Sole Representative of an Overseas Business

What are the initial steps for a Sole Rep of an Overseas Business Visa?

The UK Home Office introduced the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business pathway for individuals who intend to establish a subsidiary or branch of an overseas business within the United Kingdom. Any individual who is sent to the UK on behalf of an overseas company on a long-term assignment or to establish a subsidiary/branch may be eligible for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. Please note that official entry-clearance must be granted before traveling to the UK – applications must, therefore, be submitted from outside the United Kingdom.

In order to qualify, the individual must be able to demonstrate that their overseas employer does not have any other subsidiaries, branches or representatives in the UK at the time.

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa – also referred to as a Sole Rep visa – can lead to permanent legal settlement in the United Kingdom after five years’ continuous leave. The individual traveling to the United Kingdom under the Sole Rep visa scheme is able to bring dependants with them (children, spouses, etc), in accordance with official Home Office guidelines. In addition, dependants who accompany Sole Reps during their stay in the United Kingdom are able to study and work with no applicable restrictions. They can also gain access to free healthcare on the NHS.

Please note that it is forbidden for overseas businesses to base more than one representative in the United Kingdom at any one time under the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business pathway. While the applicant resides and works in the United Kingdom under the scheme, the business will not be permitted to send any other representatives into the country. As the business is based overseas, there is no requirement to obtain a Sponsor License to send a representative accordingly.

It’s also important to note that prospective entrepreneurs planning to set up new businesses within the United Kingdom do not qualify for entry under the Sole Rep pathway. Instead, such individuals should apply for entry clearance under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa program. Qualification under the Sole Rep scheme is dependent on the business being a registered and recognised overseas entity with no current operations in the United Kingdom.

For more information on which visa scheme is most appropriate for your requirements and to discuss your case in more detail, contact the immigration experts at Aristone Solicitors today.

How can I be eligible under Sole Rep Visa Scheme?

In order to qualify under the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business pathway, the individual representing the overseas business must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be a formal employee of the business based overseas, which is sending them to the United Kingdom for a long-term assignment of some kind.
  • The employee must have been initially recruited by the company overseas, as opposed to from within the EEA.
  • The worker must be in an advanced management position with the organisation, authorised to make important decisions on behalf of the company without seeking additional permissions.
  • The applicant must be a full-time employee and intend to enter and work in the United Kingdom as the only overseas representative of the business.
  • The sole representative is not allowed to own a majority stake in the overseas business – different immigration rules apply for entrepreneurs and business owners.
  • The applicant must be able to provide evidence of sufficient means (maintenance) to cover their costs and those of their dependants throughout their leave.
  • The sole representative must meet minimum English language requirements and provide appropriate evidence accordingly.
  • It is advantageous for the applicant to have performed similar duties in other countries and have a positive track record as a sole representative.

For more information or to discuss your eligibility in more detail, book your obligation-free consultation with Aristone Solicitors today.

Can an Overseas Parent Company be eligible for a Sole rep?

In order for the overseas parent company to meet official Home Office requirements for the Sole Rep visa scheme, it must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The HQ (or head office) of the organisation is outside the EEA and will remain outside for the duration of the project.
  • The company does not operate any subsidiaries or branches in the UK, nor does it currently have any representatives stationed in the country.
  • The intention of the company must be to register its first ever subsidiary/office as the core aim of the project.
  • The business must have been operational for a minimum of one year and be a genuine, credible and legitimate overseas entity.

Contact the business immigration team at Aristone Solicitors if unsure as to the eligibility or otherwise of your overseas business.

Sole Rep Visa Lawyers in Luton

Here at Aristone Solicitors, our experience and expertise extend to all aspects or Sole Rep visa applications, extensions and appeals where unsuccessful.  Whether planning to send a representative to the UK for the first time or working as a representative and unsure of your eligibility, we can help.

Contact a member of our business immigration team today to book your obligation-free consultation.

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