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How can I extend my Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa?

The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, commonly referred to as a Sole Representative visa (or ‘SROB’ visa), is normally granted for a period of 3 years and can be extended for a further 2 years despite the fact this route is now closed to new applicants (new applications are still being accepted for those applying as an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation). 

The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa was designed for individuals representing overseas businesses who intend to set up a branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK. 


Extending your Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa

To extend your Sole Representative of an Overseas Business (SROB) visa, you will need to ensure that you are eligible and meet the relevant requirements, as set out by the SROB rules. The immigration rules for SROB visa extensions state that applicants must:

  • Have an existing and valid (i.e., non-expired) Representative of an Overseas Business visa (either as a representative of an overseas business or an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation), and

  • Have established and registered the branch or subsidiary of their overseas employer

  • Still be working for the same employer (as when the initial Sole Representative visa was granted), and that employer must still be principally based outside the UK

  • Still be supervising the UK branch or subsidiary they established for their overseas employer

  • Still be required by their employer to continue in the role of sole representative on their behalf.


It is also important to check that you continue to meet the original controlling stake requirements for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa; namely that when you apply to extend your visa, you still:

  • do not own more than 50% of the shares of the overseas business you represent

  • do not control more than 50% of the voting rights of the overseas business you represent

  • are not the self-employed owner of the overseas business you represent

  • are not the sole proprietor of the overseas business you represent

  • are not in a partnership agreement in which you own more than 50% of the overseas business you represent


Documents required for a Sole Representative visa renewal application

Please be aware that the type of documents you need to provide in support of your extension application will depend on your role and the nature of the business. However, you might be asked to provide the following documents:

  • A letter from your overseas employer confirming that they wish to continue to employ you in the same job as your sole representative in the UK

  • Bank statements and pay slips showing you have received a salary from your employer over the last 12 months immediately prior to your extension application 

  • Details of the remuneration (i.e., pay) package you receive from your overseas employer

  • Evidence that you have generated business in the UK on behalf of your overseas employer since you were granted your Sole Rep visa (e.g., financial accounts, copies of invoices or letters from firms that the UK branch or subsidiary has done business with and the amount of that business) 

  • Companies House certificate of registration as a UK establishment (if you set up a UK branch)

  • Companies House certificate of incorporation (if you set up a wholly-owned subsidiary) 

  • A copy of the share register


Indefinite Leave to Remain under the SROB route

The SROB visa is a route to settlement. If you have complied with the conditions of your visa and have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Alternatively, you can switch from the SROB visa to other visa routes, such as the Skilled Worker visa. You can use time spent on two types of visas as a qualifying period for your indefinite leave to remain.


 

If you are not sure if you meet the eligibility requirements for the extension of your Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa  or have questions about any aspect of your extension application, contact us to discuss it today.

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