Using a sole representative visa allows an entrepreneur representing a company whose presence has not been established in the UK, to enter the country. However, this visa is intended to assist foreign companies that have already established their businesses in other countries. This visa is not invented for the personal convenience of the applicant’s immigration, so applications must show that the company’s expansion into the UK is feasible and reasonable for the foreign company.
Entrepreneurs who wish to launch and run their own business in the UK, are not eligible to gain the sole representative visa. To get details for an appropriate Visa for Entrepreneurs, please click here.
Qualifications Requirements for a Company to Send a Sole Representative
For a company to qualify for this, the company must have already been established in other parts of the world for a minimum of one year. Companies that have only been running for less than a year have the least chances of qualifying.
Sending a sole representative must be to the benefit of the company and not for the convenience of the applicant’s immigration. Thus, the budget allocated to the expansion of the company in the UK must be realistic on the size of the company, or to its profitability or its trading activities.
In all, the projected expansion into the UK must have a commercial logic that will be able to stand questioning if it is a little concern and its new presence in the UK will be a diversification into a field which the company has no previously established presence or involvement overseas
Upon sending a representative to the UK, the bulk of its business should commence outside of the UK. The application for this visa will be discarded if sending the sole representative appears to result in moving its corporate operations into the UK so that the company’s base/headquarters will be sited in the UK.
Qualification Requirements for Sole Representatives As an Individual
For one to qualify as a Sole Representative, one must be a senior employee hired from outside the UK.
One’s chance of qualifying as a company’s sole representative in the UK will be enhanced if one has been previously employed overseas for a reasonable period and are familiar acquitted with the company’s system of doing business and procedures. New recruits that are specifically to
It is possible that the business or company that wishes to expand its borders into the UK is a family business. In such a case, there will be a thorough scrutiny if the selected representative is a junior member of the family. Irrespective of the family’s concern, if this member does not have the adequate experience and qualification that is required by commercial, the application will not be favored.
The sole representative cannot be the owner of the company or the enterprise. If the sole representative has a controlling or majority interest in the business, either in the projected expansion in the UK or the already established part overseas, he/she will be disqualified. The minimum allowable shareholding a sole representative can have is 30-35%.
Usually, the first visa issued to a sole representative has a validity period of 1 year once he/she enters the country. The sole representative is eligible to healthcare from the National Health Service in the UK.
The Family of the Sole Representative.
The sole representative if entitled to file to accommodate his/her family as dependents.
As other British children, the children of the sole representative are allowed to enjoy the UK’s free education benefit or may choose to send his/her children to a private school.
The sole representative and his/her family are entitled to enjoy the free healthcare that is provided by the National Health Service and is still permitted to seek for private health insurance if he/she pleases.
The sole representative spouse is eligible to seek and accept any legal employment.
Extension of the UK Sole Representative Visa
It is quite possible to extend his/her stay in the UK by 3 years after the expiration of the first year. However, filing this application demands that the applicant will forfeit his/her home office’s passport while the application is processed. Also, this application can only be made while the applicant is still in the UK.
For a successful extension, the following requirements are requested:
- Financial details of the business made in its first year in the UK
- Evidence that shows that their position as the sole representative of their company is still valid.
- Evidence that shows that the sole representative has been fully salaried as the one managing the subsidiary.
Requirements for Filing for A UK Sole Representative Visa
- A notarized statement from the foreign company stating that its cooperate operations are still based overseas
- The contract of employment which should include the salary of the applicant
- The previous year’s account of the company, showing the assets, comprehensive details of the share distribution and the turnover.
- A notarized document stating that the applicant will neither get involved in a personal business nor will he/she represent another company’s interest.
- Proof that the applicant is fully acquitted with the company’s system of doing business and her activities, and has full authority to negotiate and perform operational decisions concerning the projected UK enterprise without making reference to the Home Office overseas.
- A letter of confirmation from the company that it will only run a full subsidiary or establish a branch in the UK.
- A detailed description of the company’s operations overseas
- A full business plan for the projected office in the UK
- Employment description and the agreed salary
FAQs UK Sole Representative Visa
Q: What is likely to happen if a company has incorporated a UK subsidiary/branch already?
A: The Sole Representative Visa is only obtainable by foreign companies that have no subsidiary, branch, or any other representative in the UK. However, it is permitted to start a UK company in the hope of an appointment as long as the UK Company is only established as a shell which has not yet commenced trading operations.
Q: Can a Sole Representative be a Shareholder in his/her Company?
A: The Sole Representative is not allowed to have a controlling interest or a majority shareholding in the enterprise. If this is done, it creates the motive that the company is making a move to shift its base/headquarters to the United Kingdom which is not permitted. Thus, if the sole representative has a shareholding of over 30% the application will receive a thorough scrutiny.
Q: Are Sole Representative Allowed to Act as Agents?
A: They are not. They must be involved in the full-time establishing and running of the company’s commercial present in the UK. This prevents the Sole Representative from taking part in any other business or standing in for another party expect the parent company.
Q: How long does it take to complete the application process of a Sole Representative Visa?
A: If there are no complications, it is considered as a simple one, and it will usually be processed at the Overseas British Post by the Entry Clearance Officer. Here, it will normally take 10 working days to process.
If the application suffers some complications and requires thorough scrutiny, it is considered as a simple one, and it will be referred to the UK’s Home Office. Here, it will normally take over 9 months to process.
Irrespective of the category of the application, it will be referred to the United Kingdom for thorough scrutiny if the applicant is from North America, Libya, Russia, or China. Thus, such application will take over 9 months to process.