The moment comes when almost every entrepreneur starts thinking about entering the international market. To do that, they often need to open a subsidiary abroad. The United Kingdom is a popular destination. Apart from resolving the legal issues connected with registration and preparation of necessary documents, it is also required to appoint a manager of a new subsidiary. If you have worked in the company for the required period of time as a top manager, you have all the chances to become a sole representative of a UK subsidiary. You will get a Sole Representative visa that allows not only to work in the UK, but also to relocate here with your family.
Representative of an Overseas Business Visa was created in 1971 to attract foreign companies to the UK. Its main advantage is that an applicant does not have to make any investment or pay for the visa. The costs are covered by the parent company. In addition, if you actively develop your subsidiary, you and your family will be able to apply for an indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in a few years and then, for UK citizenship and passport.
This article explains what advantages a Sole Representative visa offers, how you can get it and what you need to apply for ILR and citizenship after a certain period of time.
A Sole Representative visa has the following advantages:
1. An applicant for the UK Sole Rep visa makes no personal investment. All the costs of opening a subsidiary are covered by the parent company.
2. Unlike other British entrepreneur visas, a Sole Representative visa does not require any investment into British economy (for example, to get an Innovator visa, you need to invest at least £50,000 into a new business).
3. If you have a Sole Representative visa, your spouse or civil partner and children can also relocate to the UK.
4. A Sole Representative visa does not only allow you to live and work in the UK, but also manage the subsidiary that will grow and develop.
5. As a sole representative in the UK, you can stay here for good. In five years, you and your family will be able to apply for ILR; in a year after that, for naturalisation.
Not every top manager can obtain a UK Sole Representative visa. To become a sole representative, you need to fulfil the following requirements:
UK Sole Representative visa has some limitations. For example, you won’t be able to change your job or launch a new business that operates independently from the parent company.
If you want to open a subsidiary in the UK, the parent company must meet several requirements. While applying for a Sole Representative visa, the company must provide the UK authorities with the following documents:
If you and your parent company meet all the requirements for opening and managing a subsidiary in the UK, next step is to prepare necessary documents. It is a long and complicated process that requires correct preparation of documents belonging to the company and the potential sole representative.
An application for a Sole Representative visa is processed for a long time. Before it can be submitted, a large number of documents for the applicant and the parent company must be prepared thoroughly. To avoid mistakes and any risks of refusal, it is better to get professional help from the immigration advisors.
It roughly takes 4–8 weeks to register a subsidiary in the UK, collect all necessary documents and prepare and submit an application. After the application is submitted, you will need to wait for three weeks till it is processed. If immigration authorities have no questions, you will get a Sole Representative visa that will be valid for three years.
After three years when your Sole Representative visa expires you can extend it for two more years. It is possible if:
As a result, a sole representative can live and work in the UK on a Sole Representative visa for five years.
After five years of work in the UK on a Sole Representative visa, you will be able to apply for an indefinite leave to remain (ILR). For this, you need to fulfil the following requirements:
An application for ILR is processed within 4–8 weeks. Dependants who are added to the application get ILR automatically. Dependants can be minor children and children who have turned 18 during five years of the main applicant’s stay in the UK on a Sole Representative visa and who are financially dependent on them.
You can become a UK citizen after six years of your arrival to the UK on a Sole Representative visa, including a year of living here as a settled person.
To get a British passport for you and your family, you must apply for naturalisation. Your application will be approved if:
Your application for British citizenship will be processed within 30–45 days. After that, if it is approved, you and your family will get a certificate of naturalisation and then, will be able to obtain UK passports.
It is difficult to get a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa without any professional assistance since you must not only collect the required documents, but also prepare them correctly, as well as register your subsidiary in the UK.
With Imperial & Legal, you will be able to get a UK Sole Representative visa, and then potentially citizenship, in six steps:
We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.
Representative of an Overseas Business visa
Visas to the UK
UK Skilled Worker Visa
Start a business in UK
Employing foreign nationals