Which Documents Are Required for A Sole Representative Visa Extension?
If you are currently in the UK on a Representative of an Overseas Business visa, as you reach the end of your third year here, you will need to apply for an extension of your leave. Under the current immigration rules, Representative of an Overseas Business visa holders can extend their stay for another two years, making the total time in the UK five years. At the five year point, a Representative of an Overseas Business visa holder can then apply for permanent residency in the form of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). After a further year, they will be able to apply for British citizenship.
For those close to or in the process of making a Representative of an Overseas Business visa extension, you will need to ensure, as you did with your initial application, that you provide all of the necessary documents required by the Home Office. Any missing information or documents may lead to a delay in receiving your visa decision, hence it is recommended that you get this correct when you first apply. It is always recommended that you have a UK based immigration Solicitor review your application and the accompanying documents before you apply. This will give you the peace of mind that all aspects have been covered, they are properly translated, dated, and contain the specific details the Home Office is looking for.
Am I Eligible to Extend My Representative of An Overseas Business Visa?
In order to extend your Representative of an Overseas Business visa, you will need to meet a number of eligibility criteria; these are as follows:
- You must already have this visa as either a representative of an overseas business
- or as an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
- You must still be working for the same employer as when you were first granted your Representative of an Overseas Business visa
- The business you represent must still be working to establish their initial presence in the UK
- The business you represent must still have their principal place of business l outside the UK
- You must be currently in the UK
You must not be employed by another business in the UK or have a majority shareholding of the business you represent. The guidance on this matter states that if a sole representative owns or controls a stake in the overseas business, case officers “must be satisfied that this does not amount to them owning or controlling a majority of that business. This principle applies whether that ownership or control is by shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship, or any other arrangement”.
As such, sole representatives cannot:
- own more than 50% of the shares
- control more than 50% of the voting rights
- be the self-employed owner of that business
- be the sole-proprietor of that business
- be in a partnership agreement in which they own more than 50% of that business
Providing the Necessary Evidence to Support Your Extension Application
Some of the documents you will need to provide will be the same as when you first applied, however, you will need to provide additional evidence to show that you are still employed full time as a representative of the overseas business, you have now established a UK based branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary, and that the business is operating successfully. You may need to provide some of the documents following with your extension application (note you will be advised of the documents required when you apply – this list is not exhaustive):
- Evidence that you have leave remaining under this visa category (i.e. that your visa has not expired)
- Documents confirming that the UK based subsidiary or registered branch has been formally registered with Companies House (i.e. a Certificate of Incorporation)
- Copies of the company’s trading accounts since it started trading, including its current assets in the UK
- A letter from your employer showing they still employ you
- Evidence of your earnings from the UK based subsidiary or registered branch
It is important that the information you provide with your extension application reflects the details provided in your original application. If the business now established in the UK is vastly different to that outlined initially, this may arouse concern. In addition, if your circumstances have changed, and you are no longer in a senior position to represent the overseas business, you may not be eligible to apply.
If you are in any way unsure if you are eligible for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa extension, or if you cannot provide all of the evidence provided to support your application, it is recommended that you speak to a team of experienced immigration lawyers. Immigration Solicitors are well versed in assessing the precise circumstances of applicants for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa extension, and where there are potential gaps in eligibility, recommending possible ways forward. If there is the potential for misunderstanding or if clarification is needed to ensure you receive a successful application, they will include a detailed covering letter with your application to cover these issues off. Furthermore, if any other documents may be useful in supporting your application, they will recommend which to include.
The application cost to extend a Representative of an Overseas Business visa is £704, and you will still need to pay the healthcare surcharge of £400 per year for you and each family member included on your application. You will also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information taken and uploaded (i.e. fingerprints, signature, and photo). The application process will take around two months in most cases and you will need to apply before your current visa expires – this means that you can remain in the UK for as long as it takes to receive a decision on your application.
If managed correctly, the extension of a Representative of an Overseas Business visa should be relatively swift and straightforward. By providing the necessary information upfront, the Home Office case officer may not need to request you attend an interview, which will further save the time and effort involved in extending your visa. We wish you all the best with representing your overseas employer in the UK and securing your visa extension.
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