united-kingdom

INTRODUCTION:

You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’re either:

QUALIFICATION

You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’re either:

TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS CATEGORY OF VISA, EVIDENCE MUST BE PROVIDED THAT

  • Be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK
  • Have extensive related industry experience and knowledge
  • Hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf
  • Intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, eg a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary

REQUIREMENTS

YOU MUST ALSO MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS
  • Apply from outside the EEA
  • Have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds
  • Meet the English Language requirement

A sole representative visa allows an individual to enter the UK for an overseas company if the company does not have a presence in the UK. The purpose of the visit must be for the representative to establish the company and build their reputation in the UK or to register a branch within the UK. They are not permitted to enter the UK for personal gain.

The business the individual is representing must genuinely exist and ordinarily must have been actively trading for over a year. Companies wishing to take advantage of this category must completely understand that it is only for the expansion of their business; companies who wish to move their overseas operations to the UK will be refused.

The sole representative visa is designed to help an overseas company establish/expand its business in the UK. However, the majority of trading must continue in the company’s established country.

An overseas company is not allowed to send more than one person to act as a sole representative in the UK; any additional staff members must apply under the relevant tier for a work visa. If the application is successful, an initial three-year period of leave is usually granted. Extensions lasting two years are available. After five successive years in the UK, the individual may apply for indefinite leave to remain.

The dependants of a sole representative may enter the UK under the same visa. During the representative’s stay, they will not be granted access to any public funds and must register with the police where necessary. If the individual has been in the UK for at least two years and the company’s circumstances change, they may continue to remain in the country as a sole representative employee, even if the company appoints a new superior.