UK representative of Overseas Businesses Visa route Procedures
The Representative of Overseas Businesses Visa route (Sole Representative) is comprised of several stages of which applicants are required to go through as follows:
- The first stage; applying for this visa is done online through the Home Office online tool, the first clearance required for applicants is the Entry clearance, in this stage applicants are required to provide English or translated copies of personal information documents, such as passports, evidence that they can support themselves and any dependents (maintenance funds), details of where they’ll be staying during their stay, proof that they met the English language requirement, as well as the business plan for the intended business, full description of the company’s activities, letters from their employer to confirm the intention and details of establishment in the UK, their job description, salary ,contract of employment, required biometric information and any other documents that can be requested from the Home Office.
After applying online, applications are then assessed and screened by the Home Office, and an interview date will be set, the Home Office responsible officer will conduct an interview with the applicant and assess the viability and legitimacy of the application accordingly, applicants will obtain an entry clearance with a validity of 30 days, in which they must travel to the UK.
- The second stage; After traveling to the UK, applicants are required to receive their permit to stay in the UK (Leave to enter) which is granted for a period of 3 years, in which applicants must incorporate and set up a branch or a subsidiary for the parent company in the UK, after 3 years, applicants must prove that they continued to work as a senior employee with full operational authority in the company, that they are in receipt of a salary from their employer for the past 12 months, the principle place of business is still outside the UK, and they must provide evidence that the business was set up and is generating business in the UK, in this stage the Home Office will re-assess the set-up business and evaluate the eligibility of applicants to extend their stay in the UK for another 2 years (Leave to Remain)
- The third stage; In this stage and after remaining in the UK for 2 years, applicants can apply to be granted the permanent residency “Indefinite Leave to Remain”, in this stage applicants must submit proofs that they spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a representative of an overseas business, and that they have met the requirements of the visa through the past 5 years, such as being employed by the parent company for the past 5 years, and that the branch or subsidiary they established has been generating business while the headquarters of the company is still operating outside the UK, and they must demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, the Indefinite leave to remain will be granted for 5 years for applicants, through which they can apply to obtain the citizenship of the UK if they passed the citizenship requirements of the country.
UK Home Office – Representative of overseas businesses Visa Guidance V.17.0