If you are applying for UK immigration via the Representative of an Overseas Business visa category, you will be subject to certain eligibility requirements. One of the main conditions of the UK Sole Representative visa category pertains to ownership and control by Sole Representatives. Ultimately, many would-be Sole Representatives hold controlling or even ownership positions in the companies they seek to represent, which reflect the high degree of insight, experience, and expertise required to be a Sole Representative. However, there are limits to how much (what percentage) of the company they can control and/or own. Read on for more information about Sole Representative visa category, and to find out what happens in the event that a would-be candidate for UK Sole Representative owns or controls the business he or she is applying to act as a representative for.
UK Sole Representative Visa
- A UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa is a type of UK Business visa for people who wish to immigrate to the UK for the purpose of setting up a UK outlet of an abroad-based business.
- In order to be eligible for a Sole Representative visa, you must be fulfill certain eligibility requirements and submit a number of required documents. Some of the documents you must submit will be used to prove your degree of ownership/control in the business you seek to act as a Sole Representative of in the UK. As you will learn below, applicants for Sole Representative visas must provide evidence of the nature of their relationship to the business they seek to represent, and proof that they are, above all, an employee of that business (verses an owner).
- For a complete list of eligibility requirements for the UK Sole Representative visa, click here.
Ownership and Control by UK Sole Representatives
- As stated above, if you are applying under the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa category, you will be subject to certain terms and conditions that pertain specifically to that UK Business visa category.
- A key eligibility requirement of the UK Sole Representative visa is that anyone who is applying for the visa (i.e. applying for UK immigration as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business), cannot own or control a majority of that business.
- In the event that a UK Sole Representative owns or controls the majority of the business he or she is trying to act as a Sole Representative for, he or she will be considered ineligible for a UK Sole Representative visa.
- However, a candidate may still be considered eligible for a UK Sole Representative visa so long the would-be UK Sole Representative owns or controls a minority stake in the company he or she seeks to represent. There are therefore specific rules for how much of a business a UK Sole Representative owns or controls, which are outlined in the following section.
Rules for Ownership and Control by Sole Representatives
- A candidate for a UK Sole Representative visa who owns and controls a portion of the business he or she seeks to act as a Sole Representative for, may be considered eligible for the visa so long as the would-be Sole Representative:
- Is not self-employed as the owner of the company.
- Does not identify (and is not identified) as the company’s only proprietor.
- Does not own more than half (50%) of the business via some form of partnership (especially silent partnership).
- Owns less than half (50%) of the company’s shares.
- Controls less than half (50%) of the company’s votes.
- Please note that the above requirements pertain equally to would-be dependents of Sole Representatives. What this means is that if you are a Sole Representative, and your wife/husband controls/owns a majority share of the company you act as a Sole Representative for, they will not be eligible to apply as your dependents (i.e. they may not be considered dependents of a Sole Representative).
- Please note that if you are just under the acceptable threshold level for ownership/control, you will likely be subject to further scrutiny by those evaluating your application (you will likely have to submit additional forms, etc).