Sole Representative is a UK visa category allowing an employee/member of an organisation to enter the UK as a representative of an overseas company for the purpose of establishing a wholly owned subsidiary or branch in the UK for the overseas parent company. This visa has become a very common and famous choice for corporate organisations and new entrepreneurs with businesses abroad.
This visa option is vital for any non-European or non-UK national business looking to invest in the UK as it will allow the employee of their business to not only enter the UK, but also set up a wholly owned subsidiary or branch of the overseas parent company.
It is very important in order to acquire a successful decision for the same, it has to be made sure that all of the set required criteria and eligibility are satisfied and met and upon presenting the sufficient evidence obtained and submitted at the time of the application.
It is also equally vital that you choose who your representative will be in advance as they are required to meet certain criteria. If your representative is an overseas national with no automatic rights to work in the UK, they are required to fulfil further criteria in order to be satisfy the requirements under this visa.
Are the objectives met?
In order to qualify for this visa category, an applicant must:
- Have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants (if applicable) in the UK – termed as maintenance;
- Had passed the test for satisfying the English language requirement;
- Applicant must have extensive knowledge and expertise in the particular business or work industry;
- Must be held on a senior position within the company, but not as a majority shareholder.
- Authorised to make decisions on behalf of the organisation or company;
- An applicant must be employed for the company outside the UK, whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK for at least a period of 12 months, prior to submitting the visa application.
- They must not intend to undertake any other work or business except the current one in the UK.
- Also last but not the least is that they are intending to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, e.g. a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Is there a minimum salary requirement for the sole representative?
Where there isn’t any minimum salary level requirement to be satisfied, however the applicant must be earning enough to support themselves and their family members/dependents for this application. The remuneration or the pay should reflect their appropriate skills, experience and knowledge. They are not eligible to receive any public funds whatsoever.
Who can be the so-called dependents of a Sole Representative applicant in the UK?
- Civil Partner
- Unmarried Partner
- Same-sex Partner
- Your child or child who is under the age of 18
Is there possibility for an extension of a Sole Representative Visa after the initial application within the UK?
After the initial grant of the visa as a Representative of an Overseas Business, for the period of 3 years; there is possibility if the further extension of the same visa for next 2 years.
To enable for this extension, it is very important for an applicant to still meeting the requirements continue to demonstrate to act as sole representative for the same overseas company. Followed on after which they will be able to apply for their settlement after the completion of 5 years in the UK.
Can a Sole Representative applicant apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain?
After the completion of 5 years in the UK, the applicant and their dependent(s) could apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement or Permanent Residency) on the condition that they are still continuing to meet with the criteria above.
What are the DO’s and the DON’T’S under the sole representative visa?
- Applicant can work full time for the employer;
- Can apply and bring their family (‘dependants’) to the UK;
- The applicant can make the extension for the said visa multiple times;
- Applicant can also apply for the settlement in the UK after 5 years;
- They can remain in the UK even if the company’s circumstances change and they have been in the UK for more than 2 years.
- The applicant cannot be employed for themselves or any other employment or company except the one they are working for;
- The applicant cannot continue to live and remain in the UK, even after the employment contract as their sole representative arrangement is ended by the employer;
- They applicant cannot switch to this visa category in-country or out of the country whatsoever from any other visa category;
- The applicant is not eligible to receive any kind of benefits or government public funds.
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