Applying for Sole Representative Visa

Overseas companies who intend to establish their operations in the UK are able to send a representative from the organisation who can set up a company branch in the UK. The representative will be solely responsible for the operations of the company in the UK.

Requirements for Sole Representative

  • You must be from outside EEA and Switzerland
  • You must be recruited and employed by a company outside the UK. The company is considered to be fit if they have headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
  • You must hold a senior position in the company. However, you cannot be a major shareholder/director in the company which means they cannot be holding more than 50% shares of the company.
  • You must have full authority to make operational decisions on the company’s behalf in the UK.
  • You must intend to work full time for your employer to establish the first commercial presence in the UK, for example establishing a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

You may also be a sole representative if the company has a legal entity in the UK which does not employ staff or does not transact any business in the UK. If your company has already been making efforts to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but so far no branch or subsidiary has been set up, in that case, you can replace a previous sole representative.

Moving employees to the UK

Businesses overseas can send their employees to the UK through Tier 2 ICT or Business Visit visa options. The choice of choosing the visa category will be determined by a number of factors which includes the role of the employee in the company and role they will perform in the UK, the nature of the activity they have to carry out, the time they plan to spend in the UK and also the status of the company’s operations in the UK.

How long it takes and how long can you stay

You can apply the earliest 3 months before you travel to the UK. Once you apply from the outside UK, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.

Once you are granted Sole Representative Visa, you can come to the UK for 3 years initially and you may extend your visa for 2 more years, provided you meet the requirements for an extension. After you complete 5 years in the UK, you can apply for permanent settlement/Permanent Residence/ Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

What you can do and what you cannot do

As a sole representative in the UK, you can work full time for your employer. You can also bring your family to the UK and you can extend your visa multiple times.

However, with Sole Representative Visa, you cannot work for yourselves or any other company or business. If the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer then you cannot stay in the UK anymore. You cannot switch from any other visa category to this visa category and you are not allowed access to the public funds in the UK.



Tier 1 and Tier 2 – Point Based System – dependent visa

Many migrants come to the UK and they have their dependents back home. They also want to join them in the UK. The UK Immigration rules do allow the dependents to accompany or join the main applicant in the UK.

Point-based system (PBS) dependent visa is for the family – Wife/ Children under 18 years of age to join or accompany the main applicant. Dependents may have different rights given to them as compared to the rights applicable to the main applicant. As a PBS dependent you need to know the rights you have, entitlement for activities and so on. It is important for you to understand all the factors that apply to you as a PBS Dependent. Once you know this you won’t breach any UK immigration laws and you also plan properly for your ILR if you decide to make the UK your home. There are many variations in rules and requirements for PBS dependents are under paragraph 319 of the Immigration Rules.

If you came to the UK after July 2012 then you need to spend minimum 5 years in the UK to qualify for ILR.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 PBS dependents

 A dependent is one who is one of the following:

  • Your husband, wife or your unmarried partner.
  • Your child below 18 years
  • Your child above 18 who came in the UK as a dependent before they turned 18 years old.

Please note – Children above 16 years of age have additional evidence requirements.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 PBS dependents can enjoy following:

  • They can work full time in the UK without any restriction.
  • They can apply for ILR after 5 years in the UK. However, they must show evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship in the UK.
  • They cannot enjoy benefits while in the UK as this is a breach of a PBS Dependent’s immigration permission.
  • They can study full time when they are in the UK. But they have to pay international university fees for this.
  • They are not tied to the same number of days out of the country restrictions as the main applicant.
  • They can access NHS

Maintenance Requirement

You must show that dependents coming to join you can be supported financially and will not be dependent on public funds in the UK. Each dependent whether applying with you or separately must have at least £630 available with them and this is required in addition to the amount of £945 which you must have to support yourself while you are in the UK. You must show the proof that money has been available and it has been in your bank account or the dependent’s bank account for a minimum 90 days before you or dependents apply. However, you don’t need to show evidence of savings if you have a fully approved A-rated Tier 2 sponsor provides confirmation of maintenance for dependents.

Please note – Tier 1 Dependents applying from outside the UK have to show £1890 for 90 days, whereas Tier 2 dependents only need to show £630 from outside or inside the UK.

Applying from within and outside the UK and applying for children born while you are in the UK

If your dependents apply from outside the UK then they can apply online and if your partner and/or child apply from within the UK to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they are already in the UK then they can ask to use priority service and get same day decision at the premium service center. If you have children while you are in the UK, you can apply to receive permission for your children to stay in the UK.







What are your Duties as a Sponsor License Holder?

