Sole Representatives visas

Overseas company intending to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK can send a senior employee of their company as a Sole Representative under the sole representative Visa UK category.

This commercial presence may be a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary concerned with the same type of business activity as the parent company. The parent company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK.   


In order to be eligible for a sole representative Visa UK, an applicant must be recruited and employed outside the UK by the overseas company they intend to represent in the UK. Applicant should have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK. Applicant should also able to meet the English Language Requirement.

Visa Entitlements

Successful applicants who meets the requirements of sole representative Visa UK will be allowed to stay in the UK as a representative of an overseas business for an initial period of 3 years. Thereafter, the applicant will then be able to apply to extend their stay for up to another 2 years. They will have free access to public schools, and National Health Service. Eligible dependants may also be able to work or study without any restrictions.

How many days am I allowed to stay outside UK to apply for ILR?


In order to meet the continuous residency requirement, an applicant under the Sole Representative Visa UK should not be outside UK for more than 180 whole days in any of the five consecutive 12 month periods, preceding the date of the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The specified continuous period is counted backwards from the date of the ILR application.

For example, if the date of application is 1st December 2013, the 12 months period would start from 1st December 2013 to 31st December 2012 and every consecutive year counting backwards.

Rights of dependence:

Dependants (including children under 18 years of age or husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner) will be eligible to live and stay in the UK with the main applicant. They can live and work in the UK without any restrictions. They will be granted leave in line with the expiry date of the main applicant’s leave.

Dependants will have the following conditions attached to their leave:
      No recourse to public funds; and
      Registration with the police, if applicable;

Conditions of Stay:

Sole Representative Visa UK have the following conditions attached to applicants leave:
  • • No recourse to public funds;
  • • Registration with the police, if applicable;
  • • Not to do business of their own, or represent any other company's interests.

Processing Time:

In line with the Home Office service standards for Sole Representative Visa UK applications, they decide 90 per cent of non-settlement applications within 3 weeks, 98 per cent within 6 weeks and 100 per cent within 12 weeks of the application date.

Can I apply for Sole Representative Visa if my company already has a legal entity?

The company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK. If the company has a legal entity in the UK, but this does not employ staff or transact business, the applicant may still be able to come here as its sole representative.

Applicants can be admitted under the Sole Representative Visa UK after a branch is established in the UK, as long as that branch exists only as a legal entity, has set up a bank account, and/or has identified and set up premises.

FAQ

  • How many days am I allowed to stay outside UK to apply for ILR?v
    • In order to meet the continuous residency requirement, applicant should not be outside UK for more than 180 whole days in any of the five consecutive 12 month periods, preceding the date of the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The specified continuous period is counted backwards from the date of the ILR application.

      For example, if the date of application is 1st December 2013, the 12 months period would start from 1st December 2013 to 31st December 2012 and every consecutive year counting backwards.

  • Can I apply for Sole Representative Visa if my company already have a legal entity?v
    • The company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK. If the company has a legal entity in the UK, but this does not employ staff or transact business, applicant may still be able to come here as its sole representative.

      Applicants can be admitted as a Sole Representative after a branch is established in the UK, as long as that branch exists only as a legal entity, has set up a bank account, and/or has identified and set up premises. 

  • Rights of Dependantsv
    • Dependants (including children under 18 years of age or husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner) will be eligible to live and stay in the UK with the main applicant. They can live and work in the UK without any restrictions. They will be granted leave in line with the expiry date of the main applicant’s leave.

      Dependants will have the following conditions attached to their leave:

      • No recourse to public funds; and
      • Registration with the police, if applicable;
  • Conditions of Stayv
    • Applicants will have the following conditions attached to their leave:  

      • No recourse to public funds;
      • Registration with the police, if applicable;
      • Not to do business of their own, or represent any other company's interests.
  • Biometric Requirementv
    • Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area making certain applications to the Home Office have to apply for a biometric residence permit. This applies to both postal applications and applications made in person (known as ‘premium applications’). The biometric residence permit is a residence permit which holds a migrant’s biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK. This also means that a UK visa will no longer be stamped in applicant’s passport and all applicants will be issued one of the new Biometric visa cards instead.  These cards look very similar to a (pink) UK driving license except they have a microchip on the back.

      Applicants who wish to extend their stay in the UK by post, the Home Office will send them a letter asking them to enrol their biometrics after the Home Office have received their application. Applicants will be able to enrol their biometric information one of the Post Offices offering this service across the UK using their walk-in service.

      For application submitted overseas, the applicants have to provide their biometric enrolment at one of the Visa Facilitation Centres.  Successful applicants will receive a 30 day ‘vignette sticker’ in their passport instead of a vignette with the full grant of leave. This 30 day visa will be the date they indicated as their intended travel date in their visa application. Applicants will be required to collect their BRP from the Post Office branch detailed in their decision letter within ten days of arrival in the UK. The Post Office branch is linked to the postcode that they submitted in their visa application. The BRP card can then be used as proof of right to work, study and access public services in the UK.

  • Immigration Health Surchargev
    • The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6th April 2015. People (non-EEA) coming to the UK for more than six months have to pay this health surcharge as a part of their immigration application towards the National Health Service (healthcare in the UK).  

      Offshore applicants will have to pay the health surcharge if they are applying for a visa for a period of longer than six months, and onshore applicant will have to pay the health charge for any length of visa.

      Applicants will have to pay £150 per year as a student or £200 per year for all other visa and immigration applications. Dependants will usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicant. The  exact amount they have to pay  depends on how much leave they are granted. They can calculate how much they will have to pay before you apply. If the period of grant applied for is less than 6 months, then half of the yearly amount to be paid and if the period of grant applied for is more than 6 months, then whole year amount is to be paid.

      Visa application will not be granted if applicants do not pay the healthcare surcharge or application will be delayed if the right amount is not paid.

      Following persons are exempted to pay the IHS:

      • Applicants applying for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa and their dependants;
      • Applicant under 18 who has been taken into care by a local authority;
      • Applicants who arenationals of Australia or New Zealand;
      • Dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces;
      • Dependant of a member of another country’s forces who is exempt from immigration control; and
      • Applicants of a relevant civilian employee employed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) or the Australian Department of Defence in the UK and their dependants. 
  • Government Feesv
    • Home Office fees for Sole Representative Visa Application
        Postal  Same day Overseas
      Main Appplicant £667 N/A £587
      Partner & Child (<18years), applying together £667 N/A £587
      Partner & Child, applying later £667 N/A £587
  • Our Feesv
    • Service                  Fees (GBP)
      Manage your application          £150
      Postal- Full representation service £750
      Premium- Minus representation service N/A
      Premium- Full Representative Service N/A
      Same day checking service N/A
      Document Verification Service £150
      Telephone Consultation £100 per/hour
      Face to Face consultation £100 per/hour
      Form Filling Service £100 per application
      * For full description of the services, please refer to our 'Services' section on our website.
       
  • Processing Timesv
    • In line with the Home Office service standards for processing UK visa applications, they decide 90 per cent of non-settlement applications within 3 weeks, 98 per cent within 6 weeks and 100 per cent within 12 weeks of the application date.

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