Is switching allowed in this type of visa
Unfortunately, switching is not allowed in this route.
I am the owner of a company can I come as the Sole Representative
No, if you are the owner of the company or a major shareholder (over 50%) you cannot apply as a representative. It has to be someone who is a senior employee at your firm, employed outside the UK and understands how the company functions.
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