Personal Immigration
Business Immigration

How to extend your sole representative of an overseas business visa

If you are reading this, and you are a sole representative looking to extend, you will likely already have met the first criteria by entering the UK with valid UK entry clearance as a sole representative of an overseas business. Your next question should be, “How do I make sure that I am ready to extend in 3 years’ time?”

The Overseas Business must continue to…

  • Have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK; the UK business can flourish and perhaps overshadow the parent company, but the intention cannot be to move the centre of business to the UK and effectively cease trading outside of the UK
  • Be a genuine commercial enterprise, be prepared to show its turnover
  • Have the same type of business as the UK business
  • Certify that the sole representative is still required for the employment in question

The Sole Representative Dos

  • Stay employed full-time as a senior employee with authority to make operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business to represent it in the UK (see our blog on complying with terms of employment as sole representative)
  • Make sure the UK subsidiary/branch is in the same “type” of business activity as the overseas company (the breadth of the word “type” in the Home Office’s Guidance is helpfully ambiguous)
  • Establish and be in charge of its registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary
  • Provide either a certificate of registration (for a branch) or a certificate of incorporation (for a subsidiary) from Companies House
  • If it is a “wholly-owned” subsidiary, rather than a branch, provide either a share register or a letter from the company’s accountant, confirming that all shares are held by the parent company
  • Show that you’ve generated business (principally with UK firms) on behalf of your employer since you were granted the visa, through company accounts, invoices and letters from firms with which you’ve done business, include the value of the transactions
  • Show that you are in receipt of a salary from your employer by providing evidence of a salary paid in the previous 12 months, and show the remuneration package (basic salary, commission, number of hours worked etc.)
  • Show that you can maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants (spouse/partner and children) adequately, without using public funds

The Sole Representative Don’ts

Contact our Sole Representative Visa Lawyers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a sole representative of an overseas business, contact our immigration barristers and lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form below.


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