UK Immigration as Sole Representative of Foreign Company
The Sole Representative Category is an extremely useful and under-used category under the Immigration Rules, currently outside the Points Based System.
- This application is for an individual to apply to establish a representative office in the United Kingdom on behalf of a foreign Corporation, which has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK at the time of the application and which intends to keep its headquarters overseas.
- The individual must have been taken on as an employee of the Company outside the UK, but cannot be the owner or majority shareholder of the foreign Company.
- The foreign Company must agree to pay the individual a reasonable salary in the UK, until such time as the UK representative office is able to pay the salary to the individual representative direct.
- The representative has to be appointed as the Managing Director of a UK subsidiary Company of the parent Company, or a registered branch of the parent Company, following his or her arrival in the UK.
- To qualify, the representative will need to pass an English language test.
- Other than the above, there is no minimum capital requirement for entry as a representative, making this an extremely attractive option for foreign businesses wishing to establish representative offices in the UK for the first time.
- The representative is entitled to bring his or her spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner to the UK, together with children under eighteen.
Extensions of Stay and indefinite Leave to Remain
- The initial visa will be granted for a period of three years.
- At the end of the initial period of three years, the representative will be entitled to apply for a further extension of stay for two years, which should be granted provided satisfactory evidence is provided of the establishment of the representative office in the UK in the form of a UK subsidiary or UK registered branch of the parent Company and that the parent Company confirms that the Representative is continuing to represent the Company in the United Kingdom.
- After five years of residence, the representative is entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, which should be granted subject to compliance with the Sole Representative Rules throughout the period of residence and other requirements to obtain leave to remain.
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