Sole Representative Visa Extensions

If you would like to prolong your stay in the UK via the sole representative visa route, please feel free to speak to our central London-based immigration lawyers. We will help ensure you meet the Home Office’s requirements for another two years on this visa.

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Extend Your Sole Representative Visa

The UK sole representative visa category, more formally known by the UK Government as the Representative of an Overseas Business visa, has been closed to new applications since 11th April 2022. However, it is still possible for those who already hold this visa to apply for an extension of their stay in the UK through this route.

Our team of immigration lawyers at Cranbrook Legal can help take much of the stress out of the process of extending a sole representative visa. We can assist your efforts to make sure you continue to meet the Home Office’s requirements for this visa, including in relation to evidence and documentation.

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa route gives an individual the right to move to and work in the UK as the representative of an already existing overseas business. When you come to apply for a sole representative visa extension in the UK, the Home Office will assess your candidacy to ensure that, among other things, you are still working for the organisation you were employed by at the time your initial visa was granted.

We have a superb track record of success in getting our clients accepted for UK sole representative visa extensions. If you are approved for an extension through this visa category, you will be able to stay in the UK on this visa for up to another two years. When combined with the initial three-year period of your first visa, this could make you eligible to apply to settle in the UK permanently.

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How can you help me obtain a sole representative visa extension?

Cranbrook Legal is a renowned law firm in the UK, with a focus on the often complicated and highly specialised field of immigration law. We have an excellent reputation as immigration solicitors, including in relation to securing sole representative visa extensions for our clients with a wide range of circumstances and requirements.

When you reach out to our award-winning team of experts in immigration law, we will discuss your situation with you, and provide honest advice and guidance on your potential application for an extension to your Representative of an Overseas Business visa. If you would like to proceed, we will then move onto a longer-term partnership together, handling every aspect of your visa extension application to maximise your chances of a positive outcome.

We can project manage your application for a sole representative visa extension from start to finish, while providing you with the most professional and useful advice. Enquire to us now via our online contact form or by calling 0208 215 0053 to arrange a free consultation with a solicitor.

Why do I need to extend my sole representative visa?

The UK sole representative visa – formally known as the Representative of an Overseas Business visa –is the visa category that allows an individual to come to the UK as the representative of an already existing foreign business. If the applicant is successful in being granted the sole representative visa, they will be able to set up their employer’s first commercial presence in the UK.

Applications for the sole representative visa have now closed; however, it is still possible to extend your stay in the UK as someone who already holds this visa.

As the Representative of an Overseas Business visa is only granted for an initial three years, if you wish to stay in the UK on this route once those three years have elapsed, you will need to apply to the Home Office to extend it.

Extending a sole representative visa would entitle the successful applicant to continue living in the UK for up to another two years. This could mean that the holder of this visa is able to stay in the UK for five years in total, which is sufficient time to become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain status – otherwise known as settling permanently in the UK.

If you have any questions or concerns about the process of extending a sole representative visa, please do not hesitate to call our team now, on 0208 215 0053.

What are the requirements for the sole representative visa extension?

There are certain requirements that you must meet in order to have your sole representative visa extended by the Home Office.

Naturally, in order to extend your stay in the UK via this visa category, you will firstly need to already be a holder of this visa, as one of the following:

  • A representative of an overseas business
  • An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

It will also be necessary for you to meet the below conditions:

  • You’re continuing to work for the same employer as when your previous visa was granted to you
  • Your employer’s principal place of business continues to be outside of the UK

A sole representative wishing to extend their Representative of an Overseas Business visa will also be expected to be continuing to supervise the UK branch or subsidiary that they established for the overseas business.

Finally, you will also need to already be in the UK, in order to be eligible to extend a sole representative visa.

Would you appreciate further tailored advice and guidance on how you can meet the UK sole representative visa extension requirements? If so, you are welcome to arrange a free consultation with us by sending us an email or calling 0208 215 0053.

Do I need to include evidence from my sole representative visa application too?

There is naturally an important distinction to be made between initial applications for the Representative of an Overseas Business visa, and applications for sole representative visa extensions, given that in the latter case, the applicant will have already met the first criteria, as was required to secure their initial visa.

So, when you come to apply for a UK sole representative visa extension, the emphasis from the Home Office’s point of view when assessing your application will be on ensuring you continue to meet the requirements for this visa route. The Home Office will therefore expect you to provide evidence from the period of your initial visa, that this is indeed the case.

More specifically, the Home Office will need to be satisfied that as an applicant to extend your sole representative visa, you meet the following conditions:

  • You have established and registered the branch or subsidiary of the overseas business you represent
  • You are engaged in full-time employment and are required to supervise the registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary that you have established
  • You are required by your employer to continue in your role

You will therefore be expected to provide evidence and documents to help convince the Home Office caseworker that the above is the case. This is whyour experts in immigration law always advise our clients who might seek an extension to their sole representative visa to begin planning for this as soon as they start their initial three-year stay in the UK on the visa.

