We recently had the pleasure of working with a film distribution company from the United States. They wanted to set up a branch in the UK, from which they can engage with the UK and European market. They had identified a member of staff who would move to the UK to represent the company. They needed our help to assist them through the process of applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa.
Sole Representative Guidance | Main Requirements
Belonging to part of the rules which predates the UK points-based system, the sole rep visa for the UK allows a company to send a senior member of their team to the UK to set up a commercial presence such as a registered branch or UK subsidiary, to operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas headquartered business.
The visa can also be used for overseas media employees, employed by an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation to be posted and based in the UK under long-term assignment. This includes journalists, front-of camera personnel, producers and news camera operators.
The visa enables an employee to come to the UK, set up the business or to be based in the country on long-term assignment. It is initially granted for 3 years and can be renewed for a further 2 years, totalling 5 years overall. Following completion of 5 years of residence in the UK, the sole rep can apply to settle in the UK. Sole representatives can also bring their family: a partner and their children.
It's often interesting how frequently patterns and themes emerge in the enquiries we receive at any given time.