Securing Entry Clearance under the Sole Representative visa

The Sole Representative visa is often neglected as not many business people are aware of the benefits in securing entry clearance under this route. The visa was designed to permit an individual to enter the United Kingdom to operate a registered branch or subsidiary of an overseas company in the United Kingdom. The individual nominated by the overseas business must hold a senior position and be in a position to make executive decisions. It should be noted that the overseas business should always remain the primary focus of the business. If there are drastic changes to the primary overseas business there could be repercussions for the worker on the Sole Representative visa such as an early curtailment.  

What is the Sole Representative visa?  

The Sole Representative visa application should be submitted in accordance with the relevant paragraphs in the Immigration Rules and Home Office Policy Guidance. The Sole Representative visa is for a senior employee of an overseas business who wishes to come to the United Kingdom to operate a United Kingdom branch or wholly-owned subsidiary. The employer normally decides on which employee should be sent to the United Kingdom and If the visa is granted the Applicant will be granted a visa for 3 years which can be extended for a further two years if the leave to remain requirements are met in accordance with the Immigration Rules. It is possible for Applicants to apply for their dependents to join them. However, Applicants can only work with the registered business under their visa and cannot carry out any extra work or switch over to any other visa from within the United Kingdom.

What are the requirements for a Sole Representative visa?

There are a number of requirements that must be met by Applicants who wish to apply for a Sole Representative visa. The main requirement is that the Applicant applying for the visa must be recruited and employed outside the United Kingdom by the primary overseas company. The Applicant must have an intention to work full time for the primary overseas company and must not intend to take any other employment. In addition to these the following requirements must also be met:

  • The Applicant must apply as the sole representative of the primary overseas company and must intend to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that overseas company in the United Kingdom and that branch or subsidiary will operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas business;
  • The Applicant must be a senior employee (but not a shareholder) of the overseas company and must have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the United Kingdom;
  • The Applicant must provide evidence that he/she can accommodate and maintain himself/herself in the United Kingdom and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds;
  • The Applicant must also meet the English language requirement by passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.

Applying for a Sole Representative visa as an overseas media employee

The Sole Representative visa can also be used by overseas media employees (producers, news cameramen and front of camera personal) employed by an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation and posted by their employer on a long-term assignment in the United Kingdom. Applicants must have been recruited outside the United Kingdom and must intend to work full time for the overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be recruited and employed outside the United Kingdom and must intend to represent in the UK by working fulltime;
  • Must be in the United Kingdom and working on a long-term assignment;
  • Must provide evidence they can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds; and
  • Must meet the required standard in English language requirement by passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.

An overseas media company can have more than one representative in the UK at the same time.

Using Legal Representation to prepare a Sole Representative visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Sole Representative visa under the UK Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Sole Representative visa succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Sole Representative visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Sole Representative visa application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Sole Representative visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Sole Representative visa and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful Sole Representative visa application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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