In simple terms, the UK sole representative program enables overseas businesses to send one of the key management staff or minority shareholder to the UK on a full-time basis to open a branch of their company.
This category is mainly used by foreign firms who are looking for expansion and looking for making inroads into European market for their business. By establishing a branch or a subsidiary of existing company, an applicant and his family members below the age of 18 can gain UK residency.
You may also be eligible if the company has a legal entity in the UK that doesn’t employ staff or transact business. If your company has been working to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but it is not yet set up, you can replace a previous sole representative.
A representative of an overseas business visa fees has 2 components: Home office application fees and the healthcare surcharge fee. Applicants also have the option of applying under priority service, which entails an additional home office fees but faster processing of the application saving close to few weeks of waiting time.
Official company/ tax documents and payslips/ personal bank statements showing salary deposits confirming your employment as a senior employee of the parent company and that you are not a majority shareholder
Notarised statement signed by an authorised person at the parent company
You need to provide a criminal record check for you (and your family members over 18) from your home country and from any other country you have been for more than 12 months (in total or continuously) in the last 10 years.
You need to either pass from one of the acceptable English language tests (IELTS score 4 from each category) (list of acceptable test centres) or provide your degree certificate and we can ask UK NARIC if your degree meets the English language requirements.
The UK Immigration Authorities will take into account the viability and credibility of your business plan and market research into your chosen business sector, your previous educational and business experience, your immigration history and previous activity in the UK.
You can apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Representative of an Overseas Business visa. You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay. You should apply before your current visa expires.
You must meet the following conditions:
A Representative of an Overseas Business visa can be extended for up to 2 years after the original visa duration of 3 years. You can apply to settlement visa once you have been in the UK for 5 years and you have an ongoing job with the same company.
You can normally apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years in this category. You will also need to meet the “continuous residence” requirement. The time you’re in the UK is called continuous residence. You and your family members can only be outside the UK for up to 180 days in any 12 months during the 5 years in this category.
Twelve months after being granted indefinite leave to remain, you are able to apply to become a British Citizen.
To be eligible, you will need to show that you have not been outside the UK for more than 450 days in the last 5 years and not more than 90 days in the last 12 months
If you’re 18 to 64 when you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and/or British Citizenship, you must also pass: