The Sole Representative visa application is a popular choice for multinational businesses looking to establish a presence in the UK. People who want to apply must already work for a foreign company and be in a top position with access to important data. Applicants who get this visa may establish either a UK Branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary, as long as the major business activity remains outside. One of the most difficult challenges in acquiring a Sole Representative visa is passing a Home Office interview. Applicants who are invited to an interview must be well prepared and should consult with one of our specialists, who can perform several mock interviews. Our UK Immigration Solicitors provide expert Sole Representative Visa guidance.
We will talk about what you can do to get ready for an interview with a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business.
Overview of UK Sole Representative Visa
The sole representative visa is also called a representative of an Overseas Business Visa. It is for overseas business employees who want to establish a branch or company in the UK. People can apply as either a Sole Representative or a Media Representative. A Sole Representative is a senior employee from an overseas company who is assigned to the United Kingdom to set up a branch or subsidiary.
Why are interviews conducted for sole representative visa applications?
Interviews aim to assess the suitability of candidates for a Sole Overseas Representative visa. It also verifies the authenticity of their reasons for application. According to Home Office guidance for case officers:
- They must ensure that the applicant is a genuine representative of an overseas business.
- They must not suspect that the decision to establish a UK presence or appoint the applicant is primarily to obtain entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK.
Interviews are often conducted when an applicant possesses a share in the overseas company they intend to represent in the UK, albeit falling just short of the 50% threshold required for a majority stake. According to immigration guidance, senior employees, typical of Sole Representative applicants, may hold some degree of ownership or control in the overseas business. If the stake is relatively small, there is usually no cause for concern about the applicant’s eligibility based on ownership. However, when the applicant holds a substantial stake, not exceeding 50%, additional information may be requested, or an interview may be deemed necessary. If you own less than half of the overseas business but your share is considered ‘substantial,’ an interview may be necessary. The purpose of the interview is to confirm that you do not:
- possess more than half of the shares.
- hold more than half of the voting powers.
- own and operate that company on your own.
- Own more than half of the business you are involved with in a partnership.
- become the self-employed proprietor of the business.
How to Prepare for the Sole Representative Visa Interview
Our experienced corporate UK Immigration Solicitors can assist you in preparing for a Sole Representative visa interview. We often conduct mock interviews to help our clients understand the process. It is not uncommon for the Home Office to ask applicants for an interview after submitting their application. The interview is one of the most difficult challenges in acquiring a Sole Representative. It isn’t easy to foresee whether the Home Office will invite an applicant for an interview because each case is reviewed individually.
In most cases, an interview is not mandatory. If invited for an interview, your task is to convince the caseworker that you are an authentic applicant. You must demonstrate your intention to establish a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary as the sole representative of an overseas business. Moreover, you need to be an expert in your business and prepared to address any concerns that may arise. The Home Office interview is likely to cover the following topics:
- Your past immigration history;
- Details about the organisational structure of the business and its UK subsidiary or branch;
- Your family’s current situation.
- Details on your position inside the company;
- Specifics about the company strategy, including its goals and a financial projection;
- Your current family situation; and
- Your approved English language test certificate.
When interviewed by the Home Office, candidates should have thorough answers to the questions listed above.
What is the cost of a Sole Representative visa?
For a Sole Representative visa, the application cost is £704 and the cost of biometric information (photos and fingerprints) is £19.20. Additionally, applicants are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is equal to £624 annually. Individuals applying on behalf of family members are required to pay an additional charge. You can also apply for a sole representative visa extension. If the application is approved, applicants will be issued a three-year visa that can be extended for an additional two years. After that, applicants can request indefinite leave to remain.
If you are looking to apply for a Sole Representative Visa UK dependant, our UK Immigration Solicitors can help. Our immigration team creates applications of the greatest quality. Moreover, our record of successfully filing visa applications for various clients is flawless. Completing a successful Sole Representative visa application hinges on awareness of the applicable Immigration Rules. It also requires the submission of proper supporting documentation.
Our UK-based immigration solicitors advise clients on all necessary steps and draft comprehensive legal documents to back up their applications. In addition to providing legal counsel, our team of solicitors thoroughly evaluates the application package multiple times to make sure all the necessary documents are provided. We also offer our assistance in preparing and submitting the application.