Sole Representative Visa for Overseas Businesses

Establish a commercial presence in the UK by appointing a senior employee as a representative. With expert UK immigration law advice, Rove Legal take the complexity out of securing the visas required for your representatives.

Sole Representative Visa For Overseas Businesses​

Our Clients:


Extend Your Visa or Apply for ILR

Extend Your Visa or Apply for ILR​

This immigration route is now closed to new applicants, so if you’re looking to set up your first UK branch, you’ll need to apply for the UK Expansion Worker visa (part of the Global Business Mobility scheme).

However, if you are already in the UK on a Representative of an Overseas Business visa, we would be happy to support you in applying for a visa extension.

Eligibility Criteria for a Sponsor Licence
  • Position and Duties: Hold a senior-level position with the authority to make key operational decisions for the overseas business.
  • Skills: Possess the required skills and experience pertinent to the overseas business to effectively fulfill the role of sole representative in the UK.
  • Non-Majority Ownership: Not hold a majority of the company’s shares. The Home Office is stringent on this requirement to ensure the representative acts in the interest of the overseas business.
  • Company’s Trading Status: The parent company must be a legitimate and active business, primarily operating outside the UK.
  • Intent to Establish a UK Branch: Show a definite intention to establish and run a branch or subsidiary in the UK, engaged in the same business activities as the parent company.
  • Limits: The sole representative is prohibited from owning, managing, or representing the interests of any other business in the UK.

For an overseas business to be eligible under this visa scheme, it must fulfil specific criteria.

  • The company is required to have both its headquarters and primary business activities situated outside the UK.

  • The company must not have any existing branch, subsidiary, or representation in the UK. Furthermore, the business should be planning to create its initial commercial presence in the UK, either as a branch or a fully-owned subsidiary
  • If an employee’s visa is granted, the Home office needs to be convinced that the business won’t be effectively moved to the UK as its central operation.

Extending Representative Visa for Overseas Businesses Visa

Extending Representative Visa for Overseas Businesses Visa

If you want to extend your stay in the UK on this route, you must apply before your current visa expires and must be in the UK at the time of application.
Family members (or ‘dependents’) can apply to join you in the UK, or to switch or extend their existing visas. They do not need to be in the UK at the time of application.
To obtain an extension, you must still be working for the same employer as when you were initially granted the visa. Furthermore, the overseas parent company’s headquarters must still be located outside of the UK.

Extension for Sole Representative Visas​


Pathway to Settlement and ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Pathway to Settlement and ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Once a representative has resided in the UK legally for five years under this visa, they may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). To qualify for ILR, the representative must provide evidence of continuous and ongoing work for the overseas business in the UK, along with a full history of their employment throughout the 5-year period. This includes:

1.  Business Location Requirement

The foreign business maintains its headquarters outside the UK;

The representative has been employed and worked full time for the past five years

The representative has not participated in any other business activities or managed their own business;

They still do not hold a majority stake, ownership, or control over the overseas business through shares, partnership agreements, sole proprietorship, or any other means.

Additional requirements include passing the “Life in the UK” test, demonstrating English language proficiency, and ensuring no breach of immigration laws during their stay in the UK.

Navigating Complex Regulations

Navigating Complex Regulations

The application process for extending a Sole Representative Visa involves navigating through a complex array of strict regulations and requirements. 

Our Solution: We offer expert guidance to simplify these complexities. Our team stays abreast of the latest regulations and provides bespoke advice to ensure your application meets all criteria, reducing the likelihood of delays or rejections.

Documentation and Compliance

Documentation and Compliance

Compiling the necessary documentation and ensuring it complies with Home Office standards is a critical challenge in the application process.

Our Solution: Our service includes a comprehensive review of your documentation to ensure it is complete, accurate, and compliant. We assist in preparing a compelling business plan, gathering financial proofs, and ensuring the representative’s role and responsibilities are clearly outlined and aligned with visa requirements.

Why Choose Our Services for Sole Representative Visa

Why Choose Our Services for Sole Representative Visa

Our team of skilled immigration lawyers specialises in the Sole Representative Visa route, bringing a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of UK immigration regulations. This expertise is critical in navigating the complexities of the application process and meeting the stringent requirements set by the Home Office.

Personalised Assistance

Providing expert advice and support tailored to the unique needs of clients. Our approach involves understanding your business objectives, assessing the eligibility of your chosen representative, and crafting a strong application that highlights the merits of your case.

99% Success Rate

We have a proven track record of effectively aiding businesses in their Sole Representative Visa applications, demonstrating our expertise and commitment. Our approach adeptly handles the stricter regulations and heavier evidence requirements, thereby improving the chances of a positive result.

Comprehensive Support

From eligibility checks during your consultation to post-visa approval, we offer comprehensive support. This includes assistance with documentation, representation in communications with the Home Office, and guidance on establishing your business in the UK post-visa approval.

Post-Visa Assistance

Comprehensive Support for
Sole Representative Visa

Comprehensive Support for Sole Representative Visa

Once your Sole Representative Visa is granted, the journey to establishing your business in the UK begins. We at Lexus Law offer extensive support to ensure this transition is as smooth as possible.

1. Setting Up Operations

Assistance with the practical aspects of setting up your UK branch or subsidiary, including legal compliance, registration processes, and local networking.

2. Ongoing Legal Advice

Providing continuous legal support to navigate UK business laws, employment regulations, and any other legal requirements that arise.

3. Immigration Compliance

Regular check-ups and advice to ensure ongoing compliance with immigration laws for your representative and any subsequent employees.

Success Stories

Success Stories

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Our Testimonials

Our Testimonials


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to extend the visa?

The current cost to extend this visa is £719, when applying from within the UK. Dependents applying to extend their visa from outside the UK will pay £625 per applicant.


Your initial visa will allow you to remain in the UK for up to three years. When your visa is due to expire, you can apply for an extension which will grant you a further two years in the country.