Individuals living and working in the United Kingdom under the Sole Rep visa scheme may be eligible for an extension of their period of leave, subject to meeting certain important requirements. Please note that applications for extensions must be submitted prior to the existing period of leave coming to an end.
Most successful applicants are granted three years of leave upon their initial application, which may then be extended by a further two years upon request. After which, the individual will have spent sufficient time in the United Kingdom (five years) to be eligible for indefinite leave to remain, assuming all applicable terms and conditions have been met.
Qualification for an extension means residing continuously and legally in the United Kingdom for the duration of the initial period of leave, in accordance with official Home Office guidelines.
Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Extension Requirements
In order to be considered eligible for an extension, the Sole Rep visa holder must meet the following requirements:
- The applicant initially entered the United Kingdom legally under the Sole Rep scheme as a representative of a non-EEA business, a foreign broadcasting organisation, news agency or newspaper.
- The employer is still based overseas and has no intention of relocating to or opening further branches in the United Kingdom.
- The sole representative remains the permanent fulltime employee of the overseas business and is its only representative in the UK.
- The employer is able to formally declare that the sole representative is still necessary and the project is on-going.
- The activity or project that necessitated the Sole Rep’s entry to the UK is still active and will remain active.
- The applicant is able to provide evidence of sufficient maintenance to finance their stay and support any dependants included in their application.
Please note that there are instances where a publishing house or media organisation can have additional representatives in the UK. Examples of which include camera operators, producers, journalists and so on. For more information on your eligibility for entry to the UK under the Sole Rep scheme or your obligations as an employer, contact the business immigration experts at Aristone Solicitors today.
Sole Rep Visa Pathway Advantages
The Sole Rep visa pathway can be advantageous for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, a sole representative of an overseas organisation may be permitted to continue their legal residence in the United Kingdom, even in the event that their employer’s circumstances change. This is, however, subject to the Sole Rep visa holder first spending a minimum of two years in the United Kingdom under the scheme.
In addition, there is also the allowance for Sole Reps to bring dependants with them to the United Kingdom as part of their application. This extends to spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners, along with dependent children under the age of 18.
Both the applicant and any dependants who accompany them may be eligible for indefinite leave to remain after spending a minimum of five years in the UK. During which time, all applicable terms and conditions as outlined by the Home Office must have been abided by at all times.
Please note that there are strict rules regarding the applicant acting on behalf of anyone else or any other company during the course of their stay. Should it be deemed that the applicant has represented or worked with/for any other business other than their primary employer, their visa may be withdrawn and extension/ILR prospects removed.
Application Forms and Evidence Required
There are three Sole Rep visa extension application forms available from the Home Office, in accordance with the status and requirements of the applicant:
- For out of country applications – UK – VAF2
- In-country Extension applications – FLR (BUS)
- Indefinite Leave to remain – SET (BUS)
The exact documentation required to support an application will depend on the specifics of the case. In most instances, however, the applicant will be required to present the following:
- Photographs of yourself
- Photographs of any dependants
- Travel documents
- Biometric Residence Permits (BRP)
- Police registration certificates
- Bank statements
- Building society savings books
- Pay slips (Representative of an Overseas Business only)
- Letter from employer(representative of an overseas business only)
- Document(s) from Companies House (rep of an Overseas Business only)
The completeness and accuracy of your application – in conjunction with the evidence you submit – could determine whether or not you are granted an extension. As a result, we strongly suggest consulting with an experienced business immigration lawyer, before submitting your application.
Here at Aristone Solicitors, we can provide the support and consultancy you need for a smooth and simple application process. Whatever your current position and requirements, we’re standing by to help in any way we can – book your obligation-free consultation today.