As a sole representative visa of an overseas business, any applicant is granted an initial period of three years to enter the United Kingdom and set up the operations in the country. Once a sole representative has been granted entry clearance, they must look 3 years ahead to comply with the requirements of the law to be issued with further leave to remain for another 2 years to continue the company’s operations in British soil.
Once settled in the country and after three years of the grant of his visa, the applicant must continue to act as a senior employee or director for the company, with full authority to take operational decisions while in the United Kingdom. This is one of the most important aspect of an application for further leave to remain as a sole representative visa holder.
In order to evidence the representative is still acting as a senior employee or director for the company, they will be asked to show receipt of a salary from their employer in the previous 12 months and confirmation of how that salary was paid: for example, whether basic or commission, and the number of hours paid.
Another important aspect of a leave to remain application is proving to the Home that the overseas business still has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the United Kingdom. In some cases, applicants are tempted to shifting their main operation to the United Kingdom and ceasing the business of the parent company. That can negatively impact the sole representative application for leave to remain.
The employer must still need the applicant in the United Kingdom to conduct the business of the branch. This particular requirement must be certified in a letter. Where the applicant fails to evidence that, the application will probably fall for refusal.
In addition, the applicant must have established and be in charge of a branch or subsidiary in the same type of activity as the parent company. This is a very sensitive requirement and must be fully complied with by the sole representative. Evidence of generated business, principally with firms in the UK, on behalf of their employer since entry to the UK or their last extension of stay must be provided. This evidence must be in the form of accounts, copies of invoices or letters from firms who they have done business with, including indications of the value of transactions. The applicant will also need to provide a Companies House certificate of registration as a UK establishment (for a branch) or a certificate of incorporation (for a subsidiary) with either a copy of the share register or a letter from the company’s accountants confirming that all shares are held by the parent company.
Finally, a successful application must show that the sole representative can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants (spouse/partner and children) adequately, without using public funds.
An application for further leave to remain as a sole representative must be submitted before the expiration of someone’s current visa. Contact our experienced team to have the best advice before applying for your extension as a sole representative in the United Kingdom.
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