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UK Immigration Solicitors

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Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa UK

For overseas nationals wanting to work in the UK for their company or expand their business into the UK, the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa, (mostly referred to as a Sole Representative Visa) provides a strong solution. This visa allows you to live and work in the UK for three years, and to bring your dependents to the UK where they can work without restriction.

Businesses based overseas can take advantage of the Sole Representative Visa to establish a presence in Britain to test the market, without the overheads associated with setting up a branch office and hiring local staff.

As the fifth-largest economy in the world, the UK offers vast opportunities for innovative organisations ready to expand. For example, the British High Commissioner to India recently stated the UK and India tech industries were a “marriage made in heaven ”. One way to take advantage of the prospects available in Britain is to send a sole representative to ‘dip their toe in the water’, before making a full commitment.

What is the Sole Representative Visa

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:

The organisation:

  • 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.

Conditions of the stay:

Applicants living in the Uk under the Sole Representative Visa have to abide by the following conditions:

  • No access to public funds
  • Can’t do their own business or represent any third-party company’s interest
  • Registration with the police, if applicable

Documents Required for the Sole Representative Visa:

Both you and the company you work for will need to supply a substantial list of documents when applying for a Sole Representative Visa. Our lawyers can assist you with collating the necessary documents and answer any questions the Home Office may have concerning them.

You will need to produce the following:

  • Your passport and other valid travel documents
  • Evidence you can support yourself and your dependents (e.g. bank statements)
  • Details of your accommodation in the UK
  • Proof of your knowledge of English
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • A complete summary of your organisation, what it does, its assets and liabilities and other accounts
  • A letter confirming the company intends to create a wholly-owned subsidiary or branch office in the UK
  • Your job description, salary and proof you can make independent decisions on the company’s behalf
  • Proof you are employed by the company and are not merely an agent
  • Proof you were employed outside the UK and will be working only for the organisation that is sending you to the country

What are the advantages of the Sole Representative Visa?

The Sole Representative Visa offers many benefits, some of which are:

  • Sole representatives can apply for a two-year visa extension if they operate successfully during the initial 3 tears of their stay.
  • After five years, applicants can be eligible to apply for permanent residency
  • After six years, applicants can be eligible to apply for British nationality
  • Sole representatives can combine time spent in the UK with other visa categories to qualify for ten-year residency rights.
  • For business eyeing for expansion, they can send a single senior employee to the UK to study and test the market without having to outlay large amounts of capital

Is it possible to extend the Sole Representative Visa?

You can easily apply to extend your UK sole representative visa, including your dependants too by verifying your eligibility once again and paying a nominal amount of fees. IT can be expanded for up to two years after the initial visa period of 3 years.

The fee would be £704 to extend the visa term plus immigration health surcharge fees and £19.20 for giving the biometric data (fingerprints and a photo).

The home office will contact you within eight weeks after you submit your application.

What is the eligibility?

  1. You must be living in the UK to extend your visa.
  2. You have to be working for the same company as who handed out your first visa.
  3. The company you are working with must have a registered address outside the UK.
  4. You are still working to stabilise the firm’s existence 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.

What can I do if my sole representative visa is refused?

If your sole representative visa entry clearance or an extension of a Sole Representative Visa is refused, then you will have the liberty to ask for an Administrative Review and, potentially, subsequent Judicial Review if the Administrative Review is ineffective.

You should contact our team, as they will analyse the reasons for your refusal and prepare you with the best legal advice and representation.

What is a Sole Representative Business Plan?

The Business Plan should contain all the details of business outside of the UK. You have to decide the main objectives and reasons for why you want to expand your business in the UK.

It must be a strong and trading overseas business and will proceed to have its principal office and centre of operations based outside the UK. It aims to open and regulate a branch office or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK.

The aftermaths of proposing a poorly written business plan that does not address all of these critical questions are very likely to be the refusal of your sole representative application.

