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UK Sole Representative & Business Visa

The Sole Representative visa application process can be a minefield for anyone not completely up to date with the current immigration legislation. At Migra & Co, it’s our business to know and be fully aware of constantly changing legal requirements in order to secure the approval of our clients’ Sole Representative visa.
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Under the UK sole representative category the UK subsidy of the overseas company must have been established in anticipation of the expansion into the United Kingdom but exists solely as a legal entity (i.e. no staff are employed and no business is transacted).

Requirements under the sole representative category

As a sole representative of an overseas firm  in the United Kingdom, the applicant must have been recruited outside Great Britain and joined the parent company abroad.  The sole representative must be established a full-time senior employee of the parent company and be given responsibility for setting up a limited operation in the United Kingdom to test the market. Furthermore, the applicant cannot be a major shareholder in the overseas company and will be expected to spend a minimum of nine months of the year in the United Kingdom.

Entry clearance in the UK sole representative visa category is mandatory and permission to enter and remain in the UK will normally be granted for an initial period of 24 months.

Settlement in the UK

Towards the end of this period the sole representative can then apply for an extension of stay for up to another 3 years. UK Sole Representatives who have spent a continuous period of at least five years in the UK might become eligible for indefinite leave to remain (settlement).

If the overseas company already has a branch or other representation in the UK, staff joining from overseas will normally require to be sponsored under the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer/Work Permit category of the Points Based System.

The sole representatives of overseas businesse coming to the UK for a short periods of time (e.g. less than six months at a time) may enter the UK under business visitor visa instead. However, those intending to spend more than 6 months in the UK or engage in productive work should apply under the UK sole representative visa category.

Speak to one of our Sole Representative visa consultants now to discuss your tailor made visa solution. Call us on +44 20 3384 3075.
Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.