A UK sole representative visa is for international companies wanting to establish a commercial presence in the United Kingdom. One representative of the company can be sent to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary office. A representative may build a company’s brand, establish a supply chain, carry our market research. He/she may register the company in the UK and negotiate with customers and suppliers on behalf of the company.
An established operational branch or subsidiary can apply for a Tier 2 Employer Sponsor Licence. They need this licence in order to employ more workers from overseas.
The prospective representative must have the authority to make critical business decisions in the UK. However, they cannot be a director or major shareholder in the company.
UK Sole Representative Visa Requirements:
- The applicant has to have sufficient financial resources to support himself/herself without help from public funds.
- The individual must meet the English Language requirement by passing an exam at CFER Level A1 in Speaking and Listening.
- The person must be employed outside the UK by a firm. The firm’s headquarters and principal place of business must be outside the UK.
- The applicant must have extensive industry experience and knowledge in the relevant field;
- The individual must hold a senior position within the business. He/she must not be a significant shareholder in case if the business is a limited company. The applicant should have full authority to make decisions on the business’s behalf.
- The person must intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK. He or she must not take up any employment other than that relating to their work for the overseas firm.
An overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation also can send their sole representative to the UK. The purpose of stay in this case, for example, is a long-term assignment.
The sole representative visa is granted for three years, and then it may be extended for a further two years.
This immigration category may lead to the settled status, Indefinite Leave to Remain. Holders of the settled status may sponsor their non-British and non-EU family members to join them in the UK. They may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
Dependants of the sole representative may also join her or him. Upon obtaining the visa, the dependants may also work in the UK without any restrictions.
It is possible to switch to this type of visa from any other visa category in the UK. An individual may apply for a sole representative visa only from outside the EEA.