The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa category is for businesses that wish to send a senior employee to the UK in order to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK.

The visa, also known as the ‘Sole Representative visa’, allows a senior employee of an overseas business to come to the UK to set up and run a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas parent company. ¬†Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) can be achieved after 5 years.

The Sole Representative visa category is suitable for a senior employee of an overseas business that wishes to set up and run a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas parent company in the UK.

To qualify for this visa, the overseas parent company must be an active and trading overseas business with its headquarters and principal place of business outside the United Kingdom. The overseas parent company must have no other active branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK. The subsidiary company that is setup under the Sole Representative visa must trade in the same business activity as the overseas business, although the overseas parent company must maintain the centre of its operations overseas.

To qualify for this visa, the applicant must be an existing senior employee of the overseas business and recruited outside of the UK. The applicant also needs to have the skills, experience and knowledge of the business necessary to undertake the role of sole representative in the UK. They must have full authority to negotiate and take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business, and either a majority stake in, ownership or control of the overseas business, whether that be by means of a shareholding, partnership, sole proprietorship or any other agreement. The applicant must not engage in business of their own or work for any other business during their time in the UK.

To qualify for this visa, the overseas parent company must:

  • Be an active and trading overseas business;
  • Have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the United Kingdom;
  • Have no other active branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK;
  • Intend to establish a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK that will actively trade in the same business activity as the overseas business;
  • Not be established or the sole representative appointed mainly for the purpose of facilitating the entry or stay of the sole representative;
  • Intend to maintain the centre of its operations overseas.

 

In addition, the representative applying for the Sole Representative visa must:

  • Be a genuine Representative of an Overseas Business;
  • Be an existing senior employee of the overseas business;
  • Have been recruited and taken on as an employee of the overseas business outside of the UK;
  • Have the skills, experience and knowledge of the business necessary to undertake the role of sole representative of the overseas business in the UK;
  • Have full authority to negotiate and take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business;
  • Intend to work full-time as a representative of the overseas business;
  • Not intend to engage in business of your own or work for any other business;
  • Not have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, a majority of the overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement;
  • Show English language ability to at least CEFR Level A1 (speaking and listening);
  • Show they can adequately maintain and accommodate theirself and their dependants in the UK, without recourse to public funds.

Our multi-lingual business consultancy team is highly experienced in helping international businesspersons and their parent companies to prepare Sole Representative visa-compliant documentation.

Our team has helped over 300 foreign individuals to plan, prepare and apply for Entry Clearance into the UK.

Oxford Street, London

Why choose the UK?

Read our top reasons why the UK is the best place for new and experienced entrepreneurs to start a business.

business development

Discover other options

Discover other options to start a UK business including the Start-up and Innovator visas.

Great Britain

View our performance

Download our latest performance update to learn more about our team’s expertise and the clients we’ve helped so far.