Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
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Overview of the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa allows employees of overseas newspapers, news agencies or broadcasting organisations to come to the UK if they’ve been posted on a long-term assignment.
Note that this visa was formerly known as the ‘Representative of an Overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organisation visa’.
Similarly, sole representatives who wish to open a UK branch of their overseas company or business will no longer be able to apply for Sole Representative visas. Instead, you must apply through the UK Expansion Worker visa under the Global Business Mobility category of visas.
However, workers with existing permission as sole representatives on a UK Sole Representative visa route are still able to extend their stay and settle in the UK.
What is the Eligibility Criteria?
In order to apply for this visa, you must be an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation working on a mostly UK-based long-term assignment.
Your employer must also have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
In addition, you must also:
- Have enough money to support yourself without having to access public funds
- Meet the minimum English language requirement (if applicable)
Most applicants for this visa will be journalists. However, other employees may also apply, such as the following:
- News cameramen
- Front-of-camera personnel
However, note that secretaries and other administrative support staff will not qualify for this visa and must apply under an alternative immigration route.
What Are the Processing Times?
You should normally get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when applying from outside the UK.
If applying from inside the UK, you will normally get a decision within 8 weeks.
Note that your application may take longer if UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) need to contact you about your application, such as if:
- Your supporting documents need to be verified
- You need to attend an interview
- Your personal circumstances need to be discussed, such as if you have a criminal conviction
In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to pay to receive a faster decision on your visa application through UKVI’s priority processing service. However, note that this service may not be available in your country.
What Can I Do With a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa?
A Representative of an Overseas Business visa holder will be able to do the following:
- Work for your employer full time in the UK
- Bring your family members (also known as dependants) with you to the UK
- Apply to extend your visa
- Apply to permanently settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years through indefinite leave to remain
- Switch to this visa from inside the UK
However, note that you will not be able to do the following:
- Work for yourself or for any other business other than your employer
- Claim public funds
A Representative of an Overseas Business visa will initially allow you to stay in the UK for 3 years.
After this time, you may then apply to extend your visa for another 2 years.
However, you must still comply with the conditions and eligibility criteria of the visa itself.
After you’ve been in the UK for a total of 5 years, you may apply for permanent settlement through indefinite leave to remain.
What is the Minimum English Language Requirement?
You may have to prove that you meet the minimum English language requirement when you apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa.
You may do this by either:
- Passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
- Having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by Ecctis as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
However, you will not have to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:
|Antigua and Barbuda
|St Vincent and the Grenadines
|Trinidad and Tobago
|St Kitts and Nevis
How Much Does a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa Cost?
A Representative of an Overseas Business visa costs £719 when applying from outside of the UK.
If you’re applying from inside the UK, such as if you’re extending your visa or switching to this visa from another one, it will cost £625.
Note that the same costs all also apply when you extend your existing visa.
You must also pay the immigration healthcare surcharge as part of your application, which is £624 for every year you’ll be in the UK.