Sole Representative Visa

How To Apply For Sole Representative Visa

The Sole Representative Visa is a good option for foreign individuals who wish to work in the UK for their company or grow their business there. This visa enables you to live and work in the United Kingdom for three years, as well as bring your dependents to the UK to work without restrictions.

Businesses from abroad may use the Sole Representative Visa to build a presence in the United Kingdom and test the market without incurring the costs of opening a branch office and hiring local employees.

The United Kingdom, as the world's fifth-largest economy, provides a plethora of possibilities for innovative businesses looking to expand. Sending a single representative to ‘dip their toe in the water' before making a full commitment is one way to take advantage of the opportunities available in Britain.

What Is the Sole Representative Visa

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

The Sole Representative Visa allows foreign companies to establish a branch or subsidiary of their parent corporation in the United Kingdom.

Who Can Be a Sole Representative?

A sole representative applying to work in the UK must be a foreign national who meets the following requirements:

An employee of a company from outside of the UK looking to open a branch or subsidiary in the UK.
A corporate executive who is not the owner but has the expertise and power to make business decisions on the firm's behalf.
Replacing the sole representative who had previously served.
An employee of a newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting company based in a country other than the United Kingdom.

Responsibilities of the Sole Representative Visa

The sole representative is in charge of establishing an overseas business branch or division and making important business decisions on the company's behalf. The entry clearance officers additionally consider the following factors:

The sole representative's employment contract
Job description of the sole representative
Current and future business plans of the overseas company

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Sole Representative Visa?

To be eligible for a Sole Representative Visa, you must prove that the company:

Is an active business and trades overseas.
Has and will remain to have its headquarters and operations centre outside of the United Kingdom.
Intends to establish a branch office or a fully owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom.
Is establishing the organisation's initial presence in the United Kingdom.
Has extensive expertise, skills, and understanding of the parent company as well as its industry.
Holds a high position in the business and has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the parent company.
Is not a big shareholder or has a significant stake in the company via a partnership agreement or sole ownership.
Has the required English proficiency
Has enough money to support themselves and any dependents while on leave to remain

How Long Can You Stay On a Sole Representative Visa?

After your Sole Representative Visa application is granted, you will be able to visit the UK and stay for three years to expand your business, after which you may apply for a leave to remain to extend your stay. This will extend your stay in the UK for another two years.

You may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and reside permanently in the UK after 5 years of representing your company in the UK as a senior employee.

Conditions of the Stay:

Applicants living in the Uk under the Sole Representative Visa have to abide by the following conditions:

No access to public funds

Can’t do their own business or represent any third-party company’s interest

Registration with the police, if applicable

Documents Required for the Sole Representative Visa:

When applying for a Sole Representative Visa, both you and the company you work for will be required to provide a lengthy list of documents. 

You'll need to provide the following:

Your passport and any other travel documents that are still valid
Proof of your ability to support yourself and your dependents (e.g. bank statements)
Information on your accommodation in the United Kingdom
Proof of your English proficiency
If you live in a country where TB 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 accounts
A letter stating that the company wants to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or branch office in the United Kingdom.
Your job description, compensation, and proof that you can make independent decisions on behalf of the business
You must provide proof that you are a full-time employee of the business, not just an agent.
Proof that you worked outside of the UK and will solely work for the company sending you to the UK.

How Much Does a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa Cost? 

The current Home Office application fee for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa is £610.

What Is the Application Process for a UK Sole Representative?

Unless you are from North Korea, you must apply for a Sole Representative Visa online. You will also need to provide your biometric information in addition to the required documentation (i.e. fingerprints and photographs). These can be taken at a local visa application centre.

What Are the Advantages of the Sole Representative Visa?

The Sole Representative Visa comes with a slew of benefits, including:

If sole representatives operate efficiently during the first three months of their stay, they can apply for a two-year visa extension.
Applicants could be eligible to apply for permanent residency after five years.
Applicants could be eligible to apply for British nationality after six years.
Sole representatives may qualify for 10 years of residence by combining time spent in the UK with other visa types.
Businesses looking to expand may send a single senior employee to the United Kingdom to research and test the market without having to spend a lot of money.

*These prices are subject to change in the future.

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