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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Extend Representative of an Overseas Business visa: mistakes and tips on how to avoid them

PUBLISHED: 13 September 2019

If you are in the UK on this visa and the first three years are coming to an end, read carefully – this article is for you. We will tell you how to extend your visa and what to do next in order to get permanent residence and citizenship.

The oldest visa in England

A Representative of an Overseas Business visa is one of the best and cheapest ways to move to and work in the UK. You do not need to invest your own money into a business because it will be taken care of by the parent company. Let’s give you an example: in order to get an investor visa, you must invest at least £2 million of your own hard-earned money.

The Representative of an Overseas Business route was opened in 1971 to attract foreign investments to England; immigration was secondary. However, representatives of foreign companies can apply in due course for settlement and later for a British passport. This is a big bonus, isn’t it? It still makes this visa very popular. Though it is not that hard to get a visa, it is not as easy to extend it. You must be prepared with all the paperwork and documents.

What you need to extend your Representative visa

Tips for the director

Start with ticking all the initial conditions that were required for the first application. The parent company must be active and trading and still require the services of its representative office in the UK. The businessman sent to England to run it must be still in the same position and doing their job properly. The representative cannot hold more than 50% of shares in the parent company. If you ticked all of them, let’s move to the new conditions.

The representative must get an official salary and it must be at a certain level. They must be financially independent to extend their representative visa because they are required to show they can support themselves and any family members.

Tips for the business

Business is a living organism and things happen. Sometimes, in order to expand the client base, a company would adjust what it is doing. However, be very careful – if the parent company makes and sells strollers, you cannot just start the IT business. The representative office must look for and engage clients around the world in the same field. Starting a completely new business is unacceptable.

Extend a visa for your children

One key thing to remember – if your child turns 18 while the first visa is valid, they can only extend their visa with you if they are still financially dependent on you. If not, the law would not let them extend their representative visa as your dependants.

One last thing to keep in mind – you can only extend a Representative of an Overseas Business visa from the UK.

No time to relax: get ready for permanent residence

You can apply for settlement in 5 years after the first entry to the UK. If you think it’s a piece of cake, think again. Meanwhile let’s check all the information and prepare all the documents. All these years you must have been in the United Kingdom as a representative of the parent company. You were, are and will be running the UK company.

Now let’s take a calculator and a calendar to check how many days you have been absent from the country. You can travel outside the UK but not more than for 180 days in any 12-month period during the five years preceding the settlement application.

Moreover, foreigners applying for settlement also have certain responsibilities towards the society they are going to live in. They must speak fluent English and know the history, culture and traditions of the country. To prove their knowledge, they must pass a couple of tests.

British citizenship: almost there

And again, it’s not a time to sit back and relax. You will soon need to apply for naturalisation, if you want it of course. You only have one year to get everything ready.

Be careful with frequent travels because naturalisation applications are stricter in terms of absences. You must not spend more than 450 days in total during the five years prior to the application, and not more than 90 days in the last 12 months. Prepare your English language certificate and check that it is still valid. And don’t forget about your children: minors under 18 can apply for registration on your basis, and children over 18 will have to submit their own naturalisation applications.

There are many rules and regulations in the UK immigration laws that are hard to work out on your own. Our immigration lawyers are highly qualified to give you advice on how to extend a representative of an overseas business visa, how to avoid mistakes and how to get your British passport in a smoothest way possible.

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