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Sole Representatives of an Overseas Business

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Sole Representatives of an Overseas Business

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  • A Sole Representative migrant is not authorized to function as an Agent. He/she is expected to fully involved in setting-up Office in the United Kingdom on behalf of the Holding/Parent Company Overseas. More so, the Sole representative is not authorized to take up job with or act on behalf of another company whilst in the United Kingdom.
  • The enquiry has been responded to privately by one of our immigration solicitors

  • In a situation where your application is not complex, it would likely be processed within at most 10 working days by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) at the British Consular office abroad. On the other hand, if your application is a complex one (i.e. cases that require extremely thorough and careful investigations), the application will be sent back to the UKBA office in the United Kingdom. It might take several months for an application in such situation to be processed.
  • You are allowed to remain outside of the UK for a maximum of 180 days in any calendar year;
    You can bring dependents with you, namely, your spouse or partner and children under 18;
    Your dependents have limited work and study restrictions;
    You can stay in the UK if your company's circumstances change and you have been here for more than 2 years;
    You are not required to have access to a set amount of funds.
  • You will normally be granted entry clearance for two years on the success of your application after which you are permitted to extend for a further three years. The application for extension will be done while you are still in the United Kingdom but you will be required to submit your passport to the UKBA while your application is evaluated. In addition to the application for extension made, you will be required to also make the following available:
    Evidence that your employer still requires you to be their Sole Representative;
    Record of the first year of business operations and production in the United Kingdom.
    Evidence that you earned the appropriate salary pertaining to your status as Branch Head of the subordinate company.
    If you have been granted extension and your service is still required by your employer, you are authorized to make an application for Indefinite Leave of Remain (ILR) (Permanent Residence) towards the conclusion of your five year stay.
  • To be qualified as a Sole Representative to the United Kingdom you are required to:
    Be a senior staff of the overseas company employed abroad.
    Have the relevant experience and knowledge as it concern the company, its business operations and procedures; or show evidence of relevant knowledge and suitability of the business if you are a new employee recruited to run the United Kingdom entity.
    Have the relevant qualification, experience and knowledge required for the running of business operations even if the business is a family business and the Sole Representative is a junior family member.
    Not own more that 30-35% of either the overseas business or the new United Kingdom establishment because the Sole Representative visa was not designed for majority business owners.
    Pass health examination to ensure you do not have any critical health condition.
  • For your firm to qualify to send a Sole Representative to the United Kingdom the firm is expected to be an enterprise of genuine existence. In a situation where the firm is not up to One year in existence, it is likely to be seen as an inappropriate sponsor for the Sole Representative category and as such might not be considered. More so, the budget that should be allocated for setting-up the United Kingdom branch should be realistic in relation to the size, business operations and profit because it is expected that sending a Sole Representative should primarily benefit the company. In order to avoid being disputed against, it is expected that the purpose for which you intend to expand into the United Kingdom be related to the business operations that you are involved in abroad and not diversification into other business operations. The greater part of your business operations should be carried out in the branch abroad while regular branch operations occurs in the United Kingdom. If it is observed that you sending the Sole Representative will lead to shifting majority of your business operations to the United Kingdom with the intension of making the UK your Head Office, your application will not be accepted.
  • As with other immigration categories, the Home Office are constantly changing the immigration rules in line with government policy as well as present realities. It is therefore important that you continue to seek legal advice on how the current rules or change in rules as the case may be would affect you.
  • Your entry clearance application as a sole rep migrant will be issued for 2 years; after which you are able to make an application for extension in line with the immigration rules pertaining to the Representative of an overseas business visa category.
  • You may be permitted to enter the United Kingdom under this category without the sponsorship of a United Kingdom Employer as a Tier 2 Skilled worker.You will however be required to demonstrate that you intend to enter the United Kingdom as a Sole Representative of an Foreign firm so as to set-up a Branch or a child company for the foreign parent company that does not have a branch or run a daughter company in the United Kingdom. More so, the parent company will be required to prove that the firm has been operating for past years and also evince ways in which the business' operations in the United Kingdom will be of benefit to the firm as well as the economy of the United Kingdom. You are expected to be an employee of the parent company who has been conferred with the authority and responsibility to set-up the Daughter branch as well as manage operations of the United Kingdom Branch

  • You might be eligible to make an application for entry into the United Kingdom as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Firm if the firm has the intention to organize and begin business operations in the United Kingdom.
  • You need to show the following: -
    You only intend to work for the same employer in the same job as their entry clearance was granted for;
    You intend to work full-time for the employer as a representative of an overseas business;
    Your employer's principal place of business is still outside the UK;
    You must meet the maintenance requirement;
    You must prove you are still: a)continue as a senior employee with full authority to take operational decisions; b) in receipt of a salary from their employer by providing evidence of the salary paid in the previous 12 months and confirmation of how that salary was paid; c)you are still needed by the employer;
    You must prove that you established and are in charge of a branch or subsidiary in the same type of activity as the parent company and provide evidence confirming that you have generated business, principally with firms in the UK, on behalf of your employer since entry to the UK;
  • You only intend to work for the same employer in the same job as their entry clearance was granted for;
    You must meet the maintenance requirement;
    You must prove you are still: a) required by the employer; b) working in the job that entry clearance was granted for; c) in receipt of a salary from your employer, evidenced by demonstrating the salary paid in the previous 12 months and confirmation of how that salary was paid.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have extensive related industry experience and knowledge;
    You must have been recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business is outside the UK;
    You must hold a senior position with that overseas company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to take operational decisions on the company's behalf;
    You must show that you intend to establish the company's first commercial presence in the UK, namely, a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary;
    The company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;
    You must not intend to take employment in the UK except for the overseas company;
    You must meet the maintenance requirement;
    You must meet the English language requirement
  • - You must be recruited and employed outside the UK by the employer whose intention is for you to represent them in the UK;
    - Your intend to work full-time for the organisation and must not intend to take any other employment;
    - You must be based mainly in the UK and working on a UK long-term assignment;
    - You must meet the maintenance requirement;
    - You must meet the English language requirement;
    - Applicants are usually journalists, but may be other employees, for example: producers, news cameramen, front-of-camera personnel.
    An overseas media company can have more than one representative in the UK at the same time.
  • The qualifying period for settlement as the sole representative of an overseas company or overseas media employee is 5 years.
  • The sole representative of an overseas business is not known as Representative of an overseas business. This route may be necessary for those who either a) intend to set up a wholly owned subsidiary or register a UK branch for an overseas parent company or b) were posted by their employer on a long-term assignment in the UK as an overseas media employee employed by an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.
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