Are you the Sole Representative to the UK for your business? We wish to congratulate you for successfully expanding your business…!! If you are looking for the procedures of extending your Sole Representative Visa, here are the eligibility criteria and the requirements. Read on:

Let’s Get the Basics Right

  • The extension rules are applicable for the principal applicant and dependents. You should include all the dependants who are on your current visa. This includes children who have turned 18 during your stay.
  • You should apply before your current visa expires.


The applicant must

  • be in the UK to extend their visa.
  • Already have this visa as either:
    • a representative of an overseas business (whose headquarters and chief operations happen outside the UK).
    • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.


  • The applicant must still be working for the same employer when they were issued the previous representative visa. The firm you are representing should be functional, with its parent company outside the UK.
  • The parent company should be a genuine business firm that is ready to show its turnover
  • Your firm should have the same type of business overseas like the one established in the UK
  • The company has to certify that the sole representative is still required for the employment in question
  • They must have established and must be supervising a UK branch or subsidiary of the overseas business. You must be living in the UK and working for your business.
  • The chief operations of your employer/company happen outside the UK. Your branch in the UK can flourish and even outshine the parent company, but the firm cannot stop its functions outside the UK or shift its headquarters to the UK.

Evidential Requirements

If the applicant wishes to extend their stay as a Sole Representative or a Media Representative, they must provide the below-mentioned documents from their employer:

  • A statement that the firm wishes to continue to employ the applicant in the same job.
  • Evidence of the applicant’s salary in the 12 months immediately before the date of application and details of the remuneration package the employee receives from the firm.

A Sole Representative also needs to submit some additional proof. This requirement is not applicable for Media Representatives. These include:

  • Evidence of the business subsidiary or branch they have established.
  • Evidence that shows they have established and are in charge of a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas business
  • Evidence that they have generated business, principally with firms in the UK, on behalf of their overseas employer. This refers to accounts, copies of invoices or letters from firms with whom they did business. This includes indications of the value of transactions.
  • A Companies House certificate of registration as a UK establishment (for a branch)
  • A certificate of incorporation (for a wholly-owned subsidiary) along with either:
    • a copy of the share register; or
    • a letter from the company’s accountants.

This is to confirm that the overseas business holds all shares.

  • A letter from the employer confirming that the applicant supervises the UK branch or subsidiary.

Duration of Stay

  • The original duration of a Representative of an Overseas Business visa is three years. This can be extended for up to 2 years.
  • If your previous Representative of an Overseas Business visa was issued before 1 October 2009, it could be extended for three years
  • You can apply for permanent settlement once you have been in the UK for five years. You must still have an ongoing job with the same company that issued your previous Representative Visa.

How to Apply

The application for an extension can be submitted online.

You must submit the required documents within 10 working days of submitting your online application. Failing to do this may lead to the rejection of your application.

Biometric Information and Documents

Applicants are required to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).

You can submit the supporting documents in two ways:

  1. upload them into the online service
  2. have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

UKVCAS Appointment

When you go to your appointment, you have to take the following with you:

  • a printed copy of your appointment confirmation document with a QR code
  • your passport or travel document
  • other supporting documents if you have not uploaded them online

You will get a list of supporting documents you need to provide when you submit your application.

Family Members

If your extension application includes family members, you must go to the appointment together.

Children under 16

Children under 16 must go to the appointment with the person named as the ‘responsible adult’ on their application. The responsible adult must bring a photo ID with them. The approved IDs are:

  • passport
  • photo driving license
  • national identity card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit

The responsible adult could be the child’s parent(s), legal guardian, or even staff member of their school.  If the responsible adult is not the child’s parent or legal guardian, they have to bring written proof of responsibility for the child from:

  • the parent or legal guardian
  • a registered foster care or social services representative

IMPORTANT: You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man until you get a decision on your visa extension. Doing so would lead to the withdrawal of your application.

How Long Does It Take?

You will receive a decision on your visa extension within 8 weeks.

Your application may take longer under certain circumstances. The procedures can get complex and take more time than usual if:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • you have a criminal conviction or similar personal circumstances

Once you apply, you are allowed to stay in the UK till you receive a decision. This is applicable only if you apply before your last visa expires.