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United Kingdom

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About United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign nation located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. The nation includes England, Wales, and Scotland, all located on the island of Great Britain, as well as Northern Ireland which occupies the northeast of the island of Ireland, giving the UK a land border with the Republic of Ireland and the European Union. The four political entities are constituent countries which each have their own powers, minority languages, semi- independent governments, and distinct identities, though the national capital and largest city of the UK remains England’s capital, London, the world’s foremost global city.

The UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the English Channel to the south narrowly separating it from France, and the Irish Sea separating the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. Its central location affords it excellent transportation links to virtually everywhere in the world, with numerous European countries easily reachable within two hours and North America’s East Coast accessible in less than six hours.

The first country in the world to industrialize and once the center of the most extensive and most powerful empire in history, the United Kingdom continues to exert considerable cultural, scientific, military, and economic influence around the world as a fully modernized and advanced country. It is the leading member of the fifty-four-member Commonwealth of Nations, as well as an integral member of the Council of Europe, the Group of Seven advanced economies (G7) and the G20, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD), Interpol, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). A parliamentary democracy as well as a constitutional monarchy, the UK is in essence run by the head of government, the prime minister, while the monarch and ceremonial head of state is Queen Elizabeth, the longest-serving head of state in the world.

The United Kingdom’s Representative of an Overseas Business, or “Sole Representative” visa is a unique opportunity for qualified businessmen/women to live and work in the UK as a representative of a foreign company. The visa permits the professional and his/her family to stay in the UK for an initial period of 3 years which can be extended for another 2 years.

Once 5 years have passed, the individual and his/her family can apply to settle permanently in the UK.

Continent

Europe

Region

Northwestern Europe

Capital

London

Population

67 million (approx.)

Total Area

242,495 km2

Languages

English (official); Scots, Welsh

Passport Rank

7th (2020)

GDP

$ 2.8 trillion

Currency

Pound sterling

Legal Basis

Based on Part 6A of immigration laws: according to the points-based system (paragraphs 245AAAATo 245ZZE) of UK law, an individual who meets the requirements may be granted the right of entry, in addition to an indefinite stay permit, after which British citizenship will be granted naturalization if he or she is eligible.

Benefits

  • Ability to include spouse and minor children
  • Ability to Include Parents after permanent residency
  • Access to Health insurance and education for you and your family.
  • After 5 years, you may be eligible for UK citizenship by naturalization.
  • Visa-Free Travel to more than 180 Countries after obtaining citizenship

Requirements for the Representative of an Overseas Business (Sole Representative) Visa

  1. The parent company of the applicant must be headquartered and be operating entirely outside the United Kingdom.
  2. The applicant must have a senior position (but not be a majority shareholder) in the company and have the power to make decisions on the company’s behalf.
  3. The applicant is also required to prove they have the relevant industry experience, skills, and knowledge necessary to run and manage the UK branch of their company.
  4. The applicant must work for their company full-time and not hold employment with any other company.
  5. The applicant must have the intention of establishing the parent company’s first business presence in the United Kingdom.
  6. The applicant must demonstrate sufficient financial means to support himself/herself and his/her family during the entire duration of stay, without the help of public funds.
  7. The applicant must demonstrate a minimum level of A1 (Common European Framework- CEFR) in English (speaking and listening).
  8. A business plan is not mandatory but is recommended, as it shows the legitimacy of the company and the applicant’s role in said company.

Applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business (Sole Representative) Visa

Prospective representatives can expect to spend approximately 4–8 weeks collecting all the necessary documents, opening a branch of their company in the UK, and preparing the application. Once everything has been prepared and the application submitted, it will take approximately 3 weeks to get a decision from the British government. The “Sole Representative” visa is initially given for 3 years and can be extended for another 2 years.

After 5 years the representative can apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status if these 5 years have been spent as the sole representative of an overseas business. The representative must show that he/she has been running the overseas business successfully in the UK and plans to continue doing so in the future. The representative must not spend more than 180 days’ in any 12 calendar months outside of the UK during the 5 years before applying for the ILR. All dependents may be included on the application for the ILR, even children over 18 if they are still relying on the representative for financial support. The representative applying for the ILR must also prove that he/she and all adult dependents hold an English speaking and listening qualification of at least level B1, and that he/she and all adult dependents have passed a test on life in the UK. Once the application is submitted, a decision can be expected in approximately 1-2 months.

Residency Process

1

Initial Consultation and Signing Client Agreement

Our experts will evaluate the interested party’s situation and provide him/her with detailed information about the Sole Representative Visa requirements. The consultation can be given in person in World Gate’s offices or remotely. World Gate requires a scanned copy of the applicant’s passport and his/her address in order to prepare the client agreement.

2

Preparation and Submission of Documents

All the supporting documentation will be drafted, checked and prepared in accordance with British immigration rules. World Gate will also complete all application and other forms and submit them on the client’s behalf. Additionally, World Gate will write a cover letter to reflect the client’s circumstances in order to show that they fulfil all the requirements for the Sole Representative visa.

3

Granting of Visa and Arrival to the United Kingdom

The British Home Office usually makes its decision within 3 weeks of the application being submitted. Once the visa is granted the documents will be sent to the client who can then make the first entry to the UK. World Gate can assist the client with property search, looking for schools for your children, opening bank accounts and sorting out other matters for the client and his/her family.

4

Apply for a Sole Representative Visa Extension

World Gate will check if the client is eligible and in compliance with all the requirements for extension. World Gate will make sure that all documents are carefully drafted, translated, certified and legalized as required by British immigration rules.

5

Apply for Permanent Residence

The client can apply for permanent residence (ILR) 5 years after his/her first entry to the UK, providing he/she meets all requirements.

6

Obtain a British Passport

The client and his/her dependents can apply for British citizenship 12 months after he/she has been granted ILR. To be eligible, the client must not have spent more than 450 days outside the UK in the previous 5 years and not more than 90 days outside the UK during the 12 months prior to applying for citizenship. World Gate will prepare and submit the naturalization application. Once it is approved, World Gate will book the citizenship ceremony where the client and dependents will receive the certificate(s) of naturalization. Then World Gate will apply for the client’s British passport.

Visa-Free Countries

* Visa on arrival
** Electronic visa
– The above list includes territories
– The list of countries is subject to change in accordance with each government’s policy

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