Since the end of March of the year 2019, the criteria for Entrepreneurs to settle in the United Kingdom have become more difficult to meet as a result of the closure of both the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) routes, and replacing them with the alternative “Startup” and “Innovator” visa routes, It is true that these changes will be more beneficial to the United Kingdom’s economy, also the initial investment amounts have dropped from £200,000 to £50,000, nevertheless, there are many concerns throughout the immigration industry with reference to the number of applicants who will be able to satisfy the new criteria and apply through these new visa routes, respective entrepreneurs are therefore looking for alternate solutions to settle and invest in the United Kingdom.
In this Article we will discuss one of the most exciting immigration and settlement routes for Non-EU citizens to the United Kingdom, the Representative of Overseas Business Visa Route (Informally known as the Sole Representative Visa).
This visa category was first introduced by the United Kingdom Government in October of 2009, where it was basically a merger of two previous categories of sole representative of overseas businesses and representatives of overseas newspapers news agencies or broadcasting organizations.
This visa route benefit foreign companies that would like to establish their first commercial presence in the United Kingdom, it is designed to enable the Non-EU senior employees of these companies to move to the United Kingdom and act as an overseas representative to set up a branch or a subsidiary for their respective foreign companies, it also benefits overseas newspaper and agencies or broadcasting organizations to allocate a long-term assignment in the United Kingdom.
The responsible government entity for assessing applicants applying through this route is the Home Office, and there are many matters that foreign businesses need to take into consideration before deciding to establish their presence in the United Kingdom, such as the criteria for choosing the candidate who will act as a sole representative of the business, the legal and formal matters for establishing the business, the legitimacy of their business and whether it does truly need to establish further operations in the United Kingdom, as well as making sure that they’ll be able to satisfy the full criteria for the program.
The Initial visa that will be received by the representative is granted for 3 years and can be extended for further 2 years provided that the UK Company is actively operating, the headquarters of the company remained overseas, and that the representative has continued to be the highest senior employee in the United Kingdom. If this criteria is met, the employee will be able to file for settlement/Indefinite leave to remain after 5 years, and then will be able to apply for UK citizenship, noting that their dependents will also be eligible to apply to live and settle in the UK since receiving the initial approval.
The United Kingdom immigration procedures is generally a complex matter, especially that the Home Office Visa officers have the full discretion with reference to the approval or denial of applications, In Reach Immigration, our in-depth expertise in dealing with different types of applications has enabled us to keep a highly positive track record when it comes to Investment and Entrepreneurial programs across the world.