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Citizenship guide
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Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is reserved for senior staff of a company outside the United Kingdom which is intending to register a branch or subsidiary in the UK and appoint a senior employee as a sole representative there to run and manage the company.

There are no investments required, but you need to show your level of English.

Our experts will be glad to support you with your application at every step of the process, including preparing and drafting all necessary documents, working with you on a business plan, establishing a UK representation and submitting your application. We will be advising you on all related corporate law and taxation matters. We offer resources to take care of you and your business when you are in the country.

Eligibility for Sole Representative visa

A parent company must be incorporated and operating from abroad, and you must be a senior staff member hired abroad with the power to take decisions. A crucial thing to remember is you cannot be a majority shareholder in that company.

You are also required to prove you have relevant experience, skills and education necessary to run and manage the UK branch. You must work for the company full-time and not be employed anywhere else.

Other requirements:

  • Business plan (it is not mandatory but advisable as it will show the viability and authenticity of your business and your role in it).
  • Sufficient financial means to maintain yourself and your family without receiving state benefits during the whole duration of your stay.
  • English language test (minimum level B1).
  • Tuberculosis test (depends on the country you are from).
  • Confirmation of no criminal records.

Sole Representative visa is initially valid for 3 years and 4 months.

Criteria for Sole Representative visa extension

To extend a sole representative visa, you have to keep working as the sole rep of the parent company in the representative office operating from the UK, and you plan to stay in that role. Other requirements:

  • The UK office trades the same products and/or services as the parent company,
  • The parent company’s headquarters are still abroad,
  • You have sufficient funds to maintain yourself and your family the whole period of your stay.

Extension period is 2 years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

A sole representative can apply for ILR (settlement) in 5 years after their initial arrival into the UK. You must meet the following criteria:

  • Last 5 years in the UK were spent as the sole representative of the overseas business,
  • You have been running the business and plan to do so in the future,
  • You have been absent from the UK not more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months in 5 years preceding the ILR application. Dependants get ILR on the basis of the main applicant.
  • English speaking and listening test.
  • Life in the UK test to confirm your knowledge of history, customs and traditions of the country.

British citizenship and passport

You and all family members can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation in one year after ILR is granted, subject to everyone meeting all the eligibility criteria:

  • In 5 years prior to applying for citizenship you cannot spend more than 450 days outside the UK and more than 90 days in the last year.
  • Absence of criminal or administrative offence records.
  • Knowledge of the English language.
  • Life in the UK test.

VIP and premium service

You can use the VIP service to extend a sole representative visa. In this case the Home Office will come to you to take your fingerprints and photograph. Decision is normally made within 24 hours.

 

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