At AY&J Solicitors, we assist the people who are facing issues in drafting a great business plan, below mentioned are the steps about how we will help you

  • Telephone Consultation – We will have an informal discussion so we can discover more about you, your business, and the purpose of the business plan.
  • Business Plan Questionnaire – Once we’ve decided to work together, we will email over a questionnaire for you to complete.
  • Draft Business Plan – Our writers will start drafting an excellent business plan. Usually, it takes 3-4 weeks to complete the draft business plan. It depends on the complicatedness of the project, the degree of information already provided, and what extra details we require from you.
  • Reviewing the Business Plan – When we send you the business plan, you have to review and email us back any particular revisions that are required. We always instruct our clients to read the list entirely at this stage. Once the remaining balance has been paid, you will obtain both a Word document and pdf version of the business plan, the financial forecasts etc.

Can IELTS be considered for the sole representative visa of the UK?

UK Visa and Immigration in December 2019, made a declaration that IELTS for UKVI will be acknowledged as one of the secure English language tests (SELT) for all those UK visas that makes it mandatory for applicants to verify their proficiency in the English language.

How Brexit has affected the UK’s immigration system?

Brexit has affected the Sole Representative Visa in the right way. Now, the EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally. This, however, has created a void in the UK marketplace. But the good news is that this in turn has opened up a large pool of opportunities for overseas businesses that had been eyeing for business expansion in the UK. Overseas businesses can now send a representative to the UK to study and capture the market while they can plan and test out different ways to make a name for themselves.

This new immigration rule would be more helpful to businesses, specially with a background in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

How can we assist you in applying for a Sole Representative Visa?

A Y & J Solicitors has a team of skilled professional immigration lawyers ready to walk you through the process of applying for, and successfully acquiring a Sole Representative Visa. We understand the challenges which applicants may face and the extensive documentation which must be supplied. Hence, we can guide you to the process for a successful outcome. We are here to help you with each step of giving rise to your business in the UK.

How long does it take to process the Sole Representative Visa?

Based on our experience, it takes around 4-6 weeks to process a Sole Representative Visa application by the Home Office.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

You can get a faster decision by paying for the super premium service.

How much does a representative of the overseas business visa cost?

The fees of getting a sole representative visa program in the UK (Sole Representative Visa) is £610 per applicant plus immigration health surcharge fees of £400 per year (£1200 for three years). They can also charge some extra fees for biometrics and other procedures.

Can a sole representative be a shareholder in the parent company? Or Can an owner of the majority shareholder migrate to the UK as a sole representative?

Sole Representatives can be shareholders in the company that is wishing to inaugurate a branch or subsidiary in the UK. However, they can’t be the majority of shareholders. The Home Office will refuse the application if the applicant holds more than 50% of the shares in the parents firm.

What is the application process for a UK sole representative?

Your application for a Sole Representative Visa must be made online unless you are from North Korea. Along with the required documentation, you will also need to supply your biometric details (i.e. fingerprints and photographs). You can have these taken at a local visa application centre.

Both you and the company you work for will need to supply a substantial list of documents when applying for a Sole Representative Visa. Our lawyers can assist you with collating the necessary documents and answer any questions UK Visas and Immigration may have concerning them.

You will need to produce the following:

  • Your passport or another valid travel document
  • Evidence you can support yourself and your dependents (e.g. bank statements)
  • Details of your accommodation in the UK
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • A complete summary of your organisation, what it does, its assets and liabilities and other accounts
  • A letter confirming the company intends to create a wholly-owned subsidiary or branch office in the UK
  • Your job description, salary, and proof you can make independent decisions on the company’s behalf
  • Guarantee you are employed by the company and are not merely an agent
  • Verification you were used outside the UK and will be working only for the organisation that is sending you to the country
  • Evidence that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience required to set up and run a branch office or wholly-owned UK subsidiary.

Who are we?

A Y & J Solicitors is a multi-award-winning, Legal 500 firm that has established its reputation as the best immigration law firm in the UK. We have over 10+ years of Immigration Law experience and have helped 4000+ clients with their UK Visa applications, work permits, visa extensions, and visa renewals including Sole Representative Visas.

Why do you need us?

A Y & J Solicitors is a team of expert immigration lawyers that can walk you through the process of applying for a Sole Representative Visa. We have been the industry specialists for a long time now and very closely understand the challenges and complexities that the applicants might face during the process and we can help you out!

