Immigration update: Representatives of overseas businesses
Changes to the new immigration rules for the UK, spells out some important requirements for sole representatives of overseas businesses planning to set up a branch in the UK.
With the rollout of the points-based system, there have been ongoing updates to immigration rules. The most recent, which came into effect on 01 October 2009, makes changes to the current criteria for the admission of sole representatives of overseas businesses coming to the United Kingdom for the purposes of establishing a branch of that business.
These changes will also re-introduce provision for representatives of overseas media businesses. The provisions for these categories of worker will remain, for the present, outside the points-based system.
In the case of sole representatives, the changes to the previous immigration requirements are firstly, that the branch which the overseas worker will establish must be concerned with same type of business activity as the overseas business; and that the worker must be fully competent in English language.
Secondly, people admitted as sole representatives will no longer benefit from 'concessionary arrangements' under which they may be accompanied by dependant adult relatives.
The provisions for representatives of overseas media businesses will cover employees of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the United Kingdom. They will also be required to be competent in the English language.
People admitted under the revised provisions for representatives of overseas businesses will be admitted for an initial period of up to three years, and will be able to extend their stay for a further two years.
Those who have applied for entry clearance before 1 October 2009 will be considered under the criteria in force on 30 September 2009. Nor will the new requirements for sole representatives apply to sole representatives admitted under the previous rules and seeking an extension of stay after 1 October 2009.