What Is a Sole Representative Visa?

What Is a Sole Representative Visa

You have probably found this article if you are looking for “what is a sole representative visa” or information on the UK Expansion Worker visa, which was previously called the Sole Representative visa. Whichever term you are looking for, the visas both cover the same topics and application needs, so you are in the correct place to learn more!

Sole Representative Visa or UK Expansion Worker Visa?

In April 2022, the Sole Representative visa was changed and replaced by the more in-depth, Expansion Worker visa. This was updated to reflect UK immigration laws and better support the UK economy as it continued to deal with the effects of both the pandemic and the UK leaving the EU. Other initiatives, such as the publication of the UK Shortage Occupation List, were adopted to support UK industries at this time and have shaped the UK’s official UK Global Mobility Routes

If you want to know more about the new visa that has replaced the Sole Representative one and assess your eligibility, keep reading as there are a few changes that you will need to know about.

What Is a Sole Representative Visa?

What Is a Sole Representative Visa

If you have worked for a company that intends on having you manage a UK expansion, this is the visa for you. Only eligible for individuals who have worked for a company for at least a year, this is a visa which is increasing in popularity thanks to the updated application process. You are only eligible if you currently work for the overseas business as either a senior manager or specialist employee, which must be approved via a legal confirmation letter.

The main difference between this visa and the previous sole representative visa is that sponsorship is now required. Whilst there are set to be changes made to UK immigration laws in the later months of 2022, it is expected that this rule will remain the same as the government uses it to better assess the status of the proposed business. 

Under the Expansion Worker visa, sponsors now also need to provide much more business evidence than was previously required. Whilst many people have noted that this takes up more time, generally, the changes have received positive feedback for their focus on supporting UK-wide business initiatives. 

Sponsors will need to provide the following:

  • Full evidence of a UK footprint which was not required at all in the previous form of application. This requires a view of either existing or proposed operations in line with the timeframe that correlates to the applicant’s visa.
  • They will also need to provide all information related to the UK expansion plans, including financial projections, operations manuals, property plans, and full business lifecycle briefs, which the government can use to assess suitability.

  • Corporate evidence in the form of the past three years’ worth of overseas trading is needed to support the claims of legitimacy for the business.

Another change is that this visa is only valid for two years, one year less than the predecessor’s approval period. This has caused headaches for companies worldwide who want to set up in the UK, and the shorter visa length inevitably leads to more costs in the long run.

What Proof Do I Need to Apply for a UK Expansion Worker Visa?

When applying for a UK Expansion Worker visa, you will need to provide a mix of documents yourself, and that represent the business you intend on bringing to the UK. Whilst the list of items may seem simple, you will be required to ensure that it is thoroughly detailed to meet the needs of the government. 

The supporting evidence that you will need to include is:

  • Your full ID, including proof that you are registered for travel, in the form of an updated passport, which contains more than six months of valid travel time. If you are applying from overseas, you will also need at least one blank page for a UK visa stamp when you arrive.

  • You must provide evidence that you can support yourself and any dependents during your trip. To do this, you will need to show proof of current financial assets plus your confirmed income from the franchised business you will earn during your time in the UK. This confirms that you will not need government support during your visa approval period.

  • As with other visas, you will also need to prove that you meet the English requirement for reading and writing. This is essential for all aspects of living in the UK, especially working in a professional industry.

  • Details of where you will be staying when you are in the UK. 

In terms of proving your alliance with the business that you intend to represent during your time in the UK on your Expansion Worker visa, you will need to provide the following:

  • A full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts that are representative of a requested period. The government will want to ensure that the company you are proposing to bring to the UK is viable and likely to do well within the current markets.

  • You will also need to confirm that you will be representing them in the UK in a long-term, full-time role which spans your visa approval period. This is the evidence you can use to support your financial information and for future visas should you wish to extend your stay.

Can My Family Travel With Me if I Am Approved for a UK Expansion Worker Visa?

As with any visa, any dependents must also apply for a visa allowing them to enter the UK. This visa form means that family members, including children and spouses, will be eligible as long as they also need the criteria to live, work and/or study in the UK. 

To be eligible, your family must meet the below criteria:

  • You must be able to prove that your partner is either connected to you via marriage or civil partnership in a legal form that is recognised in the UK. If you are not married but have been in a serious relationship for two or more years, you will also be eligible to apply. You will need to provide various pieces of evidence and paperwork for this, which we are on hand to manage for you.
  • For children over the age of sixteen, you must prove that they currently reside with you in your existing country. The only exception to this is if they are away studying in a residential setting, of which proof must be provided. You will also need to prove that they are still financially dependent on you and that this is why they need to travel to the UK as your dependent. You will also need to prove that they are not married and live with you by providing any form of documentation with their address available.

Why Should I Choose Synergy Immigration Solutions to Support My Application for a UK Expansion Worker Visa?

If you work for a business that will thrive in the UK, you will likely be approved for this visa. We hate to break it to you though that the application process will be complex. Fear not as we are on hand to dot the I’s and cross the T’s so that you stand the best chance of being approved for your exciting new business activity. 

We have extensive experience in supporting both the previous Sole Representative Visa and the Expansion Worker Visa, so by working with us, you will benefit from the following:

  • Professionally approve legal advice from an OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) registered company. This form of visa also specifies that only agents that are OISC approved can act on behalf of applicants making us the perfect choice. When you have multiple legal teams to deal with in business, it can become overwhelming to see clearly. We can step in and provide you with affordable advice that will make your application a working reality.
  • Affordable prices for premium services.
  • Ongoing support during your application is essential if you have met with further questions or need to supply any more evidence. Whilst we wouldn’t expect an application to need additional support once we have approved it for submission, due to ever-changing expectations from the government, you never know what you may face.
  • We can also provide full support for a range of other business visa services. You may end up needing support with these if you are planning on bringing other colleagues to work with you, want to have your family settled in the UK during your stay or even if you decide to apply for a longer visa than the two years you will initially be given. Whatever you decide, we are on hand to provide you with the best advice for your own situation. 

To find out more about our services that support the replacement of the sole representative visa please call us on 020 315 05359, email info@synergy-immigration.com or fill in our online contact form. We can’t wait to hear what exciting companies you plan on bringing to the UK!

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