This visa allows the senior employee of a company to come to the UK from an overseas business to open and expand their company in the UK. It is a visa category that is only open to applicants outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland. The visa gives you three years, but you can extend it for two more years. This visa allows you to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after being in the UK for five years.
Why Should you Apply?
If you want to expand your business overseas to the UK, this is a must-have visa. It allows you to do all the requirements for running and representing your business in the UK better than other visas will let you do. This way, you can ensure you have the authority to make business arrangements and run the company for 3-5 years to ensure your subsidiary company is successful. This visa gives you three years stay within the UK with the ability to extend it to 5 years if you would like. This gives you more than enough time to start and expand your business vastly. Once opened and you’ve been here for five years, you can then apply to remain in the UK.
What are the Pros of this Visa?
With this visa, not only will you be able to apply for permanent UK residence after the extended five years, but there are many other excellent pros listed below:
- Bring your family with you
- Free education for your children
- Access to the UK Health Service
- Extend this visa multiple times
- Become a British Citizen after six years
- What are the Cons of this Visa?
Like most visas, as good as this one sounds for bringing your company to the UK, there are also some downsides. Below are some cons listed:
- You cannot work for yourself or any other business
- If your employer ends the visa early, you cannot stay in the UK
- You can’t switch to this visa from any other visa category
- You cannot have access to any public funds
- You cannot take any other job
- Do I have the Requirements to Apply?
If you feel this is the correct visa for you when coming to the UK to represent your company, you will need to meet the requirements first. Like most visas, there are vital points you need to make sure you do or that your company has. These are listed below:
- The applicant cannot be the majority shareholder of the parent company (owning more than 50% of shares)
- You must represent a company that is outside of the UK and does not have any other presence within the UK
- It would be best if you were hired outside of the UK and have started work outside of it as well
- You must have sufficient income to support yourself or any family you may bring over with you.
- You must meet the language requirements
- The parent business you come from must be an active trading overseas business
- The business must intend to keep the parent company outside of the UK.
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How Does it Compare to Other Visa?
There are other visas you can apply for to come to the UK for business.
Standard Visa for Businesspeople – This Visa does not allow you to represent and run a subsidiary company. This visa will enable you to conduct business needs like attending meetings, visiting existing sites, signing deals and contracts, and gathering information about your business. This visa only lasts for six months and does not give you the power or the time like a sole representative visa to run a company.
Innovator Visa – This visa is for investors to set up or run a UK business. Applicants need a minimum of £50,000 investment to qualify for this route. This option is very different from the sole visa. However, the stay is the same. You can stay for three years, extend it to 5 and then apply for permanent UK residence.
Start-up Visa – This visa is to start a new business and not represent a subsidiary one like with as sole representative visa. You can only stay up to 2 years with this visa.
Graduate Entrepreneur visa – This visa is for recent graduates who have a good idea for a business venture. They need to be endorsed and have their concept credited applying for this visa. Unlike the Sole visa, this one is only for a new idea for a business and not one that already has a leading company. The stay for this one is for one year.
So, a Sole representative visa is the only business-based visa that allows you to run and represent a subsidiary company. There are some fantastic perks to this visa with the things it enables you to do, including the time frame you get, with a chance of permanent stay.
Getting Help with the Visa
All visa applications, including the sole representative visa, take time. There are many documents to have and fill out. The application takes time as well on the decision but mentioned earlier that it is only around three weeks. Visas get rejected a lot if everything is not perfect and up to the UKVI standards. Having an immigration concierge service to help you look through and fill out your application will ensure you have done everything correctly, so you have a good chance of getting accepted. The One World is a concierge service that will do just that for you and help you when you get into the UK by offering support and guidance.