BusinessLegalWhat is the Application Process for a UK Sole...

What is the Application Process for a UK Sole Representative Visa?


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Sole Representative Visa (Representative of an Overseas Business Visa) is the type of visa which enables a company established outside the UK to send a senior employee to the UK with the hope of setting up a UK branch of an existing company (but not actively trading) or a wholly own subsidiary of that business in the UK.

Applicants must be skilled and talented in their area and have to be a senior employee of the company who has full permission to make judgments on behalf of the firm.


Evidence that you can write, speak and listen in English, which you can verify by passing an English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening, or you are having an applicable educational qualification approved by UK NARIC, which is equal to a UK bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or Ph.D. Your understanding of English won’t be questioned unless you are from:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

The Sole Representative Visa allows any legal overseas companies to open a branch or subsidiary of their parent company in the UK.

Who can be a Sole Representative?

A Sole representative applying to the UK must be a citizen living outside the UK, who is:

  • A senior member of the company but not the owner and has the required skills and authority to make decisions on behalf of the company.
  • That person can also replace the previously appointed Sole Representative.
  • An employee of a newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting company outside the UK.
  • They can be shareholders in the company but can not be the majority of shareholders. The Home Office will reject the application if the applicant holds more than 50% of the company’s shares.

What are the Documents Required for Getting a Sole Representative Visa?

  • Your passport and valid travel document
  • Proof that you can support yourself and your dependents (e.g., bank statements)
  • Details of your stay in the UK
  • Evidence of your knowledge of English (criteria as mentioned earlier)
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you’re coming to the UK for more than six months and are resident in any of the listed countries (mentioned on the website)
  • A complete description of your business, which includes its assets and liabilities and other accounts related information.
  • A letter confirming the company wishes to set-up a wholly-owned subsidiary or branch office in the UK.
  • Your job description, employment contract, and salary-related details. Also, you have to submit a letter confirming that you can make operational decisions regarding your company.
  • You also have to confirm that you are hired by the company outside the UK and not acting as a sales agent. You must not be holding the majority of shares.


For Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcast Employees:

As an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization, you additionally have to provide:

  • A broad explanation of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts reports.
  • A letter which will be confirming that you will be representing that overseas business in the UK for the long term in a full-time role.

You can also take support from the best immigration lawyers in the UK. They can guide you from the beginning and help you prepare your sole representative visa application.


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