Most business immigration routes are now to be found under the Points Based System or Appendix W of the Immigration Rules. However, there is still another route found under Part 5 of the Immigration Rules, known as the Sole Representative Route. This route allows individuals to move to the UK in order to represent their companies.
As of 4 June 2020, the Rules relating to this category were tightened to prevent the inevitable abuse which arose when the Entrepreneur visa was abolished and the Innovator category was introduced. Sole Representative applications are now more closely scrutinised for “genuineness”. The applicant must possess the relevant “skills, experience and knowledge” of the business which are necessary in order to undertake the role successfully. Historically, this was a requirement of the scheme when it was introduced over forty years ago. The primary purpose of this test is to ensure that the applicant is applying to enter the UK to establish a representative office for an active and trading overseas business which has no active branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK for the purpose of representing that business in the UK.
There are a number of other criteria which an applicant must fulfil regarding their ability to perform the tasks entrusted to them as well as limitations on the size of the shareholding which may be held by the applicant and their spouse and the percentage of shares that can be owned in the parent company.
Successful applicants and their dependent spouse and children under 18 will be granted three years entry clearance, with the possibility of extending their leave for a further two years thereafter.
Gherson has extensive experience with applications for Representatives of an Overseas Business, the Innovator & Start Up and Global Talent categories as well as the full range of Tier 2 visas under the Points Based System. If you would like any further information in respect of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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 don’t 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.