Guide to apply for a UK Sole Representative Visa

An established business outside the UK can think of making use of the ever-growing UK economy by establishing a branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary of their business in the UK.

To do that, they do not need to outlay heavy amounts of money as an investment in the UK, they can set up a small business as well.

This small business must be registered with the UK Government and must be run by a representative of an overseas business or simply known as a sole representative.

There must be genuine reasons why you want to expand your business in the UK.

Let’s have a look at who this sole representative visa is for?

Who is it for?

If you are a genuine, trading overseas organization looking to make a global presence, you can apply for a sole representative visa and send a Sole representative to the UK to set up a branch of the same.

If you are a news agency, or media firm, or broadcasting company, you can send an employee on a long-term contract to the UK as a media representative.

Application eligibility to be considered for Sole Representative Visa

  • The application must be made online from outside the UK
  • The applicant either a sole representative or media representative must be financially strong to be able to sustain in the UK without accessing the public funds.
  • A1 level of proficiency in English language is needed to be demonstrated.
  • You will be exempted if you are a national of a country where English is a first language.

Eligibility from the Organization’s Side

  • The organization must be able to give in writing that the sole representative is employed with them.
  • The organization must be genuinely interested in expanding the business to the UK
  • The organization must conduct its principal business/ operations outside the UK only
  • There should not be another branch or subsidiary of the parent organization in the UK before this.
  • The sole representative cannot hold majority of shares in the parent company

Application Process

The application must be made online at least 3 months before the trip to the UK.

It takes about 3 weeks for the decision to be made.

The fees for this visa application are £610 and £624 is an immigration health surcharge.

Once approved the visa is granted for 3 years and is extendable to 2 more years. This visa route leads to settlement or ILR and in the due course of time, you can apply for British citizenship.

Checklist of Documents

You need the following:

  • Your identity documents (passport or another valid document)
  • Details of the residency in the UK during the visa period
  • Details of finances to sustain yourself in the UK
  • Certificate of English proficiency
  • Proof that you hold a senior position within the parent organization
  • You have been recruited directly by the overseas organization on a full-time job basis
  • You also need proof that you do not hold majority shares in the parent organization or on the proposed UK branch or subsidiary.
  • The sole representative must collect a written letter from the employer overseas stating that the person who will be running the branch in the UK is highly skilled and knowledgeable to make the decisions on behalf of the parent organization.
  • The sole representative must also have a written letter by the employer that he/she will continue to work for the employer in future as well.

You also need from the employer

  • The employer’s letter confirming that you are full-time employed
  • That you hold a senior position
  • That you don’t possess majority of shares
  • The employer must give evidence of a genuinely trading firm outside the UK

Permitted Activities

You can bring your dependents to the UK. Once you have lived for 5 years you can apply for ILR to settle permanently.

You can apply for a sponsor license and start hiring overseas skilled workers for your firm. You can also expand your business this way in the UK.

If you need assistance with your application, connect with the leading immigration specialists, A Y & J Solicitors for bespoke immigration advice and consultation.

Ending Words:

If you are a genuine, trading overseas organization looking to make a global presence, you can apply for a sole representative visa and send a Sole representative to the UK to set up a branch of the same. The organization must establish its first branch or presence in the UK. There should not be another branch or subsidiary of the parent organization in the UK before this.

The sole representative cannot hold a majority of shares in the parent company. Once approved the visa is granted for 3 years and is extendable to 2 more years.

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