Sole Representatives

Sole Representatives

If your company is a substantial trading company located outside the UK, and have no current UK presence, the company may be able to send a member of staff to the UK on a “Sole Representative Visa” .Overseas companies are permitted to send one representative to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary office, including carrying out market research, registering the company in the UK and negotiating with suppliers and customers. A senior employee (but not a major shareholder in the company), would be appointed to establish a commercial presence for the company as a “sole representative” within the UK. The company is able to launch a new registered branch or whole owned subsidiary with the same business.

To qualify for a Sole Representative visa, you must have been recruited and taken on as an employee outside the UK as a representative of a company that has its main office outside of the UK without a branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK; You also must be a senior employee with authority for decision making on behalf of the overseas company with respect to setting up the branch in the UK.

A Sole Representative will normally be granted an initial visa for three years.

How we can help you?
  • We helped a number of businesses enter the UK, we understand that each case is unique and deserves a bespoke service.
  • We understand the nature of UK business and start-ups and can advise you on how to meet the Home Office requirements.
  • We ensure that the person you identify to move to the UK is the most appropriate.
  • We provide you with a complete application bundle at the end of the matter to present to the British Consulate overseas.
  • We’ll help you make sense of the legislation, simplifying the process to ensure all the correct information is submitted on your behalf and that you are compliant with all the necessary regulations.


We’re here every step of the way. - Call us on 020 337 11033 or email us at:

Q & A

  • 1. Does my company qualify to send a Sole Representative to the UK?
  • 2. Who qualifies for a sole representative?
  • 3. Can I apply inside the UK?
  • 4. Am I able to be a shareholder?
  • 5. Can I also work somewhere else?
  • 6. Should I speak English fluently?
  • 7. Can I bring my family?
  • 8. How many years can I stay as a sole representative?

Your company must be a genuine existing enterprise. If the company has been established for less than a year it is unlikely to be considered suitable sponsors under this category.
The sending of a Sole Representative to the UK must be for the company’s benefit, and not for the immigration convenience of the candidate, so the budget allocated to the UK expansion should not be unrealistic in the context of the company’s size, trading activities or profitability.
In general, the commercial logic of the proposed expansion into the UK will be called into question if it is a small concern and the new UK presence will represent a diversification into an area in which your company has no existing overseas involvement.

Once your company has sent the representative to the UK, the majority of your business should continue to be overseas. If it appears that the sending of the representative to the UK will result in a general move of your operations so that your company is based/headquartered in the UK, the visa will not be granted.

You should be a senior employee recruited outside the UK. You have been employed by the parent company overseas for a significant period of time and be fully familiar with the company business and procedures. To show why the applicant has been appointed, you must be able to demonstrate a very good track record in the same or a closely related field of work.
Although there is a requirement that the company must have no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK, there are exceptional circumstances where an application as a sole representative may still be successful.

If you are a family concern, the attempt to use a Sole Representative visa to send a junior member of the family to the United Kingdom will attract particularly rigorous scrutiny and will generally not succeed where they are unsuitably qualified or experienced.
The Sole Representative visa is not designed for owner-managers or entrepreneurs. The rules prohibit the candidate from owing a majority or a controlling interest in either the overseas firm, or the proposed new UK entity. In practice the maximum permissible shareholding is not 49% but 30-35%

This visa does not allow you to apply inside the UK. You must obtain entry clearance as a Sole Representative before entering the UK.

We recommend that you consult us at least 4 months before your proposed to be appointed from your company to set up the UK branch as a sole representative so we can start work on advise for you.

No you can not. The sole representative must not be a majority shareholder in the overseas firm.

No. You can not. You must be employed full time as a representative of the overseas firm;
Must not take up any employment other than that relating to their work for the overseas firm;
Must be able to financially maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds.

You do not need to speak English fluently. But you must have passed an English language test to meet the English requirement.

Spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners and children under 18 years old may apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK as your dependants. Once in the UK your children may remain your dependants, even over the age of 18 years old, provided they remain part of the family unit and have not formed an independent life. Your dependant family may continue to be treated in line with you, and should be eligible for extension application at the same time as yours. However, it is important to note, following the regulatory changes to family immigration law on 9 July 2012, the duration of time your partner is required to live with you in the UK to qualify for settlement has increased from 2 years to 5 years. Where possible we suggest that your family applies for their initial visa or an extension of their stay at the same time as you. If your family cannot apply at the same time as you, additional documents may be required. Please call us on 020 337 11033 to discuss your options.

If you meet all the requirements for this category, which will be explained to you fully by Imin4U along with utmost support during your application process, you will be allowed to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business for an initial period of 3 years. You will then be able to apply to extend your stay for up to another 2 years. Once you have been in the UK for a given period, (currently 5 years) you may be able to apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK.