The route has been overshadowed by the popularity of the Tier 1 Entrepreneurial route. However, since the Entrepreneurial route has been closed, the Sole Representative route has overtaken as a serious alternative to those looking to open businesses in the UK.
What is the Sole Representative Visa Route?
In a snapshot, a Senior Representative of an Overseas Business can apply to enter the UK for the purpose of setting up a UK branch. To qualify the applicant must have the authority to bind the company and to setup and register an overseas branch. If successful the Home Office grants an initial Visa of three years and the applicant has the right to extend for a further two years. After five years the applicant can apply to settle permanently in the UK should they wish.
A major attraction of the Sole Representative Visa route is that there is no prerequisite for investment funds as with the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneurial route and the new Innovator Visa Route. Therefore, a successful overseas business is not required to demonstrate accessibility to a certain level of investment funds prior to submitting their application. This is appealing because you can invest required amount of funding without an investment for investment’s sake. The route allows companies to expand into the British markets, whilst developing their Global Brands.
It should be noted that the business is required to submit their Global Business Activities including assets and accounts as part of the application to the Home Office. Further, the application should accompany a detailed business plan for the intended UK business activities.
Given the current political climate and the introduction of the onerous Start Up and Innovator Routes, the Sole Representative Visa route has become more appropriate for overseas business men and women to expand into the UK.
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