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Sole Representative of an Overseas Business

Entry clearance to the United Kingdom may be granted under the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business pathway in the following cases:

  1. The applicant plans to establish a UK branch of an overseas parent company in the UK
  2. The applicant is being sent to the UK as a media employee of an overseas news agency, newspaper or broadcaster on a long-term assignment

In order to qualify for settled status in the UK under the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business scheme, the applicant must spend at least five years residing in the UK continuously before applying for IDL.

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Initial application

There are several key requirements that must be met by overseas media employees to qualify for the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business pathway. The employee must:

  • Be the employee of an organisation based outside the United Kingdom, who has been designated as a representative by their employer.
  • Have the intention to work on a full-time basis for their employer and under no circumstances seek additional work during their stay.
  • Be working on a long-term assignment in the UK, during which most of their time will be spent inside the United Kingdom.
  • Meet all applicable English language and maintenance requirements (evidence of both must be provided to qualify).
  • Work in a recognised media-background position, such as a camera operative, a journalist, a technician or a producer.

Please note that it is possible for a non-UK media company to base multiple representatives in the United Kingdom at the same time, subject to meeting all applicable requirements.

Sole Representative Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible for entry to the UK under the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business pathway, key criteria must be met including:

  • The worker must have extensive knowledge and experience of relevance to their position and project, for which evidence must be provided.
  • The worker must be working at an advanced level with their employer, which must be a non-UK company with a non-UK head office.
  • The worker must not be a major shareholder with the organisation they work for, but must have the authority to represent and make decisions on the company’s behalf.
  • The worker’s employer must at the time of application have no UK-based offices or branches, or wholly owned subsidiaries.
  • The worker must provide formal evidence of acceptable English language skills and sufficient funds to finance their stay in the UK.
  • The worker must confirm that they will not seek additional employment of any kind in the UK or attempt to claim benefits.

Overseas Media Employee Extension Applications

Candidates living and working in the UK under the media employee scheme have the opportunity to apply for an extension of their leave to remain, if submitted prior to their existing visa’s expiration.

Conditions that must be fulfilled to qualify for an extension are as follows:

  • The worker must intend to continue working for the same employer and in the same capacity as that for which their initial visa was granted.
  • The worker must provide further evidence of sufficient funds to cover the stay, without recourse to public funds.
  • The worker can confirm that they are:
    • Still working in the same position for the same employer
    • Still required by their employer in their current capacity
    • Still receiving a salary from their employer

Sole Representative Extension

Most sole representatives of organisations in general can also apply for extensions to their initial period of leave, upon satisfying the following conditions:

  • The worker must intend to continue working for the same employer and in the same capacity as that for which their initial visa was granted.
  • The worker plans to continue working full time as their employer’s sole representative in the United Kingdom.
  • The worker’s employer remains a non-UK entity.
  • The worker can provide further evidence of sufficient funds to cover the stay, without recourse to public funds.
  • The worker can confirm that they are:
    • Still working in the same position for the same employer
    • Still required by their employer in their current capacity
    • Still receiving a salary from their employer
  • The worker has established and taken control of a subsidiary or branch involved in the same business activities as its parent company.

If unsure as to your eligibility or you wish to discuss your case in more detail, contact the business immigration experts at Aristone Solicitors today.

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa Permissions

Qualifying for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa allows the holder a variety of freedoms for the duration of their stay. Examples of which include but are not limited to the following:

  • The visa holder is permitted to leave the United Kingdom for a maximum of 180 days in any calendar year, without invalidating their visa.
  • Dependants can be brought into the UK under the terms of the visa, such as a spouse, a civil partner or children under the age of 18.
  • Dependants included in a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa application have limited rights to study and work in the UK.

There are also allowances for Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa holders to remain in the United Kingdom in the event that their employment circumstances change, if they have already been residing in the UK for a minimum of two years at the time.

Business Immigration Legal Advice in Luton

Here at Aristone Solicitors, we strongly advise seeking expert legal support before submitting any business visa application. To discuss your eligibility in more detail and ensure a smooth application process from start to finish, organise your free initial consultation with one of our experts today. We’re standing by to take your call.

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