When the time comes for you to apply to extend your sole representative visa, our solicitors can help you gather evidence that you have satisfied the aforementioned criteria. In the meantime, you can help maximise your own chances of a successful extension application by, among other important actions:

  • Continuing to be employed full-time by your organisation as a senior employee, with authority to make operational decisions on the overseas business’s behalf as its representative in the UK
  • Ensuring the UK subsidiary or branch is in the same “type” of business activity as the overseas company – it is important to be vigilant about this, as the Home Office guidance is ambiguous about the breadth of the word “type”
  • Ensuring that you establish and are in charge of the overseas business’s registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary

If you have any questions or concerns about how you can gather the evidence needed to support your case for a UK sole representative visa extension that will satisfy the Home Office, please feel free to call our team now, on 0208 215 0053, or to request a free consultation via our online contact form.

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What other documents are needed for the sole representative visa extension?

If you have permission to be in the UK as the representative of an overseas business, or if you last had this permission, and you are applying to extend your stay as either a sole representative or a Media Representative, you will be expected to supply the below documents:

  • A letter from your employer confirming that they wish to continue employing you, the applicant, in the same job
  • Evidence of salary paid by the employer in the 12 months immediately prior to the application date, as well as details of the remuneration package that you receive as the employee

Presuming that you are applying for an extension as a sole representative, you will also be expected to provide further evidence about the branch or subsidiary you have established.

You will need to give the following to the Home Office:

  • Evidence that, since the last permission you were granted in this visa category, you have generated business, mainly with firms in the UK. This evidence is required to take the form of accounts, and copies of invoices or letters from firms that you have done business with, including indications of the value of transactions
  • A Companies House certificate of registration as a UK establishment (for a branch)
  • In the case of a wholly-owned subsidiary, a certificate of incorporation, accompanied by a copy of the share register, or a letter from the company’s accountants confirming that all shares are held by the overseas business
  • A letter from your employer, stating that you supervise the UK subsidiary or branch

The above documents and evidence form only part of the full range of UK sole representative visa extension requirements; for a more in-depth discussion of this aspect of the application based on your own situation, please do not hesitate to call our team today on 0208 215 0053.

Can I travel while my sole representative visa extension is under consideration?

Changes have recently been made to the UK immigration application process, whereby those applying for further leave to remain or settlement are allowed to keep their passport while they wait for the Home Office to decide on their application.

However, this does not necessarily mean it is wise to leave the UK while the Home Office is still in the process of deciding on your sole representative visa extension application. In fact, doing so – and particularly travelling overseas – can have very serious consequences.

If you have applied to extend your sole representative visa, and you travel outside of the Common Travel Area, or CTA, before a decision has been made on your application, your application will be treated by the Home Office as having been withdrawn.

The term ‘Common Travel Area’ refers to an open-borders area consisting of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man, but excluding British Overseas Territories such as Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands.

The legal basis for this policy is set out in paragraph 34K of the UK Immigration Rules, which reads:

Where a decision on an application for permission to stay has not been made and the applicant travels outside the common travel area their application will be treated as withdrawn on the date the applicant left the common travel area.

It is therefore important to think carefully about the consequences of any decision to travel beyond the CTA if you do have an extension application pending. If, for instance, you apply for an extension prior to the expiry date of your previous visa, and you transfer onto section 3C leave – as we explain in greater detail below –as a consequence of your original leave expiring, leaving the UK will cause your section 3C leave to immediately expire.

Alternatively, you might apply for an extension before the expiry of your visa, and travel overseas, but still have extant leave on your original visa even once you return to the UK. In this case, the extant leave on the original visa will still be valid, but you will cease to have any pending immigration application with the Home Office, due to your decision to travel outside the CTA.

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Contact our Immigration Solicitors In London on 0208 215 0053 or
via info@cranbrooklegal.com to make your enquiry.

Can I continue to work while my sole representative extension is under consideration?

In accordance with section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 (as amended), if you have already been granted permission to work in the UK – as would be the case if you were previously granted a sole representative visa –and you apply to extend it before your existing visa expires, you will be able to continue working while you are waiting for a decision from the Home Office.

In effect, if you apply to extend a sole representative visa prior to its current expiry date, and the Home Office is still in the process of deciding on your application when the expiry date arrives, your permission will be extended until the application has been decided on or withdrawn.

However, you will only benefit from this section 3C leave if you submit your extension application in time – in other words, before the expiry of your present visa. This is why our own immigration lawyers will emphasise to you the importance of submitting your application before that date.

What happens if my sole representative visa extension is granted?

When the Home Office receives your application to extend your sole representative visa, the caseworker will assess whether you still meet the requirements for this visa route. They will also look at Part 9 of the UK Immigration Rules, to make sure there aren’t any grounds for refusing the application.

