The UK market offers lucrative business opportunities for the business communities of the world through the alternatives to UK Investor Visa. Companies and individuals alike look for expansion or entry into the UK market. There is only one investment route available for the prospective investors (from outside the EEA) to invest in the UK, under the PBS (Points based system) category of visas, namely:

Tier 1 Investor

Tier 1 Investor is a category where an individual is required to evidence access to 2 million GBP of personal funds for investment in the UK and if granted, allows the investor to remain in the UK for 3 years and 4 months.

Additional requirements for extension include that the investments in the UK were made within 3 months of entry into the country (the amount required to be invested is determined by the date on which the application was made) and that the level of investments have remained constant up to the date of applying for extension; conditional to these requirements being met the visa may be extended for an additional period of 2 years. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, the investor and their dependents may be eligible to apply for settlement.

Other investment routes were previously available (Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur); however, these have been closed for application since 29 March 2019 towards visa for investment immigration in the UK. These have been replaced by 2 new routes, not falling under the PBS category of visas; these are ‘Start-up’ and ‘Innovator’ visas.

Alternative to UK Investor Visa – Sole Representative Visa

Alternatively, another, little known, the route is available to facilitate business expansion to the UK that is proving to be a sound choice for the cautious investors. This is the Sole – Representative route.

We had a client come in for a consultation, to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. He already had a well-established business in India (dealing in organising volunteering events) and was looking to set up the same business in the UK. He had access to sufficient funds i.e. £ 200,000 to invest in this business as required under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. He was still, however, unsure of how the UK market would respond to his business, this inadequate market knowledge, was the sole point of concern for him.

We presented to him, all the options available and gave him a complete understanding of the requirements under each category. One of these options was the Sole-Representative route, which would be the most suitable option for him under his circumstances.

The requirements under the Sole-Representative visa category are that a senior employee of an organisation looking to expand its operations to the UK market may be nominated to represent the organisation in the UK. As the name suggests, a single senior employee may represent the organisation at any given time. The said nominated senior employee must not be a majority shareholder of that organisation and must have adequate knowledge about the business sector in which the organisation currently operates. It allows the representative to remain in the UK for an initial period of 3 years, during which time the necessary market research may be conducted to facilitate the establishment of the organisation’s branch or subsidiary according to the suitability of market conditions. The said visa may be extended for an additional 2 years, multiple times, as required. After 5 years of continuous residence, the sole-representative would have an option to apply for an ILR (Indefinite Leave to remain) i.e. settlement in the UK.

The sole-representative is permitted to bring in dependants and no particular work restrictions are imposed on them. He was very relieved with the knowledge that he had a cost-effective way to test the waters (UK market) before needing to make investments right away. This option was well suited to him and addressed his concern of inadequate knowledge of the UK market.

The SmartMove2UK has been assisting potential investors in finding the best routes to direct their investments to the UK in the right manner, unique to their circumstances. For more information about the Sole-Representative visas, you can speak to our UK Investor Visa Experts on +91 98191 27002  or [fusion_tooltip title=”Email to info@smi.legal” class=”” id=”” placement=”top” trigger=”hover”]info@smi.legal[/fusion_tooltip] and book your consultation appointment with our UK Investor Visa advisor to know about the specific visa category and how you can apply for permission to remain the UK as an entrepreneur. You can find our presence in , New Delhi, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, London as well as Mumbai being our registered office along with international boundaries extending to London.

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