Can I extend my UK sole
27 September 2019
We understand just how important this first step is for an overseas business wishing to expand into the UK, which is why we have created our sole representative series of articles.
Here, we look at what happens when your UK-based sole rep needs to remain in the country for a period longer than their visa’s initial duration.
If you are in the UK as a sole representative of an overseas business charged with the duty of setting up and/or running a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that business, then you are entitled to extend your visa should you need to prolong your stay in the UK beyond the initial 36 months.
In what capacity can I extend my sole rep visa?
It is only possible to extend your visa, also known as the Representative of an Overseas Business visa, if you are still working full-time as the overseas business’s representative and overseeing its UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary. Supporting evidence of the UK business structure, accounts, branch registration/incorporation documents, remuneration and working hours over the 12 months leading up to the application should be presented to the Home Office.
The overseas business must also still have its HQ abroad and be willing to certify that it still requires you to oversee the UK business in the role previously approved.
Can my family also stay with me in the UK?
If you are planning to extend your visa and have family members in the UK as your legal dependants (these are seen to be your spouse or partner, and any children under the age of 18) then it is indeed possible to extend their dependant visa(s) alongside yours.
For how long can I extend my UK visa?
As a Representative of an Overseas Business, your UK visa will be valid for three years following its issuance. If you decide to apply to extend your visa, it can only be for another two years. If, once these two years are completed you still wish to remain in the UK, you may apply for settlement, an immigration status which allows you to reside and work in the UK on an indefinite basis.
Please note: you should always apply to extend your stay in the UK while your current visa is still valid.
For more information on how to extend your sole representative visa, contact our specialist team at Smith Stone Walters.
Read more of our sole representative visa articles: