UK Sole Representative Visa

UK Sole Representative visaWhat is a UK Sole Representative Visa?

The UK Sole Representative Visa  allows an established overseas company to create a UK commercial presence. It allows the business representative to enter the UK to set up a branch or a subsidiary in the UK.

The visa is initially granted for a period of three years, after which time applicants can apply to extend their visa providing they can meet with the requirements set out by UKVI.  The visa extension is granted for a period of two years after which time applicants can apply to settle in the UK.

Why should I apply for the UK Sole Representative visa rather than the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Obtaining a Sole Representative consists of a straightforward process in comparison to applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa as there is no requirement to meet with the Genuine Entrepreneur Test or to make a minimum investment of £200,000 in the Sole Representative visa. However, it still leads to settlement after five years for an applicant and his or her dependants, providing they meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.

 

Eligibility for a UK Sole Representative Visa

To be eligible for a Sole Representative visa you must demonstrate that you:

  • have full authority to make decisions on behalf of the business
  • hold a senior position within the company
  • do not hold more than 50% of the shares of the overseas business
  • have sufficient funds to support yourself and dependants (if applicable)
  • have extensive knowledge and experience in the industry
  • meet the English Requirement
  • do not intend to take any other employment whilst in the UK
  • overseas business intends to set up the business’ first branch or subsidiary in the UK

You may be eligible for a Sole Representative visa if you are being posted to the UK on a long-term assignment.

Is a UK Sole Representative Visa suitable for your business?

Although the UK Sole Representative visa option is a popular alternative to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, it may not be suitable for you if the following apply:

  • The business already has a UK presence and the representative can be employed directly by the UK branch or subsidiary
  • Your business representative is not going to be based in the UK on a long-term basis
  • Your business representative owns 50% or more share of the overseas business
  • The headquarters or principal place of business becomes established in the UK
  • The operations of the UK branch or subsidiary changes and can no longer be considered as carrying out the same type of business as the original overseas business
  • The UK branch or subsidiary is no longer wholly owned by the original overseas business

How long is the UK Sole Representative Visa issued for?

The visa is initially granted for a period of three years, after which time applicants can apply to extend their visa providing they can meet with the requirements set out by UKVI.  The visa extension is granted for a period of two years after which time applicants can apply to settle in the UK.

How can you extend a UK Sole Representative Visa?

In order to extend your Sole Representative visa, you will need to show that:

  • You are still in the UK
  • You are still working full-time for the same employer as you were when the visa was initially issued to you
  • The overseas business still has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK
  • The UK operation of the overseas business is still active

Can I bring my dependants with me on this visa?

The Applicant can also make a separate application for your dependants (including husband, wife or partner and or children under 18) after being issued with a sole representative visa.

Alternatively, you can make an application for them to join you at the same time as you make your own application. You will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to meet the maintenance requirement but your partner or dependants do not need to meet the English language requirement.

Do I have to meet the maintenance requirement?

Yes,  applicants will need to ensure that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and any dependants.

NA Law can help you get a UK Sole Representative visa

We are a niche immigration law firm specialising in this area of law. Our team of specialist immigration solicitors can assist you with the entire process. We will take instructions from you during the initial consultation stage, advise on the most appropriate documents to gather in support of your application and draft detailed legal representations. Finally, we will liaise with the Home Office until a final decision is made on your application.

Contact us for a case assessment on how to meet with the requirements to apply for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

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