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Sole Representative Visa - Employers

This page is designed for companies wishing to send their employees to the UK to establish a UK presence. If you are that employee, please see this same page from your point of view here.

Introduction ( top )

This visa is designed for an overseas company that wishes to expand it's business into the UK and requires someone to be on the ground here to represent that business. It is not for those wishing to start their own business here.

Does My Company Qualify? ( top )

It must be seen as viable for the company to be expanding into the UK. The company should be over a year old ; have a workable budget for the expansion ; unless a large company, it should be within a current company business model and it should continue to run most of its business from outside the UK.

Who Is Considered A Suitable Person? ( top )

Your representative needs to be a senior employee of the company ; long service will be preferred to a new recruit specially for the purpose ; they should not own more than 30% of the shareholding of the company and will need to pass a medical examination.

Can Their Family Come Too? ( top )

Yes they can. The spouse, partner and children can enjoy the same benefits as UK people including free education, free healthcare and the ability to work in the UK.

What Happens When We Need to Renew This Visa?(top )

After the initial 12 month visa period, your representative can apply for an extension of up to 3 years as long as they are still needed by you ; can provide adeqate year one accounts for the business in the UK ; can prove they have been earning an appropriate remuneration for their position.

When this further 3 year period is completed they may apply for Permanent Residence in the UK and, 1 year after that, naturalisation.

What Supporting Evidence is Required? ( top )

Confirmation of your representative's seniority within the company and their understanding of the full nature of the company's business ; previous years company accounting data ; confirmation that you wish to set up in the UK, that you will keep the company's operations based outside the UK, that your representative will be your only representative in the UK, that you currently do not have a UK operation and that they will have all associated powers of control in the UK operation. You should provide the relevant employment contract and an undertaking that the representative will work only for the company. They will also need to submit their passport.

Please also submit a comprehensive business plan for the UK operation outling the exact nature of the company's business and your representative's role and remuneration.

How Do We Apply? ( top )

Applications containing the correct supporting evidence and form submissions should normally be processed within 2 weeks. Where data is incomplete or requirements are not entirely met, applications may be passed to the UK for a decision. This may take up to 9 months to process and highlights the importance of absolute adherence to documentary requirements.

There are a variety of forms to be completed depending on whether you are already here in the UK or outside the UK and will be submitted either here or in your own country.

Your business plan is very important and should show evidence of the money you will invest in the business ; what the business will be doing ; ownership and accounting information ; financial projections ; your qualifications and work experience.

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