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Are you an entrepreneur exploring options to expand your business in the UK?

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By Jayanaben Rathod

Are you an entrepreneur, or a prospective entrepreneur, desirous to explore the abundance of opportunities the UK has to offer? The UK is world renowned for its thriving economy and is internationally recognised as leaders on various mediums and platforms within different business sectors. With its diverse culture and economic growth, many businesses choose the UK to establish and prosper their expertise.

The slow development of the recently introduced Start-up and Innovator Visas has significantly reduced the number of applicant's coming to the UK for business purposes, especially since the Tier 1 entrepreneur route was closed to new applicants as of 29th March 2019 to welcome these two new categories.
As the relevant bodies grasp the new routes and familiarise themselves with the new rules and requirements, it is important to highlight an attractive category which is available to entrepreneurs looking to the come to the UK for business purposes.
You can make an application for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business, if you are planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing business which has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
The applicant will need to meet the relevant requirements for entry clearance in this category and can potentially secure leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period, for themselves and family members.
The applicant must be an employee who does not hold majority shareholding. The business must intend to establish its first commercial presence in the UK and perform the same type of business activity as the overseas business. You may also be eligible if the business has a legal entity in the UK that does not employ staff or transact business.
The applicant must demonstrate sufficient related industry knowledge and experience and hold a senior position within the business, to have full authority to make decisions on its behalf. The applicant will bear responsibility for establishing and operating the UK company. However, the Home Office do understand that it would be unreasonable to expect the individual to take unilateral decisions on all matters and they will take into account various documents to establish the purposes of the business expansion to the UK. For this reason, it is essential to provide a detailed business plan outlining the business aims and objectives and how they will be achieved.
Additionally, the applicant must provide evidence to show that they can be maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds. The applicant will need to prove knowledge of the English language and this can be met by being a national of a majority English speaking country, passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening or having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD. If necessary, the applicant must also take the required TB test.
A successful application will secure an initial grant of leave for a period of 3 years. The visa will be extended for a period of 2 years if the requirements for further leave to remain in the UK have been met. The applicant will need to show that the business has been established, business has been generated in the UK, they are still required to run the business and continue to be an employee.
The applicant can apply for settlement in the UK once they can demonstrate that the requirements of a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business have been met throughout the 5 years period. The applicant must demonstrate that they have throughout the relevant period, been an employee, established a branch registered as a UK establishment or subsidiary and generated business and the business has been actively trading and remains centred overseas. Furthermore, the applicant will also need to show that the business continues to trade, they are still required for the job for which they were first granted leave and can demonstrate Knowledge of English Language and Life in the UK, unless they are exempt.
The applicant can be accompanied by family members to the UK or family members can decide to later join the applicant in the UK. Family members are allowed to study and work in the UK, provided that this is within the remit of the conditions attached to their visa.
The business must provide evidence to prove that both the employer and employee satisfy the relevant requirements. Pertinently, the evidential flexibility rule does not apply to this visa category. Thus, it is essential that you seek professional legal advice before applying for entry clearance as it is important to provide the Home Office with the necessary documentary evidence to support the application, in the first instance.
OTS Solicitors are corporate and personal Immigration law specialists and would be happy to assist and guide you through the entire Immigration process. OTS Solicitors will ensure that you provide the essential documents and advice you on the importance of key evidence, to prepare your application to a high standard.

Why choose OTS Solicitors?

• We are one of the UK's leading law firms located in the City of London.
• We provide cost-effective legal expertise, with an exceptional level of service tailored to your individual, personal and business needs.
• We are an award-winning firm specialising in Immigration Law.
• We are a Legal 500 endorsed firm.
• We are also highly recommended by our clients on Google Review.
• We regularly feature in the national press due to our level of knowledge and expertise on Immigration matters.
• Our Solicitors have made frequent appearances on BBC One, BBC News, TalkRadio, Share Radio, Premier Radio, The Wall Street Journal, i-ASiA Magazine, The American Magazine, and currently working with documentary makers for Sky1 and Channel 4.
• Our Solicitors are accredited by the Law Society as trusted Immigration specialists.
• We have assembled a team of exceptionally talented solicitors, barristers and judges including retired Immigration Judge and President of the European Lawyers Group Mr Paul Gulbenkian.
Should you decide to arrange an appointment, feel free to contact us by email on or call our switchboard on 0203 959 9123.

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