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Citizenship guide
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Step-by step guide on how to get a Representative visa to the UK

PUBLISHED: 9 August 2019

Your business that has been a success and the owners decide to try their luck at opening a representative office in the United Kingdom? Well, why not indeed – it is a stable and developed economy that would open doors to many opportunities.

The person that will be in charge of the UK operations is normally someone from the parent company and the best visa for this role is a Representative of an Overseas Business visa. It does not require millions of pounds to be invested in the UK economy. It is valid for 3 years and, as an extra bonus, you can bring your family with you.

The process of obtaining a Representative of an Overseas Business visa can be broken down into three simple steps. We´ve only done it for your reference with the only purpose to simplify the whole procedure and point out some important bits. So let´s do it step by step.

Get paperwork ready to register a UK company

You must persuade the immigration authorities that the company means serious business, it is going to be involved with sales of goods and services and is not incorporated for the sole purpose of one individual immigrating to the UK or moving the whole business here.

What you will need:

  • Corporate presentation of the parent company, with its history and areas of activities.
  • Financial documents, e.g. annual accounts, balance sheet, etc. You must show that the parent company is active and trading successfully and has enough money to open a branch in the UK.
  • Notarised letter confirming that there have been and are no other representatives of the parent company in the United Kingdom.
  • Any documents confirming any existing cooperation with UK companies would be a big bonus. It can be business offers, letters of intent or, even better, signed contracts. With this you must be able to demonstrate why you need a company in England.
  • Documents from the would-be representative. We will talk about them and what they must include later.

Draft a valid business plan

A good business plan has it all – all the important details about the parent company, what and how the business is doing, and why it needs a representative office in the UK. Don’t forget to evaluate all the potential risks and make financial calculations and forecasts.

Apply for a Sole Representative visa

It is a final step before your UK business can be up and running – the applicant must comply with all immigration requirements for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa:

  • relevant education and experience;
  • senior position in the parent company;
  • not to be a majority shareholder either directly or indirectly;
  • power to make decisions on behalf of the parent company;
  • basic knowledge of the English language to Level А1;
  • tuberculosis test and clean criminal record for the last 10 years;
  • financial means to maintain yourself and your family initially.

If you are coming with a family, don’t forget to make separate applications for each dependent family member.

How long it takes to get a representative visa and what to do next

We are talking about 2 to 4 months from the moment you start preparing all the documents till the date you arrive in the UK. The time would mainly depend on how fast you can provide all the paperwork on the parent company.

A Representative of an Overseas Business visa is given for 3 years and can be extended for 2 years. 5 years later you and your family get a chance to get permanent residence in the UK. One more year and you all can apply for British citizenship – it will open so many doors both on the isles and all over the world.

Unfortunately, we cannot cover all the points in this article regarding the application for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa. We strongly recommend to seek professional advice in order to save money, time and unnecessary hassle. Our qualified immigration lawyers would be happy to assist you at any stage of the application process.

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