Sole Representative Visa – UK Business Immigration Law

The Sole Representative Visa is a popular route for Entry Clearance often used by business people whose primary aim is to set up a part of their existing overseas business in the UK. Interest in this particular visa has significantly increased as Applicants could potentially have the similar rights to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Applicants. A key distinction between the two visas is unlike the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route, Applicant’s applying for a Sole Representative Visa will not require a substantial amount of initial investment and it’s not points based.   

Overseas business people showing a greater interest in the Sole Representative Visa

Can you apply for a UK Sole Representative Visa

You may be eligible to apply for the Sole Representative Visa if you are a representative of an overseas company whose main business activity falls outside the European Economic Area (EEA). To submit a successful application you will be required to provide evidence that you are employed by the parent company. You will not be granted this visa if you are working on behalf of the company as an agent or if the overseas company already as a commercial presence in the UK. This visa is also available for individuals who are employed by an overseas media/broadcasting company and are required to work on ongoing assignments in the UK.

As mentioned above, Sole Representative Visa applications must be submitted from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The Immigration rules will not allow you to switch to a Sole Representative Visa from a different category. If your application is successful you will be granted the visa for three years and upon completion of the three years, you can apply to extend your visa for another two years. You must meet the following requirements if you intend on coming to the UK as a sole representative of an overseas company:

  • You must be recruited from outside the UK and already be employed by the overseas business;
  • You must not have any ownership interest in the overseas parent business;
  • You must have comprehensive knowledge and experience of the industry such as details of business activities, assets and accounts; and
  • You must hold a senior position within the company and be in a position to make operational decisions without the need to request permission from the parent company.

In addition to this, it is essential that you are able to demonstrate that you meet the English language requirements and you have sufficient funds to support yourself as you will have no access to public funds if you are granted this visa. Meeting these requirements will demonstrate that you are making genuine application as a Sole Representative of an overseas business and you are able to integrate and mix in the UK.

Visa conditions under Sole Representative route

If you are granted a Sole Representative Visa, you will need to be conscience of what you are permitted to do and the restrictions imposed upon you under the Immigration Rules. Individuals who breach their visa conditions will have their visa rescinded and will have adverse immigration on the Home Office records.

Under this visa you are entitled to:

  • Work full time for your employer;
  • Extend your visa and apply for to settle in the UK, you can only apply to settle once you have resided continuously in the UK for a period of 5 years; and
  • Apply to have your family members join you in the UK. Each family member will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Under this visa you must not:

  • Work for any other business other than your overseas employer or set up your own business in the UK;
  • Represent an interest for any other company; and
  • Request or receive for public funds.

Advice from UK Immigration Solicitors on Sole Representative Visa

Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client-tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Sole Representative visa application by providing you with advice from our leading team of solicitors before your matter even reaches the Home Office. We can assist you with the preparation of your visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

If you wish to consider your options, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.

We 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.

If you need professional legal advice about applying for a Sole Representative Visa please contact us for a case assessment on 02071830570. You can also reach us via our contact form

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