The Sole Representative Visa (also referred as Representative of an Overseas Business Visa) allows overseas companies to set up a commercial presence of their business in the UK by sending over a senior representative (Sole representative) to the UK.
The Sole Representative Visa offers Indian or any overseas companies to set up a branch or subsidiary of their parent company in the UK.
WHO CAN BE A SOLE REPRESENTATIVE?
A Sole representative applying to the UK must be an overseas national who is:
- An (employee) of a business outside of the UK planning to set up either a branch or a subsidiary in the UK.
- A senior member of the company but not the owner and has enough skills and authority to make business decisions on the company’s behalf.
- Replacing a previous sole representative.
- An employee of a newspaper, news agency or broadcasting company outside the UK.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SOLE REPRESENTATIVE VISA
The sole representative is responsible for establishing a branch or subsidiary of the overseas business and making key business decisions on its behalf. The entry clearance officers also take into account:
- The employment contract of the Sole representative
- Job description of the Sole representative
- Overseas company’s current and future business plans
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR A SOLE REPRESENTATIVE VISA?
To be eligible for a Sole Representative Visa, you must provide proof that:
- Is an active and trading overseas business
- Has and will continue to have its headquarters and centre of operations based outside the UK
- Intends to open and operate a branch office or wholly owned subsidiary in the UK
The applicant genuinely
- Was recruited overseas by the parent company
- Is setting up the organisation’s initial presence in the UK
- Has a great deal of experience, skills, and knowledge of the parent company and its industry
- Holds a senior position in the company and can make independent decisions on the parent company’s behalf
- Is not a major shareholder or have any significant control or stakeholding in the business via a partnership agreement or sole ownership
- Has the required knowledge of English
- Has sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependents during their leave to remain
HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY ON A SOLE REPRESENTATIVE VISA?
Once your Sole Representative Visa application has been approved, you’ll be eligible to enter the UK and stay to expand your business for 3 years after which you can extend your stay by submitting a leave to remain application. This will further push your stay in the UK for 2 more years.
After 5 years of representing an Indian business in the UK as a senior employee, you can apply for Indefinite leave to remain(ILR) and settle permanently in the UK.
CAN YOU TAKE YOUR DEPENDENTS UNDER THE UK SOLE REPRESENTATIVE VISA?
Yes, it is possible. The UK sole representative visa allows the holder to take their family members with them. However, the dependents must have a visa if they are from outside the UK.
A dependant can be your husband, wife, or partner and your child under 18.
If your dependents own the majority of the company, you will be representing then you may not bring them with you.
If your child is just born in the UK, then you can apply to add them to your visa as your dependent.