Companies outside of the UK see a lot of opportunities to set their business in the UK. The UK also allows them to expand their business here. So, to expand and set up its business in the UK, the company can send one representative to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary office. Other activities that company representative can also do include carry out research, register the company in the UK and negotiate with customer and suppliers. How can an individual enter the UK for all this? Well, an individual from outside EEA and Switzerland can apply for UK sole representative visa in order to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business.
UK Sole Representative Visa Requirements
Applicant must meet all the necessary requirements to apply for UK sole representative. These requirements are the following:
- Applicant must be an employee and a representative of a company outside the UK that has no branch, subsidiary or another representative in the UK.
- Applicant must be a senior employee with decision-making authority for setting up a branch in the UK on behalf of the company.
- Applicant must be a full-time employee of the company.
- The applicant cannot be a majority shareholder in the company.
- Applicant must not take any other job.
- Applicant must be able to meet his and dependent (if any) financial need during the stay in the UK without any access to public funds in the UK.
- Applicant must attain entry clearance before entering the UK.
- Applicant must meet the English Language Requirement.
Time & Fee
Earliest one can apply for a sole representative visa is 3 months before they travel to the UK. After making an application from outside the UK, the decision on the application should come within 3 weeks. The applicant needs to pay £ 587 while making an application for a representative visa.
Once the visa application is successful, you can come and stay in the UK for an initial period of 3 years and after that, if you wish to continue to stay in the UK then you can apply for an extension of your visa for another 2 years. And after having spent 5 years in the UK, you can apply to settle permanently in the UK.
What you can and can’t do
As a sole representative, you are allowed to do certain things and there are certain things you cannot do in the same situation. List of such activities that you can do are mentioned below:
- You can work full time for your employer.
- You can bring your family (dependents) with you if you wish to.
- You can apply for an extension of your visa many times if required.
- You can stay in the UK if there is a change in the circumstances of your company. For example, if a company appoints a superior in the UK, and you have been in the UK for more than 2 years
What you can’t do is the following:
- You cannot work for yourself.
- You cannot do any other business.
- You cannot stay in the UK after your employer ends the sole representative arrangement
- You cannot switch to a sole representative visa from any other visa category.
- You cannot access public funds in the UK.
So, sole representatives of non-EEA companies are entitled to work only in the business for which they sought permission to enter the UK originally. Initially, you are granted the visa for 3 years, which can be extended for a further 2 years.
If you are looking for expert advice on your application as a Sole Representative, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261