First of all, we need to know what exactly a sole representative of an overseas business visa is. Well, it is a UK visa category meant for foreigners wanting to set up any new branch of their own business in the UK. So, this UK sole representative visa helps any senior employee of any overseas business to come and set up the business in the UK. Such a senior employee is required to run the overseas business parent firm’s UK branch/subsidiary (wholly-owned).
If you are from Switzerland and EU (European Union)/EEA (European Economic Area), this UK visa category is a good choice for you to come to the UK and set up a branch of your parent business company here.
Do you know that as a representative of such a UK visa, you can make an application for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) after your 5 years stay in the UK on this visa? Yes, that is true and we will be discussing this, too, in the article later.
Requirements for a UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
Now, let us see the eligibility conditions and other requirements of this UK visa category.
See, the priority for you, as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, is to convince the UK immigration officials of your firm fulfilling the below mentioned conditions—
- Your firm or company is valid and genuine;
- It does not have any other branch/subsidiary/other representatives existing in the UK;
- You intend to set up its branch in the UK that works in the same business field as your overseas business;
- Your intentions are clear to keep your company’s main operation center overseas;
Eligibility conditions as a Sole Representative
- You should possess the knowledge, skills, and experience for assuming the role;
- You should have been hired and working outside the UK by any working and trading business whose main place of business is, and shall be outside the UK;
- You must be on a senior level position within your business and should be having total control for taking decisions on your business’ behalf;
- You should have the intention to set up the initial business presence of the overseas business in the UK, either as a owned subsidiary or registered branch;
Changes to UK immigration rules with effect from 4th June, 2020 for UK Sole Representative business Visa
- The UK sole representative subsidiary/branch needs to have its principal place and headquarters of its business outside the UK;
- It should be a trading company that is currently active;
- The applicant’s sole role is to work as a sole representative of the overseas company in the UK. So, he or she is not allowed to launch his or her respective business in the UK after getting this UK visa for representing the parent firm here;
- The applicant for Sole Representative Visa has to fulfill the eligibility conditions of this UK visa category. The latest changes are meant to crack down on fake or misusers of this UK visa stream for getting a route to UK settlement. Hence, the intent has to be genuine.
- The principal or the parent company has to be an active and genuine trading firm. Its aim must not be for making an application for UK Sole Representative visa to get settlement in the UK.
- A sufficient and valid proof is needed to show that the person applying for the UK Sole Representative Visa possesses the requisite knowledge, skill-sets, and experience of the business.
- The person applying for UK Sole Representative Business Visa is not allowed to possess a majority stake or control/ownership of the parent company overseas. This can be verified by reviewing the partnership agreement, share distribution, or other arrangement possessed by the applicant. Nonetheless, the applicant must be an employee at a senior level position of the parent company overseas and may have a minority shareholding in the same.
- The detailed information of the current ownership of the parent company and ownership of the company of the previous year is required from the parent company. Such information is needed to ensure that the company itself and its various activities are deemed to be genuine and bona fide.
- Any person who has a major share in the parent company overseas is not allowed to let his or her partner to make an application as a primary UK visa applicant and move to the UK on UK family visa stream by accompanying him/her.
Which are the documents and details required for supporting Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Application?
Following documents are needed:
- A good Business plan providing aims of your parent company and the reason behind requirement of a representative office for your business in the UK;
- An employment contract between the employing firm/company and the Sole Representative;
- An appointment letter from the parent company giving details about the reason behind the representative’s need in the UK;
- A proof providing the details of the Sole Representative overseas work for not less than 12 months duration;
- Various proofs showing the company setup overseas is a genuine company. These include parent company’s accounts.
How much time does it take to get a UK Sole Representative visa?
It is advisable to make an application around three months before your stipulated period of travel. Most likely, you shall receive a decision on your UK Sole Representative Visa within 3 weeks period of the date of application made from outside the UK.
What are the fee requirements for the Sole Representative overseas Business Visa?
The cost of a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is £610.
Duration of stay in the UK on Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
You can come and live in the UK for a period of three years initially. However, you can apply for extension of your visa for a period of 2 years. Moreover, you can make an application for getting authority to settle permanently in the UK after you have been living in the UK for a period of 5 years.
Can I, as a sole representative of an Overseas Business, take my family along to the UK?
Yes, the UK immigration authorities permit a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business to bring his/her family from abroad to the UK. This includes spouse/civil partner and children aged below 18 years. Meanwhile, you are not allowed to bring your siblings, extended family members, or even your parents to the UK from overseas.