How does a Sole Representative visa lead to ILR?

10 Jan 2024, 01 mins ago

Embarking on a journey towards permanent residency in the UK is a significant step that requires careful planning and adherence to immigration regulations.

For those seeking to establish a business presence in the UK, the Sole Representative Visa serves as a crucial starting point. This blog explores the path from a Sole Representative Visa to achieving Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status, offering insights into the key stages and requirements.

The Sole Representative Visa is designed for individuals representing overseas businesses that intend to set up a branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK. This visa category enables an individual to act as the sole representative of the parent company, facilitating the expansion of the business while allowing the representative to reside in the UK.

The UK’s Sole Representative visa is no longer open for new applications. If you are, however, already in the UK under this route, you can apply to extend it, and if eligible – apply to settle in the UK.

Achieving ILR is a crucial milestone for those on a Sole Representative Visa, as it grants indefinite permission to live and work in the UK. The transition involves satisfying additional criteria, such as:

  • You must have resided in the UK for a continuous period, typically five years.
  • You must have complied with the conditions of your Sole Representative Visa throughout the residency period.
  • You are actively engaged in business on behalf of an overseas company, and this business operation is centred outside the UK.
  • You work full time for this overseas company or its UK-based branch or subsidiary.
  • Your professional focus has been solely on this business, and you haven’t taken on work for any other company or pursued independent business ventures.
  • Importantly, you do not hold a majority stake or exert control over the overseas company, whether through shares, partnerships, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement.
  • Furthermore, you have not only established, but also overseen the registration of a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas business in the UK. This UK-based entity is actively engaged in the same type of business as the overseas counterpart.
  • You need to demonstrate your knowledge of life in the UK and meet the English language requirement. Your employer must confirm that they still require you to work for them, and that you have been, and will continue to be, paid the appropriate salary, and that you will be required for the foreseeable future;

The journey from a Sole Representative Visa to ILR is a carefully navigated process that requires diligence and adherence to immigration regulations. By fulfilling the responsibilities associated with the initial visa and meeting the criteria for permanent residency, individuals can secure their position in the UK and contribute to the growth of their business on a long-term basis. It is essential to stay informed about any changes in immigration policies and seek professional advice to ensure a smooth and successful transition to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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