‘Sole Representative’ is a UK visa category specifically designed for companies that wish to send one key individual of an overseas company to enter the UK to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or representative office in the UK for the overseas parent company.

This visa has become a popular option for companies and entrepreneurs with businesses abroad and is one of the most suitable routes for businesses to establish a commercial presence in the UK. The sole representative visa can be granted to individuals who hold a senior position within a company whose headquarters are outside of the UK.
No investments or minimum salary are required for this type of visa, although there are a set of requirements to be met.

Who can apply?

You can apply to come to the UK as a sole representative of an overseas business if
you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and
you’re either:

  • The sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company.
  • An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting
    organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK

It is vital to ensure that the required criteria are met and that sufficient evidence is submitted to increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome. Our specialist immigration team have broad experience in assisting companies with sole representative visa applications.

Applying for an Administrative Review

What if a UK branch/subsidiary has already been established?

Sole representative visas are only available to overseas firms that have no branch, subsidiary or presence in the UK. However, it is acceptable to form a UK company in anticipation of such an appointment, so long as that UK company exists only as a shell entity and has not commenced trading yet.

Entry Clearance – Eligibility requirements

To be considered eligible for this visa category there are certain requirements to be met when applying as a Sole Representative:

  • Applicants must be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK.
  • Applicants must hold a senior position within the company (but not be a majority shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf.
  • Applicants must intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK.
  • Applicants must be employed full-time as the sole representative of that overseas business.
  • Applicants must meet the English language requirement which requires applicants to have obtained at least CEFR Level A1 in speaking and listening.
  • Have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants (if applicable) in the UK.
  • Must not intend to undertake any other employment in the UK.

Processing Time

The earliest that applicants can submit visa requests is 3 months before travelling to the UK. Processing times for entry clearance applications are approximately 3 weeks if submitted from the country of residence, or around 8-12 weeks for those switching their visa and currently residing in the UK. However, it is possible to pay for a Priority Service to receive a decision within 5 working days.

Extension of a Sole Representative Visa

Your Sole Representative UK visa will be initially granted for 3 years. You are then permitted to extend your visa for another 2 years. To be eligible for an extension it is necessary to demonstrate that you continue to act as the sole representative for the overseas company. Once you have completed the additional 2 years, you are then allowed to apply for ILR and settlement.
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Why Choose Us?

Our specialist Sole Representative Visa solicitors will be by your side throughout all stages of your visa application. They will discuss your circumstances and present you with options on how to proceed. Legal advice should always be sought before an application is submitted, the case must be argued well and in detail to show evidence that you meet the requirements. Our solicitors have many years of experience in dealing with all types of visa matters. They will expertly guide you in all aspects of your immigration and are ideally positioned to explain any complexities of cases and can represent your position robustly in order to achieve your desired outcome. We have helped many individuals across the country through the sensitive and complex process of applying for visas.

How to Get in Contact

Please call us on 01234 350 244 or email us at info@dvsolicitors.com for further information and advice about our family visa application services. We will happily provide you with a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances.
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