The answer is yes, provided that the new UK business is a branch or wholly owned subsidiary of an established overseas business with a minimum turnover of £5,000 per month (£60,000 per year), and that the applicant is able to meet all the requisite criteria of the UK Sole Representative Visa Program.
The overseas mother company must have been in operation for at least 12 months, and cannot have been set up solely for the purpose of attaining UK residency.
A key proviso is that the branch must be newly established; the overseas business cannot already have an established legal presence in the UK.
The Sole Rep Visa Program requires the applicant to be a senior member or minority shareholder of an overseas business. If the applicant is an employee, they must have been recruited outside the UK, and have had to be with the overseas business, employed in a senior position, for at least 12 months prior to the date of application.
If the applicant is a shareholder, they, along with any legal dependents (e.g. their spouse) must not hold more than 50% of the company’s shares, either directly or by any secondary agreements. Find out more about the Sole Representative Visa requirements and the most recent rule changes, or contact us now for more information.
What is the Centre of Operations Test for the UK Sole Rep Visa?SoleRepVisaAdmin2020-08-24T15:15:28+00:00
In order for applicants to qualify for the UK Sole Representative Visa, one of the key requirements is to prove that the overseas business is a genuine commercial entity, and that the company intends to remain operational outside the UK despite setting up a new branch in the UK. Paragraph 144 of the UK Immigration Rules states that a notarised statement from the overseas business is required, confirming that its centre of business operations will remain outside the UK.
According to its policy guidance, the “[centre of operations test] does not mean that you must refuse a company if there is evidence that it intends its UK branch or subsidiary to flourish so in the long term it might overshadow its parent company.”
The visa application will, however, be rejected should the caseworker believe that the applicant intends to transfer the company’s operational centre to the UK and cease doing business overseas. Contact us for more information on the centre of operations test and other key requirements for the program, or to start applying for the Sole Representative Visa today.
Which nationalities are applying for the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa in 2020?SoleRepVisaAdmin2020-08-20T14:17:37+00:00
As of August 2020, demand for the UK Sole Representative Visa has been booming. The program is proving exceptionally popular among the nationals of Lebanon, expats in the Middle East, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Jordan, Iraq, Nigeria and South Africa, in particular.
Contact us now for more information or to get your application started.
Which countries are eligible to apply for the UK Sole Representative Visa?SoleRepVisaAdmin2020-08-13T16:19:26+00:00
The list of non-eligible EEA countries include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden .
Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member, but is part of the single trade market. This means that Swiss nationals enjoy the same rights to work and live in the UK as other EEA nationals, and therefore Swiss nationals are not eligible to apply for the Sole Rep Visa.