Going solo: Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa

 
 

With all the turmoil and uncertainty over Brexit, you may question who would contemplate establishing a branch office or a wholly owned subsidiary company in the UK with just one employee, at a time of unprecedented political upheaval. However, the best London immigration solicitors find that the most ambitious non-EEA entrepreneurs and business owners say that the time to expand into new markets is when times are challenging so that you can steal a march on the competition.

 
Many non-EEA based business owners want to start small when they are thinking of setting up a subsidiary or branch in the UK for an overseas parent company. That is why the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa can be an ideal option for them.
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
OTS Solicitors are based in central London and specialise in business immigration law. Our expertise is recognised by inclusion in Legal 500, a leading directory of UK lawyers.
 
Our team of business immigration solicitors can advise you on the option of creating a wholly owned subsidiary company or branch in the UK for your overseas parent company and the obtaining of a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa to help your business achieve its UK expansion goals. 
 
Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to discuss how OTS Solicitors business immigration solicitors can help you. 
 

Who can apply for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa?

 
Under current Immigration Rules, the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa is an important option for any non-EEA business who wants to invest in the UK and expand their existing business into the UK. The visa permits a representative of a non-EEA business to come to the UK and set up a wholly owned subsidiary or branch of the overseas parent company.
 

What are the criteria for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa?   

 
The Top London immigration solicitors advise that it is essential that overseas business owners and parent company meet the required criteria for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa. Furthermore, evidence must accompany the visa application to improve the likelihood of securing the Sole Representative visa.
 
Businesses often tell the best London immigration solicitors that the criteria to successfully apply for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa look exhausting. The criteria are certainly long and include the Sole Representative having:
 

• Been recruited and employed by an overseas parent company outside the UK, whose company headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK, prior to submitting the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa  application;

• No intention to undertake any other Employment in the UK;

• An intention to establish the parent company’s first commercial presence in the UK, namely a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary of the overseas company;

• Extensive knowledge and expertise in the  particular industry of the overseas parent company;

• A senior position within the overseas parent company, but not as a majority shareholder of the company;

• Full authority to make decisions on the parent company’s behalf;

• Sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants (if applicable) in the UK;

• Sufficient command of the English language to meet the English language test requirement.

 

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa and genuine commercial enterprise test

 
For a parent company to satisfy the requirements of the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, Top London immigration solicitors advise that the company must be a genuine commercial enterprise. The parent company must also have its principal place of business outside the UK and must intend to keeps its main centre of operations abroad. This type of visa is therefore unsuitable for a business owner and company that wants to relocate to the UK and close down its non-EEA country base of operation.
 

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa and minimum salary requirement for the Sole Representative

 
Overseas business owners are always pleased to hear that there is no minimum salary level requirement for a Sole Representative. However, the representative must be on a salary that is sufficient to support themselves and any dependant family members. 
 
The Immigration Rules state that a Sole Representative and any dependant family members are not entitled to access public or state funds for support so evidence of salary is important.
 
The Top London immigration solicitors say that although there is no minimum salary level for a Sole Representative the Immigration Rules state that the salary must be reflective of their expertise and skill set. 
 

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa and dependant family 

 
The best London immigration solicitors recognise that when an overseas parent company is trying to recruit a senior member of staff as a Sole Representative they will often want to travel to the UK with family members. The Immigration Rules define dependants of a Sole Representative as:
 

• A spouse, civil partner, same sex or unmarried partner;

• A child of the applicant or their partner who is under the age of eighteen.

 
To secure clearance for family members the best London immigration solicitors advise that it is essential that the Sole Representative can show that their level of income from the overseas parent company is sufficient and the family will not require access to state resources.
 

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa - length and extension 

 
The Top London immigration solicitors state that Sole Representative’s visas last for three years. A Sole Representative can then apply to extend the visa for another two years if they are still employed as the Sole Representative of the overseas business. It is possible to apply for further extensions. 
 

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa and settlement

 
Once a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business has been employed in the UK in a Sole Representative capacity for five years they can apply for settlement.
 

The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa: what the Sole Representative can and cannot do

 
 

• Work full time for their overseas parent company employer;

• Bring dependant family to live in the UK;

• Extend the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa;

• Apply to settle in the UK after they have lived in the UK for five years;

The best London immigration solicitors advise that a Sole Representative cannot:

• Set up their own self-employed business;

• Work for an employer other than the overseas parent company;

• Stay in the UK if the visa holder ceases to be the Sole Representative of the parent company;

• Switch from the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa  category to a new visa category;

• Use public funds to help support either the Sole Representative or their dependents.

 
The Immigration Rules surrounding Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa are tricky and the best London immigration solicitors therefore recommend that specialist legal advice is taken before an application is made to ensure that all the criteria are met and supporting documentation provided. 
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
The application process for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa can seem a bit overwhelming, especially as the application has to be made outside of the UK. 
 
OTS Solicitors are experts in business immigration law and can help with all types of business immigration visas from Start-up visa, Innovator visa and Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. Please contact us on 0203 959 9123 for an initial discussion of how the OTS Solicitors business immigration team can help you.
 

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For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

 

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