When an organization in the UK receives Sponsor License it authorizes them to recruit foreign nationals outside of EEA area. They can employ skilled workers to work for their organization. However, along with rights, there are some duties or responsibilities upon sponsor license holders as well. If you are an organization in the UK applying for sponsor license, it is better you know the duties that you need to perform as sponsor license holder because if you fail to do so then you may face a downgrade in user rating, your license may be suspended or withdraw and you are putting the jobs of existing migrant workers at risk.


Duties as a sponsor license holder

 Carry out checks of sponsored workers

 You need to carry out following duties to make sure you are complying completely as an organization.

  • You must check that foreign national employees working in your organization have the necessary skills, qualifications or professional accreditations to do their jobs. You must keep copies of documents showing this as well;
  • You must only offer certificates of sponsorship to people when the job you are offering them is suitable for sponsorship; and
  • You must inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if workers you sponsored are not complying with the conditions of their visa.

Monitor your employees

When you have done due diligence while assigning a sponsored license to workers suitable for the job, the next duty you have is to monitor your employees. You must have a strong HR system in place that performs following duties:

  • They must monitor the immigration status of your employees;
  • They must check and maintain relevant documents for each worker which includes their passport and right to work information;
  • They must always track and record attendance of workers;
  • Worker’s contact details must be always updated; and
  • If there is a problem, for example, any worker is not coming to work then it must be reported to UKVI.

Report changes in your own business

If there are any significant changes in your own business circumstances then you must report it to UKVI within 10 working days. Changes can be the following:

  • If you stop trading or become insolvent.
  • If you changing the nature of business substantially.
  • If you are doing a merger or take-over.

Apart from the above changes if you are making any changes in business details like your address, Key personnel or allocated roles then you must report this to UKVI.

You can register a change of circumstances by using the sponsorship management system (SMS).

It can take up to 18 weeks to process your requests. You can also use priority service to register a change within 5 working days. It costs you £200.

Other Sponsor License duties

You must perform other duties failing which you may face the consequences. These are:

  • You must be a running a genuine organization.
  • You must be operating legally in the UK.
  • If you are sponsoring workers under 18 years of age, you must ensure that these workers receive suitable care arrangements for travelling to the UK, arrival in UK and living arrangements in the UK. You must get a letter of consent to the care arrangements from parents of workers under 18.
  • You must get a Disclosure and Barring Service to checkon those of your workers who need it – Tier 2 rote provides a list of individuals to need a police record check before they submit an application.

If you are looking in order for assistance in meeting the compliance requirements or wish to discuss on submitting an application for sponsorship licence, please do not hesitate to contact Visa and Migration Ltd.


Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfers)

The Tier 2 ICT route is mainly available to companies who intend to move their employee from overseas branch to a UK Branch. You can apply for Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visa if you have been offered a job role by your overseas employer in UK branch of the organization and you are from outside EEA and Switzerland.

The eligibility conditions which are the following:

  • Your employer has issued you a valid Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • You must be paid an ‘appropriate salary’ as on the Occupational Codes;
  • You must show with documents that you have enough savings to support yourself financially when you arrive in the UK – or the maintenance is certified by the sponsor;
  • If you are from a listed country then you need to have tuberculosis test results; and
  • You must show you have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months.

You must have confirmed job in the UK and you must receive a certificate of sponsorship from your employer to be able to apply for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa. Your employer must also be a licensed sponsor in order to provide you a Certificate of Sponsorship.

There are 2 types of Intra Company Transfer Visa

The two types of Tier 2 ICT categories are –

  • Long-term staff
  • Graduate Trainee

You can apply Long term staff visa if you are transferring into a role for which it requires you to have had previous work experience in the company for more than 12 months unless your employer will pay you £73,900 or more a year to work in the UK.

Graduate Trainee visa is applicable if you are transferring into graduate trainee programs for specialist roles such as a specialist research or IT role. You need to have a recent degree level or above qualification with a minimum of 3 months experience with your employer overseas.

You can apply for the visa up to 3 months before you are going to start your work in the UK. You can find this date mentioned on your certificate of sponsorship. After you apply from outside the UK, you should get a decision on your visa application generally within 3 weeks.

How long you can stay?

The maximum length of time you can stay in the UK on your Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer is as follows:

  • For long-term staffs having an income of more than £120,000, the maximum time length allowed to stay in the UK is 9 years.
  • For long-term staffs having an income of less than £120,000, the maximum time length allowed to stay in the UK is 5 years, 1 month.
  • Graduate trainees can stay for a maximum 12 months.

