As a sole representative in the UK, dealing with the application process for an extension of stay, can be confusing, especially if you don’t understand all the legal complexities involved. This is why it is advisable that you seek assistance from our expert sole representative lawyer in the UK. At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we can provide you with a good understanding of the law and assist you from start to finish, thereby making the entire process faster, simpler and stress-free.
Initially, a sole representative visa is granted for a period of three years. After the completion of this time frame, you can apply for an extension. However, in order to be eligible for a sole representative extension visa, you need to meet certain requirements.
Eligibility Criteria—Requirements for Sole Representative Visa Extension
Here are the eligibility requirements for sole representative visa extension:
- You must still be working for the same employer just like when you were granted the visa for the first time.
- You must be the representative of the same overseas business, working or overseeing the first branch of that business in the UK.
- The company headquarters that you’re representing should be centred overseas.
- The sole rep must be in control of the work in the UK without reference to the overseas employer.
- If owning any shares in the employing company should be a minority shareholder.
- Does not need to purchase or lease office space. Can carry on business even from home.
- Must have passed an appropriate level of English for such visa.
- Must show on the application for an extension that he/ she has done work for the parent employing company.
- There must be a contract of employment between the parent foreign employer and the sole representative setting out the terms and conditions of employment and the sole rep’s salary and how paid.
- Can operate as sole representative either as an individual or through a wholly-owned subsidiary UK Ltd liability company.
- In addition to this, you will have to provide evidence stating that you’ll continue to act as the sole representative of the overseas company.
Requirements for Your Spouse and Other Dependants Living With You in the UK
If you’re living with your family members in the UK legally and wish to extend your sole representative visa UK, then you must also apply for an extension for your family. Your family can include all dependant family members, like spouse, children or partner. Therefore, you must clearly include their names in the application form when applying for an extension visa.
Visa Extension Time Limit
As a business/company’s sole representative in the UK, you can prolong your stay for two more years. However, this extension request will only be accepted if the application for extension is made before the expiry of the current sole representative visa that you already hold.
How to Apply and the Associated Costs
Applicants can submit their sole representative visa applications online. The cost per applicant is £704, which includes fees for dependants as well.
Documents Required for Sole Representation Visa Extension
You will have to submit the following documents:
- Branch incorporation or registration documents
- Business structure information of the branch in the United Kingdom
- Account details
- Earnings/payments proof of the last 12 months (one year)
- Working hours proof of the last 12 months (one year)
How long does it take for the decision to be declared?
In general, you will receive the decision within eight (8) weeks. Since the application should be submitted before the previous sole representative visa expires, you will have the permit to stay in the UK on your existing leave until the decision is made on your extension application.
When can the sole representative visa be extended?
A sole representative visa can only be extended if you’re still associated with and working full-time as a business representative overseeing the overseas branch in the UK or a subsidiary that is wholly-owned.
What’s next after the sole representative visa UK expires?
As mentioned above, you can get a maximum extension of two years. Thus, this makes your stay on the sole representative visa in the UK a total of 5 years. So, once your 5 years are completed in the UK, you can then apply for settlement. However, in order to increase your chances for settlement, seek legal assistance. Also, you can get in touch with our experienced sole representative solicitor in the UK for more information on the next step to take after your extension visa expires.
Do’s and Dont’s
Based on the experiences and knowledge of our sole representative solicitor in the UK, here are some do’s and don’ts that you should know in order to increase your chances of a successful extension application request:
What You Should Do
- Make sure that you continue to stay employed and work full-time as a senior employee who has the authority to make operational decisions for the business that you’re representing overseas.
- Make sure that the UK branch that you’re working in performs the same type of business activities as the overseas company.
- Try to establish as well as be in charge of the registered branch or the wholly-owned subsidiary.
- Make sure to provide either a branch registration certificate or a subsidiary incorporation certification from Companies House.
- In case of a wholly-owned subsidiary and not a branch, make sure that you submit with your extension application a letter or share register from the accountant of the company. It should confirm that all the shares are owned and held by the parent company.
- Also, show that you are a salaried employee. Here you can attach a salary receipt from the employer. The salary receipt should be of the previous 12 months. It should also show the remuneration package that the employer offers you such as basic salary, number of work hours and commission).
- Provide evidence that you can adequately accommodate yourself and other dependants in the UK and don’t need public funds.
What You Should Not Do
The things that you should not do are:
- Don’t take another employment (a part-time job or make a switch).
- Don’t hold the majority of shares in the overseas business.
Ask our team of Immigration Solicitors London
Our business immigration lawyers and solicitors have years of experience in helping many companies with visas for their employees. Our team has a track record of success with both large and small companies and can guide you through the complicated Home Office rules and UK immigration policies.
For any questions or queries about applying for Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa or an extension to this visa, call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590. You can also fill out the form below and a member of our team will reply to you within 24 hours (on working days).