What is the sole representative of an overseas business visa? For whom it is?


If you are from non-EEA and one of the senior personnel of an overseas business and planning to visit the UK with the ultimate objective to run a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary of that business, you might be eligible to apply for a sole representative of an overseas business visa

As soon as your application for Sole Representative Visa approves, you’ll be granted to enter and remain in the UK for up to 3 years, which can then be extended for another 2 years. You might be permitted to remain in the UK permanently if you have stayed 5 years in the UK under sole representative visa category. However, one should remain in the UK holding a senior position on the same business throughout the 5 years. 

Who can be granted a sole representative visa? 

To be eligible for the Sole Representative Visa, you must have sufficient funds to support yourself without any assistance from public funds. You must also prove your knowledge of the English language either with an approved English Language Test or having academic qualification recognized by UK NARIC.

If you are visiting the UK as a sole representative, you must be recruited and employed outside the UK whose principal place of business will remain outside the country (UK). You must have the required skills, experience, and knowledge to carry out the job. The sole representative Visa Guidance also requires you to hold an authoritative position to make operational decisions on behalf of the business. 

However, you must not intend to accept any other employment. Also, not a majority shareholder of your employer’s business. 

Can a sole representative be eligible to bring family members to the UK?

The representative of an overseas business visa can be accompanied by dependent family members for instance, spouse and/ or children under the age of 18, and civil partners. However, the representative of an overseas business visa must present evidence so that they can meet financial maintenance requirements adequately without making use of public funds.  

What are the documents required for a sole representative visa? 

Documents that support the application of Sole Representative Visa are: 

  • Evidence to substantiate your employment in the overseas company that you are intending to establish in the UK. 
  • A travel document or a valid passport
  • Evidence to support the financial maintenance requirements of yourself and any dependent accompanying your trip. 
  • Documents to prove your knowledge of the English language 

How to apply for sole representative visa extension? 

A sole representative visa is initially permitted for 3 years after which you may apply for an extension.  

What are the eligibility criteria for a sole representative visa extension? 

You must apply for leave to remain in order to hold lawful immigration status to remain in the UK. As per limited leave to remain, you are supposed to meet the conditions of your visa. A number of restrictions are imposed while in the UK, for instance, no recourse to public funds. 

Documents applying for a Sole Representative Visa Extension

The application for a sole representative visa extension must be made online along with supporting documents which include: 

  • Evidence to support UK branch’s business structure
  • Branch Registration documents 
  • Proof of payment, earnings, and working hours
  • Details of accounts 

A decision may take a span of 8 weeks. Therefore, the application must be submitted before the expiration of your initial visa. 

Role of AY & J 

AY & J is the leading UK immigration law firm with a team of competent solicitors. We, at AY & J, are legally entitled to give advice and service encompassing all immigration matters and applications. Our qualified and experienced solicitors are always alert to the changing immigration rules and policies. For more information, call us on +442074047933 or contact