However, you can stay in the UK for the maximum time allowed as mentioned above or the time is given on your certificate of sponsorship, whichever is shorter. You can start living in the UK up to 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

What you can do and what you cannot do?

You can do following:

  • You can do the job described in your certificate of sponsorship for your sponsor.
  • Along with your main job you can also do a second job in the same profession and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week.
  • You can do voluntary work.
  • You can study unless it interferes with the job you are sponsored for.
  • You can travel abroad and return to the UK.
  • You can bring your family members to the UK with you.

You cannot do the following:

  • You cannot have access to public funds.
  • You cannot start working before your application is approved.


Reasons for Delays in UK Visa Processing Time

When you make a UK visa application, you want this to be processed quickly. There are standard time limits within which visa applications are processed, assuming everything is right with the application and the applicant.

But there can be occasions when you may have to face delays – what are some of the reasons behind delays in the processing time for UK visas?

Continue reading “Reasons for Delays in UK Visa Processing Time”

Tier 2 Indefinite Leave to Remain

A Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain visa is granted to people who have completed 5 years as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and satisfy requirements of paragraph 245HF of the Immigration Rules.

Tier 2 ICT migrants granted leave before 5 April 2010 and Tier 2 ICT Long Term granted leave before 5 April 2011 may also be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided they satisfy all the requirements under paragraph 245 GF of the Immigration Rules.

Continue reading “Tier 2 Indefinite Leave to Remain”

How to Apply for a UK Spouse Visa from Thailand

Moving to and settling in the UK is common for people from Thailand; one of the primary UK visas we receive applications for are Thailand to UK marriage visas. Perhaps you legally married in Thailand and now wish to move your wife to the UK; this is what a UK marriage visa allows you to do.

Continue reading “How to Apply for a UK Spouse Visa from Thailand”

Third Party Financial Support in FM Cases

  1. The Requirement of £18,600 plus remains the same for most people

The MM case didn’t preclude the requirement to meet a basic income requirement and it stays the same at £18,600 to sponsor the partner, £22,400 to sponsor a partner and child, and further increased with each additional child. In this manner, it forces UK Visas and Immigration to widen the pool of acceptable sources of income and thereby giving families more opportunities to show that they are capable of fulfilling the requirements of the rules.

  1. Additional sources of permitted income can be relied upon only in ‘exceptional circumstances’

The August rule changes do not benefit all the families. A visa officer will consider additional sources of income only in the case of “exceptional circumstances”. It is however not illustrated as to what those circumstances might be, but the new rules refer to “unjustifiably harsh circumstances” for the applicant, their partner or the child(ren). It is not, however, clear whether a family will qualify to rely on additional sources of funding. The circumstantial evidence will, therefore, be crucial – like

  1. Only the extra sources of income will matter

The explanation in the Immigration Rules is very elaborate and it manifestly covers the following:

  • Definite and sustainable support from a third party such as parents.
  • Maintainable prospective UK earnings from employment or self-employment
  • Any other source of income on which is available and the couple can depend

Income that does not include some finances, such as, personal loans cannot be acceptable. The most important point to consider is that the funding must be ‘sustainable’, which means that there must be sufficient evidence as to from whom, for how long and what is available.

  1. It is for you to establish your circumstances and availability of the income

Those who have prepared a UK visa application must know that they should provide very clear evidence at every stage. Not that just to proving the income on which one would rely but this will also require demonstrating that the applicants qualify to rely on those additional sources in the first place. Therefore, clear documentary proof of family circumstances is not always relevant to a visa application, such as health concerns. In the new rules, the focus is also on providing satisfactory evidence of the “genuineness, credibility and reliability” of any extra income, for which many more documents will be required for a visa officer to determine that the funds declared by the applicant are sufficient.

  1. As per the new rules, it is harder for those who seek to settle in the UK permanently.

The new set of rules prescribes a 10-year route to permanent settlement in the UK, double the length of residence required by those who satisfy the ‘normal’ income rules. This is not something that MM considered or approved, but these conditions already exist and used by UK Visas and Immigration for those qualifying for exemption from some of the standard visa requirements. Longer the qualification period is, more the applications to submit, which results in more money to pay as you work towards a settlement. It goes without saying therefore that the rule changes come at a price and the families who aspire settlement can potentially ill-afford it.

Common Sponsorship Licence Mistakes Made By Employers

A company always wants to hire the best people. A sponsorship licence makes provisions for hiring people from foreign countries or people already in the UK, provided they are allowed to switch their immigration category. The company is required to obtain a sponsor license first before they can sponsor a proposed employee.

Continue reading “Common Sponsorship Licence Mistakes Made By Employers”