Negosentro| The Dos and Don’ts of a Sole Representative Visa |The UK is one of the most popular hubs for companies that want to establish a presence in Europe. Opening a branch in the country paves the way for many growth opportunities, which makes sense for a business looking to gain a solid foothold in overseas operations.
The first step often involves sending a representative who will conduct activities on behalf of the company. This individual will take care of administrative functions within a limited capacity allowed in the guidelines encompassed in a sole representative business visa.
Activities allowed under the representative visa
The government is quite strict about the guidelines involving what you can and can’t do if you hold an overseas business representative visa. For starters, the purpose of the visa is to allow the representative to perform any activities on behalf of the company they’re representing. However, these activities should only relate to the type of business originally declared in the visa application.
Should the representative venture in other sectors, the visa may be revoked. Also, if there’s anything suspicious in terms of financial activities presented by the overseas company as opposed to actual transactions within the UK, it will merit an investigation.
In general, the visa should allow the representative to stay within the UK for a maximum of three years. The visa may be extended, but only up to another couple of years. It’s also possible to bring your family to the country, provided that you can prove your financial capability to provide for them. If you are interested in getting EU citizenship and you have the money, you can get the citizenship by investment in Portugal.
What activities are prohibited if you hold a sole representative visa?
It’s critical to understand the limitations of a sole representative visa to protect your company’s interest. First, the representative should be exclusively employed within the UK and not engage in any other activities in employment outside the country. Employment should also be full-time, and the representative should hold a senior position within the company. It’s also prohibited for the individual to pursue any level of higher education within the country. Lastly, the sole representative visa shouldn’t be used by a secretary or assistant who will be accompanying a senior employee to the UK.
Choosing the right candidate to become the company’s sole representative
The success of a visa application is also dependent on the person chosen to represent the company. A qualified sole representative should meet the following requirements:
- Financially capable of supporting himself while staying in the UK.
- English language skills are a must.
- Employed by the company with the purpose of overseas deployment – the company being primarily headquartered outside the UK.
- Have knowledge, skills, and experience befitting the demands of the position.
- Has the authority to make critical decisions on behalf of the company. The representative should hold a senior position, but shouldn’t be one of the major shareholders.
- Has no intention of seeking any other form of part-time or full-time employment once living in the UK.
Lastly, the sole intention of applying for a visa should be to establish a UK branch or subsidiary. Ideally, these requirements should be be supported with documents prepared and notarised before applying.