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Work & business visas

Sole Representative Visa

Representative Of An Overseas Business Visa

The UK sole representative visa also known as the “Sole Rep Visa” allows a senior representative of an overseas business to come to the UK to set up and run a registered UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary of that overseas parent company.

Benefits of Sole Representative Visa

  • Can stay in the UK for 3 years
  • Can extend for a further 2 years, if you are still working for the same business branch or subsidiary in the UK and the employer’s principle place of business is still outside the UK and you continue to meet the eligibility requirements
  • Can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years residence
  • Can bring your immediate family 
  • Can apply for the visa with the majority shareholder applying as a dependent, where a couple own the shareholding in the business 
  • Can spend no more than 180 days per year outside the UK
  • Can have your application processed by the Home Office in 8 – 12 weeks

Sole Representative Visa – Specific Eligibility Criteria

For the overseas parent company to meet the visa requirements it:

  • Must have its business headquarters and principal place of business registered outside the UK/EEA
  • Must have been operating for 12 months or more with a good turnover and profitability
  • Must intend to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary that will operate in the same kind of business activity as the overseas business
  • Must not have an active branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK (a legal entity may have been set up but must not yet be employing staff or transacting business)
  • Must provide a notarised statement to confirm amongst other things that the centre of operations shall remain overseas  
  • Must not cease trading outside the UK 

For the individual business representative to meet the visa requirements, he/she:

  • Must not be the driving force of the company overseas
  • Must not have other business immigration routes available that are more appropriate 
  • Must not be a majority shareholder in the company (less than 30% is likely to be acceptable)
  • Must not work for yourself or represent another company’s interest, but you can own (majority) shares in other companies (so long as you are not actively involved in the running of the company and your interest is purely financial).
  • Must work full time for their current employer
  • Must have extensive commercial knowledge of the industry 
  • Must be a senior employee of the overseas business who has sufficient authority, to make operational decisions and knowledge to establish the UK operation
  • Must apply from outside the UK, switching visa is not an option
  • Must have been recruited and employed outside (and should generally not be fixed term). There is no minimum employment period and a director is classed as an employee.

How Our Sole Representative Visa Solicitors Can Help

The requirements for the UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa can seem complicated so it is best to take early legal advice to ensure the application is not refused. 

Sometimes before a Sole Representative Visa is applied for, in may be necessary to change the structure or shareholding of a business.  However, providing these changes are genuine, entrepreneurs that are connected with an overseas business already can benefit from this route.

Monarch Solicitors can help you in the preparation of your application and ensure that you meet all the legal requirements and provide all the correct supporting evidence.

We can also assist with your future business and personal requirements, for example:

Our international team can provide seamless legal services in the following languages:

In addition, our network of trusted business partners, can help you source and set up premises, obtain a business bank account and help you and your family settle in the UK.

Free UK Business Visa Guide

To assist companies and workers through the business visa options available, please see our FREE PDF GUIDE ON BUSINESS IMMIGRATION or download a copy from the right hand side of this page.

Our free business immigration guide covers:

  1. Standards (Business) Visitor Visa
  2. Sole Representative of an Overseas Company
  3. Turkish Businessperson (Ankara Agreement) Visa 
  4. Turkish Worker Visa
  5. Innovator Visa
  6. Start Up Visa
  7. Tier 1 – Investor Visa
  8. Tier 1 – Global / Exceptional Talent Visa
  9. Tier 2 – Sponsored General Work Visa
  10. Sponsor Licence

More information about sole representative visa can be found at the government website GOV.UK – Representative of an Overseas Business visa.  

Price & Service Transparency

At Monarch Solicitors we provide highly competitive legal fees for clients wishing to apply for the sole representative visa.  We will provide you with a breakdown of the routine legal costs for a simple freehold purchase from the outset so that you can budget the Sole Representative visa costs and fees.

Contact our Sole Representative Visa Solicitors

Our expert immigration lawyers are available to discuss your UK sole representative visa option and the eligibility requirements.

Please contact our UK immigration lawyers for immediate assistance by sending an email to us at [email protected] and one of our UK immigration solicitors shall call you back. 

Alternatively, please call our immigration team on 0330 127 8888 for a free no obligation discussion.

Monarch’s award winning legal team are based in Manchester and London, serving client nationally.

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FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, it is possible to bring dependents with you to the UK. However, you will need to show that you have enough money to maintain and accommodate yourselves in the UK without recourse to public funds.

You will need to show that you have met an English language requirement. If you are a national of a majority English speaking country or already hold a qualifying degree, you will, subject to providing the necessary evidence, fulfil this requirement. If this is not the case, you will need to pass an approved English language test.

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