Sole Representative visa holders in the UK are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years. The five-year qualifying period typically comprises three years on the initial Sole Representative visa and a two-year extension on the same. ILR serves as the gateway to permanent residency in the UK, granting its recipient the legal permit to live, work, and study there.
ILR holders can even apply for British citizenship after an additional twelve months of residence. Furthermore, it also unlocks free access to the National Health Service(NHS), ensuring comprehensive healthcare for recipients during their UK stay.
Stay with us if you want to settle permanently in the UK through the route provided by indefinite leave to remain. Let’s discuss the Sole Representative visa to the ILR path.
Requirements for Sole Representative Visa to ILR
To be eligible for ILR as a sole representative of a foreign company, you must fulfil specific requirements set by the Home Office. The list includes:
- Holding a current Sole Representative visa
- Living and working in the UK for at least five years
- Representing an overseas firm or being a representative of an overseas news agency, newspaper, or broadcasting business
- Your foreign employer still requires your contribution
- A sole representative of a business must either establish a UK-registered office or a subsidiary of the overseas employer, both of which should be actively trading
- You must meet the continuous residence requirement for which you can’t spend more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months
- People aged between 18 to 64 years must pass the official ‘Life in the UK’ test
- People aged between 18 to 64 years must meet the English language requirements
Requirements of Continuous Residence and English Language
Qualifying for residency duration of 5 continuous years can be made up of time on any of the following visas:
- Representative of an Overseas Business visa
- Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa
- Representative of an Overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organisation visa
Under the continuous residence rules, ILR applicants should have worked full-time for their foreign employer or in the UK office they have established. Sole Representative ILR applicants, on the other hand, should not have engaged in other business or worked for other companies during their stay in the UK.
Let’s talk about the English language requirement. Applicants must have an English language qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 levels. People holding a degree taught or researched in English also meet the English language requirement.
Applying for ILR
You (as a Sole Representative visa holder) and your dependent can both apply for ILR following a few steps. Kindly note that your dependents will only be eligible to apply for ILR if they also have been continuously living in the UK for at least five years. Your spouse or children can be included in your ILR application if they meet some eligibility criteria. However, in this post, we will not discuss those requirements. You can consult with indefinite leave to remain solicitors to know about them.
Let’s suppose your dependents are also eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the application at the same time as yours. In that case, you, along with your dependants can apply for ILR by following the below steps:
- Submit the application form1 for ILR as a Sole Representative visa holder. The form submission can be done online.
- Each applicant must pay the application fee of £2,885.
- Register and attend an appointment at a UKVAS office to provide your biometric data, which includes digital photos and fingerprints. Kindly note that completing the biometric enrolment is essential for each applicant.
- UKVI may also ask you to provide some documents. You can submit it online or during the appointment at the UKVAS office.
We hope these steps will help you apply for ILR as a Sole Representative visa holder. Once submitted, expect to receive a decision within six months. Kindly note that your lawful stay in the UK will be maintained even if your visa expires before a decision is reached on your application. Meanwhile, it is also essential to understand that evolving immigration rules and the complexity of requirements make the ILR journey challenging. Thankfully, indefinite leave to remain solicitors can make the ILR process easier and improve the chances of approval by reviewing your application, organizing the required documents and evidence, identifying any potential weaknesses, and fixing them.
You can hire one of the best indefinite leave to remain lawyers from Intime Immigration Limited, also known as Intime Solicitors. The expertise of our solicitors will not only streamline your journey but also significantly increase your chances of success. Partner with one of our indefinite leave to remain solicitors to avail of invaluable guidance and handholding support throughout the ILR process.