The rules of a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visas

 
 

If you are applying to the Home Office for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, it is vital that you and your overseas employer fully understand the Sole Representative visa rules and requirements.

 
The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa is for use by senior employees of overseas-based companies intending to establish a branch or subsidiary of the foreign-based company in the UK. Failure to comply with the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa conditions may have serious consequences for the visa applicant, their family and, of course, the overseas parent company.
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
Based in central London and specialising in business immigration law, OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 recognised business immigration experts with vast experience in successfully applying for Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visas, advising on visa conditions and compliance and applying to extend Sole Representative visas.
 
Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form to discuss how OTS Solicitors can help with your Sole Representative Business visa application or extension.
 

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa conditions 

 
It is imperative that an individual applying for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa understands the visa conditions and complies with them, to stand the best chance of successfully applying to extend their visa. That is because a Sole Representative Business visa lasts up to three years. 
 
Most business owners say that a three-year time span may not give an individual setting up a branch of an overseas company in the UK sufficient time to meet the parent company goals and targets. It is therefore common for an application to be made to extend a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa for a further two years. 
 

Conditions of stay for a Sole Representative Business visa 

 
Some of the key conditions of stay for a Sole Representative Business visa are: 

 

• The visa holder should only be employed by the overseas parent company. This means the visa holder cannot take on part time paid or un-paid Employment or consultancy work with another employer. They also cannot start a self-employed business in addition to working in setting up the branch office of the overseas parent company that they are employed to work for;

• Be able to provide financially for themselves and any dependant family without recourse to public funds. There is no minimum salary requirement for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa applicant. However, the work the employee is employed to do must be full time and their salary has to be commensurate with the role undertaken by the senior employee of the overseas company;

• Some visa holders (depending on nationality) have to register with the police. 

 
If a senior employee of an overseas company is investing three years (or potentially longer) working in the UK setting up a branch office it is best to take specialist legal advice so that the application for the Sole Representative Business visa  makes it clear that the applicant fully understands the visa requirements and will meet the visa conditions.  
 

The length of a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa  

 
A Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa lasts, on first application, for a period of up to three years. Most visa holders want to extend their stay in the UK. Home Office Immigration Rules say that:
 

• An application can be made to extend a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa  for a period of up to two years;

• At the end of the extension period a visa holder can apply for a further extension to their Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa;

• After five years or more of living in the UK, a Sole Representative visa holder can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. If the applicant does not meet the criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain, they can apply to extend their Sole Representative visa.

 

Applying to extend a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa  

 
If you are a Sole Representative visa holder, it is essential to take specialist legal advice on your best visa options prior to the expiry of your initial Sole Representative visa.   
 
To qualify for an extension of a Sole Representative visa, the applicant and the overseas parent company must meet the following criteria:
 

• The visa holder must still be in the Employment of the overseas parent company and be working to establish the company’s branch in the UK; and 

• The applicant must be able to demonstrate Employment and progress with the successful set up of the UK branch office; and  

• The parent company’s centre of operations and headquarters must remain outside the UK.   

 

Family dependents and Sole Representative Business visas

 
A Sole Representative visa holder can bring dependent family members to the UK.  Immigration Rules define dependent family members as:
 

• Husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner (including same sex unmarried partner); and 

• Dependent children.

 
The Home Office rules on UK entry for dependent family members can be complex and confusing. Therefore, to avoid anxiety and delay with dependent visa applications, it is best to take expert legal advice on the visa application and requirements.
 

Financial requirements for dependent family members of Sole Representative visa holders

 
A Sole Representative of an Overseas Business has to be able to financially provide for and accommodate their dependent family members, without access to public resources. As most visa applicants are senior employees of the overseas parent company, meeting the financial requirements is not normally an issue for applicants, although the applicant has to provide evidence to the Home Office to ensure the best visa outcome. 
 
Sole Representative visa applications are not only of significant importance to the business strategy of an overseas parent company looking to expand into the UK, but also to the senior employee and their dependent family members. That is why it is important to take specialist legal advice to secure the best results for the visa application.  
 

OTS Solicitors and Sole Representative visa lawyers

 
Legal 500 recommended OTS Solicitors are experts in business immigration law and can help with all types of business immigration visas including Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa application, family member applications and extension applications. Call us on 0203 959 9123 for an initial discussion about how the OTS Solicitors business immigration team can help you or use our online enquiry form.
 

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