With the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak and resulting lock-down not just in the UK but around the world, we have been managing enquiries and casework from people caught up in this uncertain situation during their UK visa application.
A useful overview of how things currently stand follows. This information can change quickly as communication from the government has come through a variety of sources. Please contact us to ask and we will aim to provide you with clarity.
We recently had the pleasure of working with a film distribution company from the United States. They wanted to set up a branch in the UK, from which they can engage with the UK and European market. They had identified a member of staff who would move to the UK to represent the company. They needed our help to assist them through the process of applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa.
Sole Representative Guidance | Main Requirements
Belonging to part of the rules which predates the UK points-based system, the sole rep visa for the UK allows a company to send a senior member of their team to the UK to set up a commercial presence such as a registered branch or UK subsidiary, to operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas headquartered business.
The visa can also be used for overseas media employees, employed by an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation to be posted and based in the UK under long-term assignment. This includes journalists, front-of camera personnel, producers and news camera operators.
The visa enables an employee to come to the UK, set up the business or to be based in the country on long-term assignment. It is initially granted for 3 years and can be renewed for a further 2 years, totalling 5 years overall. Following completion of 5 years of residence in the UK, the sole rep can apply to settle in the UK. Sole representatives can also bring their family: a partner and their children.
Why do I need to do this?
The current immigration rules mean that most people who want to get a visa to come and live in the UK must show that can support themselves, or be supported by someone else, who can afford to ‘maintain and accommodate’ the person they are bringing in, or sponsoring. This is so you can demonstrate you will not require government support.
We’ll walk you through the main ways you can meet these requirements and give you some tips on how to get prepared.
Today saw the publication of further information about the Government's long awaited and much lobbied for reintroduction of Post Study Work. Few working in UK international education will have missed the excitement, even relief, with which the initial announcement was met from within the sector and beyond.
As someone who has spent a working life in visa advice settings, many in and around higher education - including, indeed, a stint on a government working group on post study work - I was also more than delighted to see its return.
UK PLC's offering in the global market place of education has been reduced through the lack of meaningful post study work opportunities, not even as a means to settle, but merely as a way to contextualise a qualification with graduate work exposure or building the international links, partnerships and soft-power connections and reciprocities with which those well-versed in the returns of the international higher education space are familiar. From this point of view alone, it is much needed.
Entry Clearance - what evidence do I need?
The UK spouse visa is one of our most common areas of work. People we talk to usually have two issues. Firstly, how to meet the very complex and stringent financial requirements for the UK spouse visa. Secondly, how to prove the relationship between the applicant and their UK sponsor.
The financial requirements are extensive - perhaps another article for another day! [UPDATE: here we go...]
In this article, we consider what evidence you might need when you are applying for the first time to bring your partner to the UK, also called Entry Clearance.
Throughout the process - from the first visa to come into the UK as a spouse, to the extension FLR(M) to the very final step, the SET(M), there is always some form of evidence required to prove the relationship is real.
It's often interesting how frequently patterns and themes emerge in the enquiries we receive at any given time.