FAQs

Yes, you can apply to bring your dependents with you. Dependents are classified as your spouse or partner and/or any children under 18 years.
Under the Immigration Rules, your spouse or partner cannot “have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, that overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement”.

If you are from a country in which English is the main language, you will not need to prove your knowledge of English. These countries are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • the United States of America

Canada is also considered an English-speaking country, however, qualifications from Canadian higher education institutes may not automatically qualify.

If you do not come from one of these countries, you will need to pass a Secure English language test for UKVI or hold a degree which is:

  • A UK Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD
  • Awarded by an establishment outside of the UK and is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD
  • Deemed by UK NARIC to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in the UK, and is from an educational establishment in a majority English speaking countryy.

Contact Us Today For Sole Representative Visa

Brochure of Sole Representative Visa

Sole Representative Visa UK / Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

How Do I Apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business?
Some of the facts: The Representative of an Overseas Business visa presents an opportunity to companies which are preparing to set up their first branch/subsidiary in the UK, usually an essential step in the company’s expansion plans. Those entering the UK on a Sole Representative visa can bring with them their dependant partners and children under the age of 18

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About UK Immigration Law Services
Before You Start

What to ask to get the right solicitor for your immigration matter.

Tips to Choose a Right UK Immigration Lawyer

We are a specialised UK immigration law firm.

In this video, I will share some tips with you on how to choose a UK immigration lawyer.

There are five very important points you may wish to consider while choosing a UK Immigration Lawyer.

Number 1: UK immigration law is very specific, fast-changing and complex.  You should not entrust your future to an individual/company that does not fully comprehend the complexity of UK immigration law. Therefore, our first tip is that you may want to consider choosing a lawyer who specialises in UK immigration law and has a wealth of experience in dealing with UK immigration applications and/or/appeals.

Tip Number 2: You will need a lawyer who will be honest with you. This includes discussions about the success chances of your immigration case, total cost and tentative time frame.

Tip Number 3: A lawyer’s reputation often precedes them – look for a lawyer who is known for honesty. Check out client reviews to see what others have said. When many people rate the same lawyer as honest after their transactions, chances are good that you’ve found an honest lawyer. Check out for independent review platform such as TrustPilot for real and verified reviews from actual clients.

Tip Number 4: How about choosing a lawyer who loves immigration law? One who cannot wait to get started on your case. A passionate lawyer who regularly sees success in immigration matters and tends to deliver great results.

Tip Number 5: Always look for a lawyer who is Authorised and Regulated. In most cases, lawyers in the UK are regulated by the SRA – Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or by the OISC. Professional certification or Awards are also good indications. It might be prominent on their webpage if they have this.

Finally, look for a lawyer who is always improving by staying up to date on the UK immigration rules and regulations, and is constantly upgrading their skills. This is particularly important in the UK immigration sector, where laws are changed frequently, and lawyers must know exactly what is required for each type of application or appeal.

If you look for these qualities in a lawyer, it is likely that you find someone who is going to take good care of your Immigration matter, while respecting you as a valuable, important individual.

If you require legal assistance with your UK Immigration matter, please get in touch with us. Our contact details are at the bottom of this video. We’re happy to help. Thank you.

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Having found myself in a rather sticky situation I was desperate for advice/help/guidance. I found A Y & J Solicitors through a friend and with in minutes into my first phone call to them, felt a sense of tremendous peace of mind which I had longed for. Mr Yash spoke very professionally and together with his team went on to do the almost impossible and secure an ‘Out of time’ extremely complicated Tier 2 application for myself and a spouse visa for my wife. Yes they are expensive. But their services are well worth it. They are direct & almost every step of the way they were transparent and kept me updated on the status as and when they knew anything. With out a doubt, I can easily say that our experience with them has been fantastic and would highly recommend their services to any one i know that is looking for a good immigration solicitor. Keep up the excellent work Mr. Yash. God Bless. Thumbs up to the excellent team they have.

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I went to Globevisas on a friend’s recommendation and I’m glad I did that. These guys are very helpful and they know what they’re talking about. My ILR application was an extremely smooth experience and was granted without any hassles at all. I would recommend Globevisas to anyone who is looking for help to sort out their visa issues!