ArticleSettle in the UK as an Overseas Business Representative

UK Home Office’s decision to close the Sole Representative visa route continues to resonate within the business immigration sector. Initially effective from 11 April 2022, this policy shift represented a significant change in the UK’s approach to non-EU business representatives. Any initial Sole Representative visa applications submitted after this time will be deemed invalid and will not be considered by the Home Office. As we reflect on these changes, the ongoing potential for extensions and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications remains a crucial aspect for those already on this route.

This shift was part of a broader restructuring of the UK’s immigration system, impacting new entrants who previously would have considered the Sole Representative route. Despite its closure to new applicants, the route remains relevant for those already in the UK under this category. There have been no material changes to the criteria for extending or obtaining ILR as a Sole Representative since the route’s closure.

Introduction of the Global Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Route:

  • As a parallel development, the UK introduced the Global Mobility – UK Expansion Worker route, which started concurrently with the closure of the Sole Representative route.
  • This new pathway, while serving a similar audience, has distinct and more restrictive requirements and notably does not lead to ILR.

The ongoing ability to apply for extensions and ILR under this route is a vital lifeline for those already established in the UK under this visa. However, for new entrants, the landscape has changed, requiring them to go through more restrictive paths like the UK Expansion Worker route. The change has been challenging for some, but it also reflects the UK’s evolving priorities in its immigration policies, particularly in attracting specific skills and investments. As the UK’s immigration landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and seeking expert guidance remains as crucial as ever.

Get in touch: For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, reach out to GigaLegal at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.