Personal Immigration



The Sole Representative visa category is for businesses that would like to send a senior employee to the UK in order to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK. You will need to have a genuine business which is based outside of the UK and hold not more than 50% of the shares in the business.

What are the main eligibility requirements?

In order to qualify for a Sole Representative visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that your overseas company:

  • Is a genuine, trading business;
  • Has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;
  • Intends to establish a branch or subsidiary in the UK, operating in the same type of business as the overseas business.

You will also need to demonstrate that you:

  • Are a senior employee in the business;
  • Have been recruited outside of the UK;
  • Have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the business;
  • Do not hold more than 50% of the shares in the business;
  • Do not intend to take employment other than for your business.

What else do I need to know?

Your initial visa will normally be valid for 3 years, after which time you will be able to extend your stay for a further two years.

After five years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for settlement.

Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as your dependents.

You will not be able to work for any business other than the business that you represent in the UK.

How we can help

Our business immigration barristers have experience in assisting all types of companies and partnerships. Whether you are a small business or a large multinational looking to expand into the UK, our barristers are experts in the immigration options available and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to businesses as part of a professional and friendly service.


  • Drafting of business plans

    As part of your Sole Representative visa application, it may be helpful to include a detailed business plan. We can assist you to identify a suitably qualified business plan writer, instruct the business plan writer on your behalf and then liaise with the business plan writer to ensure that your business plan satisfies the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

  • Applications for extension of stay

    In order to extend your stay as a Sole Representative, you will need to show that your business:

    • Has its headquarters outside of the UK;
    • Still requires you to be in the UK;
    • Has generated business in the UK since the last grant of leave;

    You will also need to show that:

    • You are employed full time by your business;
    • You are in receipt of a salary from your employer;
    • You do not intend to take other employment;
    • You can maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants.
  • Applications for settlement

    After spending a continuous period of 5 years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

    In addition to continuing to meet the requirements as set out above for an extension of stay, you will also need to show that:

    • You have sufficient knowledge of language and life in the UK;
    • You have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK;
    • You have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any of the five years prior to the date of application.
  • Fresh applications and Judicial reviews

    If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the refusal decision.

    If your application for leave as a Sole Representative has been refused and the decision is unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.

  • Sponsor Licence applications

    Once your Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa application has been approved and you have established a commercial presence in the UK, you may wish to recruit employees for your business. You might need a Sponsor Licence if you wish to employ workers from outside the EEA to work for your business in the UK.

  • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa applications

    If your business already holds a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa enables multinational employers to transfer their existing employees from outside the EEA to their UK branch for training purposes or to fill a specific vacancy.

  • Business Visit visa applications

    The Visit (Standard) – Business visa is designed for non-EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK for the purpose of undertaking business activities. Visit (Standard) – Business visa holders may undertake a wide range of business activities in the UK.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting with one of our business immigration barristers, contact our Sole Representative of Overseas Business visa team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form.


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