As a holder of a sole representative visa, there is a long way ahead before obtaining indefinite leave to remain. As an applicant for ILR, you must meet a number of conditions to be eligible to apply for ILR.
The Indefinite Leave to Remain status (also known as settlement or permanent residency) entitles the holder to remain in the UK for an unlimited amount of time and grants them the freedom to take up employment or study without restriction. In other words, there are no practical restrictions on someone’s right of abode.
ILR is the penultimate step in a migrant’s journey towards achieving British citizenship, and as such it is an extremely desirable immigration status.
You must have resided in the UK as the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business for a continuous period of 5 years. During that time, you must have always complied with your visa requirements.
Sole Representative visas are initially granted for a period of 3 years. This means that an applicant for Indefinite Leave to Remain must have successfully applied for a 2-year extension in order to meet the required 5-year period. During all those 5 years, you must not have spent more than 180 days per year outside the UK.
A successful application must also demonstrate that you and any dependants in the UK have been financially sufficient and stable throughout the 5-year period without recourse to public funds
You must prove that you have established a UK-registered branch or subsidiary and generated business. The parent company must still have its principal place of business overseas and they must certify that you are still required to act as the sole UK representative of the overseas parent company. You must demonstrate that you intend to continue working in the role for which you were initially granted a sole representative visa if your ILR application is successful
Finally, you must have sufficient English language skills and pass the Life in the UK test.
Somethings to also bear in mind, if your next step, after obtaining ILR, is to apply for British nationality, is the minimum residency requirement for the naturalisation application. To qualify for UK citizenship you must already hold an ILR for at least 1 year, must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the 5 years preceding your application (out of the 450 days, in the final year you can be absent for no more than 90 days) and you must be of good character.
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