Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is for non-UK Companies who wish to send a senior member of staff to the UK to establish and develop a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of their business.
This visa leads to Settlement and after 5 years working in the UK with the Sole Representative Visa category you should be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Sole Representative Visa Requirements
If you are coming to the UK as a Sole Representative you must:
- be recruited and employed outside the UK by an active and trading business (whose headquarters and principal place of business are, and will remain, outside the UK);
- have the skills, experience and knowledge to do the role;
- hold a senior position within the business (but do not own or control the majority of it) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf;
- intend to establish the overseas business’s first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary.
You may also be eligible if the business has a legal entity in the UK that does not employ staff or do any business.
If your employer has been working to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but it is not yet set up, you can replace a previous sole representative.
Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa Application
When applying as a sole representative of an overseas business you’ll need to evidence that the overseas business:
- is an actively trading Company;
- intends to establish a wholly owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK in the same business activity as it runs overseas;
- intends to maintain it’s centre of operations outside the UK.
You will also need to evidence that you:
- are directly employed by the business in a senior role;
- were recruited to the business outside of the UK;
- have the skills, knowledge and experience of the overseas business necessary to establish a UK presence of that business;
- will have the authority to negotiate and make operational decisions on its behalf and set up and run a registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary in the UK;
- will be working full time for the business or subsidiary for the duration of your stay and will not engage in any other work;
- do not own or control a majority of the overseas business;
- can meet the English language requirement.
Sole Representative Visa Conditions
This visa allows you to:
- work for your employer, full time;
- bring your family (‘dependants’) with you to the UK;
- apply to extend your visa;
- apply to settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years.
You are not permitted to:
- work for yourself or any other business;
- stay in the UK if the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer;
- switch to this visa from any other visa category;
- get public funds.
How We Can Help
These applications can be very complex and require a structured approach based on detailed knowledge of the relevant rules and significant experience to ensure the best possible chance of success. Sole Representative Visa applications are being very closely looked at by the Home Office and so it is more important than ever to get it right.