What is a Sole Representative Visa?
A sole representative visa allows for companies overseas to send a senior representative from their overseas branch to create a commercial presence, branch or subsidiary, within the UK. The visa is initially granted for a maximum term of three years but there may be potential for the visa to be extended for a further two years. After legally completing five years on this route, the migrant may be eligible to apply for settlement.
- The representative must be an existing employee of the overseas company and must be a senior member, but not the owner or hold significant control.
- The representative must have the required skills, experience, and knowledge to conduct the role within the UK.
- They must intend to create the company’s first commercial presence in the UK.
- The company’s headquarters and primary business must remain outside of the UK.
- The representative must have enough funds to be able to financially maintain themselves without recourse to public funds.
- There are restrictions on what the migrant can and cannot do. In summary, they must continue to work solely for the sponsor’s company, they cannot switch to this visa from any other visa and cannot apply for public funds.
- The representative must meet the English language requirement. They must either pass an approved English language test or hold an academic qualification which is approved by the Home Office for the purpose of this visa. They may not have to meet this requirement if they’re from a majority English speaking country. One of our expert immigration lawyers can guide you on this.
- If the representative is coming from a specific country, they may need to provide a clear Tuberculosis test result.
There are many documents which you will need to provide to satisfy the Home Office that the representative is eligible to be granted a sole representative visa.
These range from identity documents, evidence that the representative can support themselves whilst living in the UK, financial documents, company and employment documents to sponsorship evidence and precise details of the employment which will be conducted in the UK.
The documents and information required can range vastly and to ensure all supporting evidence is provided, we recommend contacting one of our highly skilled immigration lawyers to guide you and your company through the process.
We strive to work closely with the migrant and sponsor company to ensure you feel well informed throughout the process and to answer any queries which may arise.
After initially contacting one of our expert immigration advisors, we will converse with the sponsor’s company to fully understand the reasons for the employee to represent the company here in the UK.
We will help you to ensure that your representative fully complies with the Immigration Rules and Sole-Representative requirements and will only submit the application once we are confident in the success of the application.
We will provide you with a list of documents and a questionnaire which is tailored to your company and the specific requirements. You will then provide us with the necessary documents and complete the questionnaire for us to complete the online application form.
Gradually, as you provide documents, we will build the case and prepare all our legal representative letters and draft any required declarations for you to sign.
Once the application is ready and we are satisfied with the chances of success, we will submit the application, you will pay the Home Office the required application fees, we will book your employee’s biometric appointment and will scan and personally upload all the required evidence to the Home Office for their consideration.
Whilst the decision is pending, if the Home Office contact us with any further legal questions or require further documentation, we will converse with them directly and specifically tell you if you need to provide us any further documents. By allowing us to manage the application, this allows for you and your employee to continue focusing on your company and employment without the confusions which the visa process can bring.
We will keep you fully updated on the process of the application, and you will receive the decision as soon as it is reached by the Home Office.
Fees and Timescale
If you are applying from outside the UK, the Home Office should take a decision within 3 weeks after the biometric appointment. This is known as standard service, and you will need to pay the Home Office fees of £610.
In addition, you will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 per year) which permits the use of the UK health system for the duration of the visa.
If an application is made from within the UK, the Home Office should take a decision within 8 weeks after the biometric appointment. The Home Office fees will cost you £704 and again, the Immigration Health Surcharge will need to be paid.
The option to pay for a priority service, at an extra cost to the Home Office, may be available and you will receive a decision much faster. You can discuss this option with one of our immigration solicitors.
In addition to the main employee being granted entry clearance as a sole representative, we can assist in the application for your dependants to join you here in the UK. This can include your husband, wife or partner and your children who are under eighteen.
We will guide you step by step through the process and tell you exactly which documents are needed to support their case. Their visas will be granted in line with the main applicants, and they also need to pay the required Home Office fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.
Contact our expert immigration lawyers today to begin the process and to be offered a free initial consultation.