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I'm a software developer working remotely from Nigeria and I started working with a UK company this month after being unemployed for 6+ months. The company is planning an onsite meeting of everyone in the company for November and I was wondering if I should even bother applying since my situation seems so complicated.

My contract explicitly states that I am an "Independent Contractor" so I can't fill "Employed" on the visa application. The next (and what I believe is the correct) option is "Self-Employed" but the guide says I would have to send in supporting documents proving I own a business but, I do not as I work... individually (for lack of a better word). Am I "Unemployed" for this situation?

The company is sponsoring all costs related to the 1 week visit but my personal finances aren't great since I've depleted my savings during the period of unemployment. I have £4000 in "savings" (salary for this month) in Transferwise (which I use to receive GBP payment) and <100K naira in my bank account. My bank account shows a history of supporting a dependent relative but nothing more.

Is there any chance I get the visa even as I'm being invited over or should I forget it? And what are the things I can do to have a stronger case for next time? Register a business?

  • Have you received any salary from this company so far? – Hanky Panky Oct 29 '19 at 8:38
  • Yes I have, it's the amount in the TransferWise account. – Ifeoluwa Oct 29 '19 at 9:37
  • Hopefully the money in Transferwise didn't arrive in a single transaction ? – DumbCoder Oct 31 '19 at 16:01
  • It did arrive in a single transaction. £4,000 is the amount I earn monthly and it's stated in my contract. – Ifeoluwa Oct 31 '19 at 16:09
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Since the company is covering all the costs of your trip, I would ask them also to cover the costs of getting a UK solicitor who specialises in this area to prepare your application. We have far too many questions around here where people's immigration records have been ruined for life because their then-current employers played fast and loose with their visa status.

You're travelling as a professional; do it professionally. If your employer won't do this, it is a giant red flag and you should consider your position very carefully.

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You are "Self-employed", and you proof this with the contract or/and payments you receive from you "employers" (or bank account where you have regularly payment from the company).. If you should notify somehow your country about your self-employment (taxes, social security, etc.), you will get additional official documents.

I think you should attach some contract/email where there is a long term commitment from the company (e.g. you are committed for a 18 month project, or so). Also if it is not 100% sure, it has some guarantee of your income then most of self-employment jobs.

A warning: you should do an research on internet about your company: there are many scams against foreigners (also because it is difficult (or expensive) to go to court remotely (and foreign people knows much less local laws, and scammers tend to misrepresent it).

  • I started with the company only this month so, I have just payment for one month to show unfortunately. I've also made some preliminary checks on the company, I found their beta.companieshouse.gov.uk and Crunchbase profile which shows accurate information about the executives and funding situation (it's a startup). – Ifeoluwa Oct 29 '19 at 9:44

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