UK Sole Representative Visa
This visa type is designed for companies wanting to expand their business abroad and set up in the United Kingdom. Overseas companies are permitted to send one representative to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary office, including carrying out market research, registering the company in the UK and negotiating with suppliers and customers.
Although the nominated representative must have the authority to make day-to-day decisions in the UK, they cannot be a director or major shareholder in the company.
Sole Representative Basic Requirements
To qualify for a Sole Representative visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Must have been recruited and taken on as an employee outside the UK as a representative of a company that has its main office outside of the UK without a branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;
- Must be a senior employee with authority for decision making on behalf of the overseas company with respect to setting up the branch in the UK;
- Must be employed full time as a representative of the overseas firm;
- Must not be a majority shareholder in the overseas firm;
- Must not take up any employment other than that relating to their work for the overseas firm;
- Must be able to financially maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds; and
- Must obtain entry clearance as a Sole Representative before entering the UK.
Sole Representative Visa Entitlements
Applicants applying for a Sole Representative visa can only work in the business for which the permission to enter the UK was originally sought. The visa is granted for three (3) years which can be extended for a further two (2)years. This category may lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (IRL). ILR entitles individuals to permanent residency as well as visa-free travel to and from the UK. ILR holders may also be able to sponsor their non-British relatives into the UK and may also ultimately be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
Eligible dependants may also qualify to be included and upon obtaining the visa, they may also work without any restrictions.
Sole Representative Visa Processing Time and Costs
|SOLE REPRESENTATIVE||OUTSIDE THE UK (ENTRY CLEARANCE)||INSIDE THE UK (FLR)|
|Government Main Application Fee||UK£270||UK£1051|
|Government Partner Application Fee||UK£270||UK£788*|
|Government Child Application Fee||UK£270||UK£788*|
|Premium Migration Service||US$1999|
|Processing Times||1-12 weeks||4-16 weeks|
* The reduced fee will be applicable when the dependent applies at the same time with the main applicant.
- Other Work Visas
The Tier 1 (General) visa gives highly skilled workers the opportunity to come to the UK without a job offer to live and work temporarily. This route is currently closed to new applicants and only those who are already in the UK and want to extend their visas may apply.
The Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) visa provides international graduates in the UK an opportunity to find work in the UK without a sponsor.
The Tier 2 (General) visa allows those with a job offer from a UK-based organisation to live and work in the UK as a sponsored worker.
The Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa allows those with an offer of transfer or secondment to live and work in the UK as a sponsored worker.
The Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa allows religious workers with a job offer from a UK-based organisation to live and work in the UK as a sponsored worker.
The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa allows internationally established sportspersons and coaches to live and work in the UK as a sponsored worker.
The Tier 5 visa category includes a range of temporary work visas which allow specific types of workers to undertake short term and temporary work in the UK.
The Youth Mobility Scheme allows 18 - 30 year olds from participating countries an opportunity to holiday and work in the UK for up to two (2) years.
The category for Bulgarians & Romanians is designed to allow Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to start their own business or work in the UK.
A Domestic Worker visa allows domestics working for an overseas employer in a private household to accompany their employer when they visit or move to the UK.
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