Is your employer planning to send you to the UK on a long term assignment to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a UK branch for an overseas parent company? You must understand that the UK has a special immigration route for individuals who have been posted by their employers in the UK as an overseas worker. This immigration route calls for a major consideration where the prospective sole rep must be recruited by an overseas parent company with a principal place of business outside the UK. The Home Office expects the prospective Sole Rep to have:
- Been employed by the parent company in a senior position having full authority to take operational decisions according to the role indicated in the company hierarchy.
- A track record of setting wholly-owned subsidiaries or registering a UK branch.
- Sole Rep must have been employed by the overseas parent company right at the point of initial entry clearance was initially applied for.
The following are the requirements for the individuals who are seeking entre clearance under the Representative of an overseas business visa:
- The applicant of Sole Rep must have been recruited outside the UK.
- The applicant must prove his intention to work full time and only as the Sole Representative of the overseas business.
- The applicant must not accept any other employment in the UK except for the Overseas Company.
- The prospective Sole Rep must not be a majority shareholder as far as overseas business is concerned.
- The prospective sole rep must demonstrate sufficient funds so that he or she can maintain himself/herself without any recourse to UK public funds.
- The prospective sole rep must prove his or her knowledge of English either by passing an approved English Language Test with atleast Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or having an academic qualification recognised by UK NARIC which must be equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.
For Sole Representative Visa, the prospective sole rep or representative of overseas business must provide the following documents:
- Travel identification documents for instance, current passports
- Pieces of evidence that demonstrate their and their dependents’ financial ability during the trip to the UK.
- Documents that include the accommodation details during the stay in the UK.
- Pieces of documents to support the English requirement and other general requirements.
- Tuberculosis test results if the applicant is coming to the UK for more than six months.
- Copies of documents signed and dated by professional solicitors which include the photocard driving licences, passports, bank/building society, credit card statements, and gas, or council tax bills.
There are certain requirements for the employer/ parent company which include:
- Documents to demonstrate that the company is a genuine commercial enterprise with a principal place of business or headquarter lies outside the UK.
- Documents show that the company has no other subsidiary, branch or other representatives in the UK.
- Documents which evidence the company’s active trade.
- Documents must have a similar type of business as in the overseas parent company.
Please note that the Sole Rep Visa is also an appropriate Visa route for overseas media employees (journalists, front of camera personnel or news cameramen).
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