The Sole Representative Visa (Representative of an Overseas Business Visa) is for overseas companies to set up a branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary of their business in the UK. This visa allows companies to send their representative (Sole Representative) to the UK.
Who Is a Sole Representative?
A sole representative is an overseas national who
- Is recruited and employed outside the UK by an active and trading business whose headquarters and chief operations happen outside the UK.
- Has the skill set and experience to represent their business.
- Is in a senior position in the firm and has complete authority to make decisions on the company’s behalf. The representative should not be someone who owns or controls the majority of the business.
- Wishes to expand its business and establish its first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary.
- If you are an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization posted on a long-term assignment to the UK, you can apply as a representative of an overseas business
- Companies that own legal entities in the UK but do not employ staff or conduct business are eligible.
- Companies can replace their sole representative if the previous employer has not set up a UK branch or subsidiary.
One must have enough financial support to be eligible for this visa. Access to public funds is denied.
- Language Requirements
English language knowledge is essential for being a Sole Representative in the UK. Passing a Secure English language test (SELT) with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening is necessary. Representatives with an academic qualification taught in English and are recognized by UK NARIC as equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. are eligible.
You need to apply 3 months before you travel
You will receive a decision within 3 weeks (If you are applying from outside) and 8 weeks if you apply from within the UK.
The duration and the decision can change depending on various factors. The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) will contact an applicant if:
- the supporting documents need to be verified
- you need to attend an interview
- there is a criminal conviction or other legal issues.
How long can you stay?
With the Sole Representative Visa, you can stay in the UK for an initial period of 3 years. An extension of 2 years is possible. You can apply for permission to settle permanently after being in the UK for 5 years. You are eligible for an extension only if you continue to work for the same firm that gave the initial visa. The firm you are representing should be functional, with its parent company outside the UK. You must be living in the UK and working to establish your business to be eligible.
- Sole Representatives can bring their family/dependents to the UK. The dependents must have a visa if they are overseas nationals. Your husband, wife, or partner and your child under 18 come in this category.
- Your dependents can also apply for extension along with you.
- If any of them owns the majority of the company you are representing, you are not allowed to bring them.
- If your child is born in the UK, you can add them to your visa as your dependent.
- Current passport or any other travel identification.
- Evidence that you can support yourself and your dependents while in the UK.
- Proof of English eligibility also should be submitted during application.
- Certified translations should be attached for any document that is not in English or Welsh.
- Tuberculosis test report, if applicable should be attached, for applications from outside the UK.
Employment and Business Details
You are required to submit necessary documents that show the job description, employment contract, and salary details. A detailed business plan along with details of assets and accounts must be attached. You should also provide evidence that you were directly recruited by the company you are representing and not a sales agent.
What Is a Business Plan?
The Business Plan should contain all the business details of your company outside of the UK. You also need to provide the objectives and reasons for expanding the business to the UK. It should also state that the principal office and centre of operations of your business will continue to be outside the UK. The plan should also convey that your firm is strong and has clear expansion goals.
Terms and Conditions
A Sole Representative
- Does not have access to public funds.
- Cannot stay in the UK if your company ends the agreement.
- Cannot switch to this visa from other visa categories.
- Cannot work for any other firm or start your own business in the UK.
Representing your company in the UK is a huge responsibility. Our team is here to help you with the visa process. Contact us for the best consultancy experience. Get ready to expand your business.