Presuming that you do meet all the requirements, you will be granted permission to stay in the UK on this route for a further two years.

You will be granted permission on the condition that you:

  • Don’t have access to any public funds
  • Register with the police, if this is required of you under Part 10 of the Immigration Rules
  • Agree to only work as a representative of the business that you have been allowed to stay in the UK to represent

To learn more about what is involved in an application for a UK sole representative visa extension, and what will happen when you receive a decision on your application from the Home Office, please call our own specialists in immigration law now on 0208 215 0053.

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Sole Representative Visa Extension FAQ's

1. Do I have to pay the Home Office and Immigration Health Surcharge Fee again?

For each person applying for a UK sole representative visa extension, there will be a need to pay the Home Office’s visa extension fee. This will be £719 for those applying from inside the UK, while those applyingfrom outside the UK will need to pay £625.

In addition to this, you will be expected to pay the healthcare surcharge again. The GOV.UK website provides a quick and easy way to check how much the immigration health surcharge will be for you.

There will also be a need for those applying to extend a sole representative visa to have their biometric information – consisting of their fingerprints and a photo – taken. However, this process is not subject to a fee.

If you choose to have your application for a UK sole representative visa extension managed by our own team of highly capable and experienced experts, we will charge fixed fees that are agreed with you at the outset of your case.

This fee will cover every aspect of our management of your application, so you will not need to worry about incurring any additional charges during your relationship with us; if we do need to charge anything extra for any other services of ours you may be interested in, this will again be agreed with you in advance. Please call 0208 215 0053 for further details.

If you wish to remain in the UK on the sole representative visa, you will need to apply for an extension before your present visa expires. In addition, any legally dependent family members who you wish to continue accompanying you in the UK – such as a spouse/partner or children – will need to apply for their own extensions on this visa. This will include any children who have turned 18 during your time living and working in the UK.

You can choose to have your children and/or partner included on your own application to extend this visa, or they can apply to extend at any time prior to the expiry date of their own visas. Request your free consultation with us now, so that we can discuss with you in further detail the process of extending a sole representative visa for any members of your family.

For certain visa applications for the UK, it is possible to pay extra to receive a faster decision on an application. Not all UK visa categories provide the option to request a faster decision; you will be told whether this is an option for you when you apply.

Our award-winning immigration solicitors can advise and guide you when you are looking to maximise the chances of your application for a visa – or visa extension – being processed quickly and with a positive outcome. Please contact us today to arrange your free consultation with our team of experienced specialists in central London.

Once you have submitted your application for a sole representative visa extension for the UK, you can usually expect a wait of up to eight weeks for the Home Office to decide whether to grant you the extension.

However, the wait time may turn out to be longer than this if your application is more complicated– such as if there is a need to verify your supporting documents, or if you will be required to attend an interview. You may also face a longer wait for a decision on your application if you have certain personal circumstances, such as a criminal conviction.

In all cases in which there will be a longer wait time for a decision due to the complexity of your case, the Home Office will get in touch to explain this to you.

Don’t worry if you applied for an extension to your sole representative visa before your visa’s expiry date, and you are still waiting for a decision at the time your existing visa expires. In this case, you will be permitted to stay in the UK until the Home Office has confirmed its decision to you.

Applicants for the Representative of an Overseas Business visa route are required to have English language skills equivalent to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for English language. It should be noted that A1 level only includes speaking and listening; for some other visa routes, applicants are required to take a test assessing their abilities in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Passing a secure English language test (SELT) will enable you to strengthen your case for a UK sole representative visa extension. Those applying from inside the UK are only permitted to take a SELT test with one of the following Home Office-approved providers:

  • Trinity College London
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson

After passing an English language test for a UK sole representative visa application, your test results will continue to be valid for use on a UK visa application for up to two years. If, then, you are approaching the end of your three-year initial sole representative visa validity period, and you are looking to apply for an extension, you will not be able to use the same English language test results; you will need to retake the test, even if you passed the test last time.

However, it is not always necessary for applicants through the sole representative visa route to take an English language test at all. The applicant can also prove their knowledge of English, for instance, by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD.

It will also not be necessary for applicants who are nationals of any of the below countries to prove their English language knowledge:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The United States of America

Are you unsure about this or any of the other UK sole representative visa extension requirements, and would appreciate more tailored advice and guidance based on your situation? If so, you are very welcome to call our team now, on 0208 215 0053, to receive answers to your questions on every aspect of the extension application process.

Your initial sole representative visa would have been granted for three years; if you are successful in being approved for an extension of this visa, you will be permitted to stay in the UK on the visa for up to another two years.

If your previous Representative of an Overseas Business visa was issued prior to 1 October 2009, you will be able to have your visa extended for three years.

Those who stay in the UK for at least five years on this visa, and who have an ongoing job with the same company, will become eligible to apply to settle permanently in the UK – a status known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’.

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