THE PILGRIMAGE to the holy city of Mecca for the Hajj begins shortly for millions of Muslims, as they convene in the holiest place in Islam in Saudi Arabia. Here is everything you need to know about the annual pilgrimage.
Hajj begins on Sunday, August 19 and ends in the evening of Friday, August 24.
The pilgrimage is mandatory for all Muslims to complete at least once in their life if they can afford to go and are able bodied.
The Hajj pilgrimage is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar – Dhul-Hijjah.
The purpose of the pilgrimage is to get closer to Allah and Muslims from all over the world have the opportunity to interact with each other.
Muslims flood to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the five-day pilgrimage.
Mecca is where Muhammad, the prophet who founded Islam, was born and where he received the first revelation of the Koran.
Pilgrims visit the Grand Mosque to praise Allah before the Ka’aba – Islam’s most sacred building.
Hajj is one of the fifth and final pillar of Islam.
During the pilgrimage, pilgrims wear simple white clothes called Ihram.
One aspect of Hajj is that it removes all markers of class, wealth and materialism, which is why everyone dresses in simple cloth for the duration of the pilgrimage.
Hajj begins on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah, this is followed by the Day of Arafah and Eid al-Adha on the 10th day – Islam’s holiest festival and the day of Tashriq.
Muslims on Hajj are forbidden from having sex, proposing marriage, cutting their hair or nails and killing animals.
They believe that the Prophet Abraham built the Ka’aba with his son Ismael, which is at the centre of the Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.
Muslims walk around the Kaaba seven times as part of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Muslims face to pray in the direction of the Ka’aba no matter where they are in the world.
To be completed, the Hajj requires a minimum of five days during which pilgrims travel across Saudi Arabia to complete various rituals.
Each year around two million Muslims flock to the Holy city for the pilgrimage.
According to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, the Hajj is the largest gathering of human beings on the Earth.
Frequently Asked Question- Sole Rep Visa
Keywords: Sole Representative Visa, Representative of an Overseas Business Visa, Sole Representative Visa Guidance, documents required for sole representative visa, overseas representative visa, Sole representative visa UK extension
Q1. What is a Sole Rep Visa?
Ans. The Representative of an overseas business route also known as Sole Representative of an overseas business is an immigration route particularly designed for individuals who either are looking to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch for an overseas parent company. This route is necessary for individuals who have been posted on a long-term assignment to the UK by their employers as an overseas worker.
A major consideration with Sole Representative Visa is that the sole rep must be recruited outside the UK by the overseas company whose headquarters and principal place of business is not in the UK.
Q2. What are representative of an overseas business eligibility criteria/requirements?
- The prospective sole rep must be able to demonstrate extensive industry-related experience and knowledge.
- The prospective representative of an overseas business must be recruited and employed outside the UK whose principal place of business is outside the UK. The company must have no subsidiary, branch, or other representatives in the UK.
- The applicant must hold a senior position with the overseas company and have full authority to take operational decisions on the company’s decisions.
- The applicant must intend to establish a company’s commercial presence in the UK.
- The applicant must not accept any kind of employment in the UK except for the Overseas Company.
- The prospective sole rep must meet the maintenance requirement.
- The applicant must meet the English language requirement.
Q3. What documents are needed for Representative of an overseas business Visa?
Ans. The applicant must provide the following documents:
- A current passport or valid travel identification.
- Evidence demonstrating the financial ability of themselves and dependents, for instance, bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months.
- Details of accommodating during the stay in the UK.
- Evidence demonstrating the English requirements by passing an approved English Language Test with CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening or an academic qualification recognized by UK NARIC as equivalent to UK’s Bachelor degree or master’s degree or Ph.D.
- Applicant’s tuberculosis test results.
- A certified translation includes passports, a photocard driving license, a letter from a government department, a credit card statement, council tax bills, or letters from a hospital signed and dated by a professional person.
Sole Representatives must also provide
- A detailed description of the business’s activities.
- A letter confirming the overseas business intending to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK with the same activity as it runs in the overseas.
- Job description, salary details, and employment contract.
- A letter confirming the applicant’s familiarity with the business and authority to take the operational decision.
- Evidence to prove that they are directly employed by the business.
- Evidence to demonstrate that he or she is recruited outside the UK
- Evidence of senior position in the business with the authority to make a decision on the company’s behalf.
- Evidence to certify that the sole rep will be working full time for the company for the duration of stay without carrying out any other work.
- Evidence that he or she does not control a majority of the overseas majority.
Q4. Is it possible to extend the Sole Representative Visa?
Ans. Yes, however, a sole rep needs to comply with Sole Representative Visa Guidance.
- A sole rep is in the UK with valid entry clearance as a sole representative of an overseas business.
- The company’s headquarter and principal place of business continues to be outside the UK.
- A sole rep is still actively involved full time as the Sole Representative of an overseas business
- The employer must certify that the individual is still needed for the job.
- A sole rep is capable enough to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements.
Q5. How does an immigration solicitor help in obtaining a Sole Rep Visa?
Ans. An immigration solicitor provides advice on legal requirements as well as make sure that the client is compliant with the immigration rules. They are capable to deal with a wide variety of business immigration matters with varying degrees of complexities.