Applying for a Sole Rep Visa Extension

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The Sole Representative visa was unfortunately discontinued in April 2022. However, if you have already obtained one of these visas in the past allowing you to live and work in the UK, you can apply for a sole rep extension before your sole rep visa is due to expire. 

We discuss the process around this below.

Summary of Events (April 2022) 

  • The sole representative visa has been abolished for new applicants as from 11 April 2022. Applications for extensions and ILR are still available for those who already have such a visa. The applications will now include a genuineness assessment, i.e., whether this sole representative’s intentions genuinely meet the rules. The Home Office /UKVI will now assess subjectively whether the applicant genuinely meets the rules. ILR can be achieved after five years in the capacity of a sole representative. 
  • The rules now stipulate that the branch or subsidiary has not been established only for the purpose of facilitating entry and the stay of the applicant in the UK.
  • The rules require the applicant to have the relevant skills, experience, and knowledge of the business. This will, of course, be assessed by the Home Office based on the evidence provided.
  • It is no longer possible for partners of someone with a majority shareholding to apply for a sole representative visa; previously, the rules restricted only majority shareholders themselves. This change was to be expected and corrects any obvious oversight in the original drafting.

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How to Apply for a Sole Rep Visa Extension?

Sole Rep visa Extensions are among the key concerns for those foreign nationals living and working in the UK here on a sole representative visa. The visa allows senior employees to establish and oversee the operation of the first branches or subsidiaries of their businesses in the UK for a period of three years. If you are in the UK on a sole rep visa, you need to know when and how to extend the validity of your visa to avoid overstaying and facing relevant consequences, including a deportation risk. If your extension request is accepted, you’ll be allowed to live and work in the country for two more years. 

Whether your visa is about to expire or you want to know more about sole rep visa extension before you migrate to the UK, you are at the right place. 

At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we help sole representative visa holders achieve their business dreams in the UK through our hassle-free sole representative visa extension services. 

When Should I Apply for The Visa Extension?

The Home Office normally gives a decision on a sole representative visa extension application within eight weeks. Therefore, it is advisable to submit your application at least two months before the expiration date of your initial sole rep visa. 

What Are The Requirements for a Sole Representative Visa Extension?

You should meet the following set of requirements to be eligible for the sole representative visa extension: 

  • You have to be living and working as an overseas business representative or overseas newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization employee on a sole rep visa in the UK by the time you’re submitting your extension request to the Home Office. 
  • You should prove that you are working and intend to continue working full time for the same employer you indicated on your sole representative visa application and maintain your job position. 
  • Proof showing that you’ve been receiving salary from the employer for the last one year (12 months) and the model of the salary payment 
  • The business branch or subsidiary that you had initially indicated to be working for should be already established, and you must have done business with other UK-based firms on behalf of the branch/subsidiary. To prove this, you should be able to provide relevant evidence such as financial accounts, invoice copies, and customer letters. 
  • Confirmation from your employer showing that you are still required in the subsidiary or branch as a sole representative 
  • The principal location of your employer is still outside the United Kingdom.
  • Proof showing that you can you’re financially stable to cater for your own and your dependants’ accommodation and maintenance during your extended stay in the UK.
  • A history of your full compliance with the UK immigration laws
  • A certificate of registration or a certificate of incorporation for your company from the Companies House. The certificate should be accompanied by a share register copy or a letter from the branch’s/ subsidiary’s accountant to confirm that the parent company holds all shares of the branch or subsidiary.

Extension Application Process 

You should apply for the extension online by filling in the FLR (IR) form and attaching all the required supporting documents. Filling in the form correctly can be a challenging experience for some applicants for some reasons. Fortunately, you can request Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors to fill in the form for you successfully and effortlessly. We’ll be glad to assist you and can professionally handle your Further Leave to Remain application.

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Once you submit the application form, the Home Office will want to have your biometric information too. As such, you’ll be requested to book an appointment at a UK visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point, where your fingerprints and photo will be collected to accompany your application.

Additionally, your supporting documents should be submitted within ten working days from the day the FLR (IR) form was submitted. Otherwise, your visa extension request will not be approved. It’s crucial to involve a reputable UK Immigration lawyer in this, too, to ensure that you submit all the required documents in the right status and on time. Remember that a missing or invalid document increases application rejection risk. 

How Long Should I Wait for a Decision?

Depending on the accuracy of your application and the caseload being handled by the Home Office at the moment, the average turnaround time of a sole representative visa renewal application is 3 to 4 weeks. 

Can I Use Super Priority Service for Sole Representative Visa Renewal?

Unfortunately, sole rep visa renewal applications do not use Super Priority Service. So, you can only use the standard service to send your sole rep extension request.

What’s Next After Sole Rep Visa Renewal? 

If your application is accepted, your UK stay will be extended by up to two years. So, by the end of the extension period, you’ll have stayed in the country for five years. Therefore, you may be eligible to apply for UK settlement or indefinite leave to remain if you want to stay longer in the country. 

How can a Gulbenkian Andonian Lawyer Help in The Sole Rep Visa Extension Process? 

You can count on our seasoned immigration solicitors in London:

  • To establish if you meet all the eligibility requirements for the visa extension. 
  • To find out, gather, and/or submit all the support documents required for the sole representative visa extension application;
  • Get timely help with completing and submitting the online sole representative visa application form.
  • For assistance in writing a highly convincing cover letter to support your application. 
  • For effortless appointment booking with a UKVCAS service point.
  • To track the progress of your application processing. 
  • To ensure that persuasive responses to the Home Office queries regarding your application are provided on time. 
  • For any other advice or support, you need 
  • To initiate a successful administrative review process in case your application is rejected. 

Get in touch with our immigration lawyers London to discuss your sole rep visa extension.

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    Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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