A Guide to the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
This visa is outside of the points based visa system. It is a great choice if applicable to your situation, but the problem is that the government wants to know EVERYTHING about you (and your company). If you want it done right, get an immigration professional to help your company draft the application. They will also make sure you are eligible for the visa. The UK government provides a list of “all” information necessary to obtain this visa, but it is far from comprehensive. The information below is the actual list of everything we had to provide to get this visa. Throughout the process, money was the focus of documentation. The UK needs to be sure the sole representative will not recourse into public funds whilst living in the country. The information the UK government requires is highly sensitive, but it must be provided to get a visa.
Information Provided by the Employee
This first grouping of information will be entered into forms, so it does not need to be structured. There are many things you will have to speculate and assume, but this information is not too critical to the application as a whole.
- What is the main address and contact details of where you will be staying whilst in the UK?
- How much you spend each month on living costs in your current country (non-detailed)?
- How much of your monthly income is used to support family members (non-detailed)?
- Total amount of money available to you for this trip (include both the company’s money and your personal money)
- Cost of flight tickets (speculate the cost of tickets)
- Cost of accommodation (non-detailed)
- Cost of living expenses in the UK (non-detailed)
- Do you have any friends or family in the UK?
- Your name, previous names, date of birth, place of birth, and nationality
- Names, dates of birth, nationality, and places of birth for your parents
This letter will state important information about your position, intent, and qualifications to be the sole representative of an overseas business. My letter was three pages long and contained the following:
- Duration of employment
- State that the subsidiary/branch will operate in the same business activity as the parent
- State that the headquarters will remain overseas
- State that you have been recruited and taken on as an employee outside the United Kingdom and the business has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK
- State that you are a senior employee of the overseas business
- State that you have full authority to make operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the United Kingdom
- State that you will be establishing and operating a registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary of that overseas business which will be concerned with same type of business activity as the parent company
- You will be employed full-time as a representative of that overseas business
- You are not a majority shareholder in that overseas business
- You do not intend to take employment elsewhere whilst in the UK
- You have competence in the English language
- You can maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependents adequately without recourse to public funds (the financial information will prove this point)
- Qualifications statement (this needs to be signed and dated and can be included as part of your letter as opposed to a separate statement)
Most of these documents are financially focused to prove that you will not recourse into public funds. All of these documents should be dated no more than 1 month from the date of application.
- Your payslips for the past 3 months (online payslips must be stamped and signed by the human resources person at your company)
- Your personal tax return for the previous year
- Your personal bank statements for the past 3 months (bank statements need to show the payment of your salary and that you also have adequate funds; if your salary is paid into a different account, then you will need to provide the corresponding statements)
- Your up-to-date C.V. or Resume
- Completed and signed VAF2 online application forms in respect of you and your dependents
- The receipt showing your and your dependent’s biometric enrollment (this will be provided to you at your visa appointment)
- Your and your dependent’s original current and expired passport(s) (Your passport must have at least one double-sided blank page)
- Two passport photographs of you and your dependent(s) which must be taken in accordance with the UK visa photo guidance
- Your original Civil Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- Your travel history
Information Provided by the Employer
Your overseas parent company must submit an original signed and dated letter confirming your employment and supporting the application. The letter we submitted was almost three pages in length. Most of this information was stated in the employee letter, but this will confirm those statements and back it up with signatures. This must be printed on company letterhead and must provide the following information:
- UK business will operate in the same business activity as the parent company
- The main operation and headquarters will remain overseas
- Salary package details for the employee
- Confirm that the employee is not a majority shareholder
- Confirm that the employee holds a senior position at the parent company
- State anything that the company will be providing the employee for the trip (ie. accommodation, transportation, allowances, etc)
- If housing will be arranged upon arrival, mention it in the letter
- Corporate tax return for the company to evidence assets and accounts
- Financial Statement for the company (The latest financial statement)
- If the company is required to submit audited accounts, they must also be provided
- Full details of the company’s share distribution for the previous year
- Articles of Association for the parent company
- Articles of Association for the UK company (if it has been registered at the Companies House)
- Corporate bank statements for the last 3 months from the company
- A business plan for proposed activities in the UK (This needs to be an official document and needs to be printed on company letterhead)
- Your original Offer Letter confirming details of your role whilst in the UK
- Your original Employment Contract