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Howard
Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
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Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Sole Representative Visa

Resolved Question:

Hi Tom, I represent a US-based company that is looking to place an employee in the UK to better serve their existing UK clients (as well as those in Europe and the Middle East) and, potentially, secure new clients. It looks like this employee meets all the criteria. However, I have three specific questions that, so far, I have been unable get answered by UK BA. I'm hoping you can help! 1) It's stated that the US company must "establish a commercial presence for the company in this country in the form of either a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary." What, exactly, constitutes a "registered branch"? Could a residential address be used for this purpose? The employee in question would be able to conduct the company's business from her residence, supporting clients by phone, e-mail and Web-connection -- as well as face-to-face meetings at the clients' sites. Also, what is the fee to register a branch? 2) What documentation, specifically, would the company need to provide to confirm the scope and nature of its business in the UK and/or Europe and the Middle East? Profit/loss statement? Articles of incorporation? Letters of confirmation from UK clients? How intrusive is this? 3) The fee to apply for this visa for the employee is 459 BP. The employee is married and will be moving with her spouse. As I understand it, he would be covered under the same visa. Would a separate application fee apply to him as well? Any light you can shed on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Howard replied 11 months ago.
1. Please refer to the following guide, which includes the application fee:

http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gpo1.shtml

You would register a UK Establishment (UK Branch) and you can register a business at a home address.

2. Please refer to the following page:

http://bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/working/othercategories/overseas-business-reps/documents/

I also strongly recommend that you read the following internal guidance notes:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/modernised/working/outside-pbs/overseas-businesses.pdf?view=Binary

The key is to demonstrate that the business is active and trading, the prospective sole representative's employment history and position with the Company (payslips and supporting letter) and the objectives of opening the Branch. A letter from a senior member of the Company ideally mentioned in articles of incorporation is often helpful, along with the items you have mentioned, although having UK Clients is not a requirement as your intention might simply be the development of a business into the UK.

3. The employee's dependants need to make applications at the same time and are included on the same form and they should expect to pay the same application fee.

Once you have read the linked information please feel free to ask any further questions that you may have. These applications are often made more complicated than they need to be - the Home Office are simply wanting to see that a suitably senior employee of an established trading Company is being sent to the UK to develop the business there.
Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience: Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
Howard and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Howard,


 


Thank you for your prompt and on point answers to my questions. The information you have provided and referenced is extremely helpful and strongly suggests that a sole representative visa is likely to be granted -- though I realize there are never any guarantees with something like this.


 


Cheers!


 


Dan

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