UK Sole Representative visa

The Sole Representative Visa (also known as the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa) enables foreign enterprises to establish a commercial presence in the UK by sending a senior representative (Sole representative).

The Sole Representative Visa allows foreign corporations to 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
  • 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

This visa allows you to remain in the UK for a maximum of three years. You can then apply for a two-year extension. You may apply for settlement after five years in the UK.

Documents required for application

Your passport and any other valid travel documents

Proof of your ability to support yourself and your dependents (e.g., bank statements)

Information on your accommodation in the UK

Proof of your English proficiency

If you live in a nation where tuberculosis testing is required, the results of your tuberculosis test

A detailed description of your company, including what it does, its assets and liabilities, and other financial accounts

A letter stating that the company plans to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or branch office in the United Kingdom.

Your job description, compensation, and evidence that you can make autonomous decisions on behalf of the company

You must provide proof that you are a full-time employee of the organization, not just an agent

Proof that you worked outside of the UK and will solely work for the organization that is sending you to the nation.

Bringing dependents on the visa

The bearer of a UK sole representative visa is allowed to bring their family members with them. If the dependents are from outside the UK, they will need a visa.

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 three months of their stay, they can request for a two-year visa extension.

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

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

Sole representatives can qualify for 10 years of residency by combining time spent in the UK with other visa 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 the sole representative visa take to process?

According to our experience, the Home Office takes 4-6 weeks to process a Sole Representative Visa application.

 The earliest you can apply is three months prior to your departure date.

Is it possible to get a visa extension?

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

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