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Everything you need to know about citizenship and residence programs around the globe.
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If you have been working in a senior position in a company outside the United Kingdom which is intending to register a branch or subsidiary in the UK and appoint you as their sole representative there, it is your chance to run and manage that branch. There is no investment required, but you need to show your level of English.
Representative visa leads to settlement and eventually to British citizenship. All you need to do is to open a company, appoint yourself a director there and start developing the business in the UK and other markets. Make sure you are not involved in any other business and keep taking an active part in the UK company’s daily operations.
Representative visa is a work visa but without the need to look for a job. Great start, isn’t it? It is basically a transfer from the headquarters abroad to a UK subsidiary. Yes, you have been one of the top managers in the parent company, but here you get your own company to run daily and develop the business in a completely new market. And on top of that you will not pay a penny out of your pocket.
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.
It is one of the most time-consuming visas to prepare. It normally takes 4–8 weeks to collect all the documents, open a company and prepare the application. The processing time is faster though; it will take around 3 weeks to get a decision. Sole Representative visa is initially given for 3 years and can be extended for another 2 years.
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:
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. However, this does not put your application at the front of the queue.
Sole representative visa is extended for 2 years.
Representatives can apply for settlement (or Indefinite Leave to Remain, ILR) in 5 years after their initial arrival into the UK if these years have been spent as a sole representative of an overseas business. You must show you have been running the business and plan to do so in the future. It normally takes 1-2 months to get a decision.
You must not spend outside the UK more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during 5 years before applying for ILR. All dependants can be included in the application, even children over 18 if they are still relying on you for financial support. Other things you must prove:
You and your family can apply to be naturalised or registered as British citizens in 12 months after ILR is granted and 6 years after first entry under Representative of an Overseas Business visa, provided everybody meets all the eligibility criteria below. It normally takes 4-6 weeks to get a decision.
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We have been helping successful entrepreneurs worldwide to obtain a Sole Representative visa. Contact us to start your application today.
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