You are eligible for applying to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you are already a sole representative in a business or an overseas news organisation or broadcasting agency.
With indefinite leave to remain, you are free to work, study, and live freely without any immigration control. You can apply for the same benefits as a British citizen but with little restriction and eventually you can apply for British citizenship once your continuous residence period is over.
Let us see the eligibility criteria and the ILR application process.
Conditions for eligibility
The foremost consideration is whether you have a sole representative visa or not. If yes then you must have lived in the UK for a continuous period of at least 5 years. You must have never stayed outside the UK for more than 180 days in your last 12 months period.
You must also be able to provide your proof of employment with your parent company.
You must also show valid proof that you are actively taking care of the firm in the UK and it is trading lawfully in the UK.
Needless to say, you must be above 18 years of age and below 64 years of age and have cleared the Life in the UK test and the English proficiency test.
How to prove 5 years continuous employment and residence?
To prove your 5 years of continuous employment and residence you must have a Representative of an Overseas Business visa or a Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa, a Representative of an Overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organisation visa.
In these 5 years you must prove that you have worked full-time for the overseas business which you represent or the UK branch or subsidiary you have established in the UK.
If you have a sole representative visa then you have proof that you have established the branch in the UK and you have never engaged yourself in any other business or have started a business of your own in the UK.
Application process and fee
You must make an application online with all the relevant documents.
It costs £2,389 per application, you also need to pay biometric fees of £19.20 per person.
You will have to wait for at least 6 months before you receive a decision on your Indefinite Leave to Remain application.
In case your application seems complex, you will be contacted by the UK Home Office if any supporting documentation is required to be verified again, or if you need an interview or you have a previous history of criminal convictions.
Your application can be refused by the UK Home Office if you have been reported criminal by any other country, or you have falsely represented yourself and your documentation or if you have broken any UK immigration law.
It is therefore important that you seek immigration advice before you decide whether you want to settle in the UK or not. A Y & J solicitors have been sole representative visa experts for over 10 years.
Overlooking any of the eligibility criteria could lead to the threats of application refusal.