UK Permit for Sole Representatives

The UK allows foreign enterprises to establish a commercial presence in the UK by sending a senior representative (Sole representative). Foreign corporations are given permits to enable them establish a branch or subsidiary of their parent company in the United Kingdom.

Who is a sole representative?

A sole representative is a foreign national who is:

  • An (employee) of a company based outside of the UK who is looking to open a branch or subsidiary in the UK.
  • A company executive who is not the owner but has the expertise and power to make business decisions on the company’s behalf.
  • Individual who will replace the existing sole representative
  • An employee of a newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization based in a country other than the United Kingdom.
Eligibility requirements

You as a sole representative must:

  • Be hired and employed outside the UK by a business or organization that has its headquarters or principal place of business outside the UK
  • Possess the skills, experience and knowledge required for the role
  • Have full authority to make decisions on behalf of the company (but do not own or control the majority of it) and have a top position in the company
  • Aim to open a registered branch or a completely owned subsidiary in the UK as the overseas company’s initial commercial presence

You may also be qualified if your company has a legal entity in the United Kingdom that does not employ anyone or conduct any activity.

You can replace a prior sole representative if your firm has been seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary but it has not yet been established.

Staying in the UK

The UK permit allows you to remain in the UK for a maximum of 3 years. You can then apply for a 2-year extension. You may apply for settlement after 5 years in the UK.

Bringing dependents on the visa

If you hold a UK permit for sole representatives, you are allowed to bring your family members with you. If your dependents are from outside the UK, they will need separate permits.

Your husband, wife, or partner, as well as your child under the age of 18, can be considered dependents.

You may not bring your dependents with you if they own the majority of the company you will be representing.

Advantages of the sole representative visa

If sole representatives are successful in the first 3 months of their stay, they can request for a 2-year permit extension.

Applicants may be eligible to seek for permanent residency after 5 years.

Applicants may be entitled to seek for British nationality after 6 years.

Sole representatives can qualify for 10 years of residency by combining time spent in the UK with other permit categories.

Businesses looking to expand can send a single senior employee to the United Kingdom to study and test the market without having to spend a lot of money.

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How long does it take for a permit for sole representative to process?

According to our experience, the Home Office takes 4 to 6 weeks to process a of this type. The earliest you can apply for the permit is 3 months prior to your departure date.

Is it possible to extend the permit?

By re-verifying your eligibility and paying a small charge, you can simply extend your lone representative permit in the United Kingdom, including that of your dependents. After the first 3 years, it can be extended for up to 2 years.

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