UK Sole Representative

This visa category enables an overseas company to send a senior employee over to the UK in order to establish and operate a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary there, which is concerned with the same type of business activity as the parent company.


  • A sole representative enables a company the opportunity to establish a business presence in the UK
  • Dependents, including unmarried partners and same-sex partners, may accompany the sole representative
  • A spouse of a sole representative is entitled to take up any lawful employment
  • Becoming a sole UK representative can lead to permanent status after five years.

A company qualified to send a sole representative to the UK

  • An overseas company should be a genuine enterprise and have been operating for at least twelve months
  • If operating for less than twelve months, applications will have to justify the need to establish a UK branch
  • The majority of business should continue overseas after a sole representative has been transferred
  • Therefore an application should not be filed with the intention of being headquartered in the UK
  • A company should show that expansion to the UK is viable and practical through the application.


An employee qualified to be sent as a sole representative

  • The sole representative must be a senior employee recruited and employed directly by the non-UK company
  • They must not be a majority shareholder of the company
  • A senior employee representative should possess full authority to make the majority of operational business decisions locally, but does not necessarily have the latitude to make decisions on all matters individually
  • The senior employee must be receiving a “full time” salary sufficient to maintain themselves and any dependents joining them in the UK
  • Sole representatives must pass an English language test with at least standard C1 of the Common European Framework Reference, or have a bachelor’s degree equivalent taught in English
  • It is advised that an applicant should spend a minimum of nine months per annum in the UK
  • A sole representative is likely to have been employed in the overseas organisation for at least twelve months
  • The employee may not work for another employer whilst in the UK. 


Sole Representative Visa process

  • Entry into the UK is granted for an initial three years
  • You may apply to extend sole representative status at least four weeks before permission to stay ends
  • You may extend your status for an additional two years
  • If you have been in the UK for over five years legally as a sole representative, you may apply to settle

Our service

  • Supplying a checklist for any and all documents to be submitted
  • Confirmation of the office where documents must be submitted
  • Streamlining supplementary documents
  • Handling legal questions received from the authorities.

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