You are currently ready to establish a branch of your overseas business in the UK? You need to assign and nominate a person who will represent your business and manage the company inside the UK.
The main requirements to the representative you want to send to the UK are as follows:
• be recruited and employed outside the UK by the employer they intend to represent in the UK;
• intend to work full-time for the organisation;
• not intend to take any other employment;
• be applying to be the sole representative in the UK of an overseas employer who intends to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that overseas business in the UK and that branch or subsidiary will operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas business;
• not be a majority shareholder in that overseas business;
• be a senior employee of the overseas company;
• have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK;
• obtain entry clearance in this category before arrival in the UK and present it to a border force officer on arrival;
• provide evidence that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds;
• meet the required standard in English language.
Their employer must have:
• its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK;
• no active branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK.
If there is already a branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK, employees must apply under the points-based system.
Majority shareholders in the parent company are not eligible for entry as sole representatives.
Switching. An applicant cannot change (or switch) from another immigration category into the representative of an overseas business category if they are already in the UK, because they must have entry clearance as a representative of an overseas business.
The applicant may be granted indefinite leave to remain if:
• they have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a representative of an overseas business or in one of the predecessor categories of overseas media representative or sole representative;
• they have met the requirements of a representative of an overseas business throughout the 5‑year period, which include:
- being employed throughout the period, for example by providing P60s for the last 5 years and pay slips for the last 3 months;
- for sole representatives, evidence to show they have established a branch registered as a UK establishment or subsidiary and generated business:
- their employer must still be actively trading and remain centred overseas.
• can produce a letter from their employer which certifies they are still needed to do the job they were first granted leave for;
• can demonstrate knowledge of English language and life in the UK, unless they are exempt.
Dependants. A representative of an overseas business may bring, or be joined by, their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner, dependent children.
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