There are a number of company requirements for the UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, which this blog will explore below. But first, what is a Sole Representative visa to UK? Read a quick overview of the Sole Representative visa (which includes information about how to get a UK Sole Representative visa, the expiry date and extension of a Sole Representative visa, and whether Sole Representatives can be shareholders) before learning the various company requirements for the UK Sole Representative visa. To see whether your company is eligible to send someone to the UK on a Sole Representative visa, read on.  

What is UK Sole Representative Visa?

  • A Sole Representative visa is available to those who need to immigrate to the United Kingdom for the purpose of helping the non-UK company they work for establish a presence in the UK (either in the form of a wholly owned subsidiary or company branch). 
  • Alternatively, Sole Representative visas may be pursued by media employees who immigrate to the UK in order to perform media-related work for abroad-based journalistic entities. 
  • You can get a UK Sole Representative visa by fulfilling the various requirements for a Sole Representative of UK Overseas Business Representative Visa 2021 , which include satisfying certain visa conditions, the submission of a number of required documents, and the payment of various overseas business visa fees (the base price of the visa is either £610 or £704, depending on whether you submit your application from abroad or from within the country, respectively (although the above overseas business visa fees do not include other costs associated with biometric information collection and healthcare). 
  • In terms of the expiry date and extension of a Sole Representative visa; this specific visa allows holders to remain in the country for up to three years, with the possibility of extending the visa an additional two years (with the ultimate possibility of applying for permanent settlement). 

Company requirements for UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

  • In addition to meeting specific financial and personal requirements for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, if their business is eligible for the visa (i.e. if they are eligible to pursue a Sole Representative visa based on the nature of the abroad-based business they seek to represent), said entity will have to meet all of the company requirements for the UK Sole Representative visa. 

Requirements for UK overseas company include the following: 

  • The company needs to both trading and active in nature.
    • The company needs to be based abroad (with no intention of re-locating to Britain). 
    • The company needs be pursuing a Sole Representative visa for an employee for the specific purpose of establishing a registered branch or subsidiary. 
    • The business that the abroad-based company intends to undertake in the UK must be of the same nature as that which it performs abroad. 
    • The company needs to provide the Sole Representative with all of the necessary required documents (included but not limited to, a written statement attesting to the company’s intention to establish a registered branch or subsidiary and detailed information regarding company finances.
    • The company needs to have hired the would-be Sole Representative abroad (i.e. not while he or she was in the UK).
    • While media companies are entitled to have multiple “Sole Representatives” working for them in the UK, non-media abroad-based businesses can only have one “sole” representative in the country.
    • The company must be seeking a Sole Representative visa for someone who is highly placed within the company and possesses the requisite expertise and professional background to assume the position. 
    • Please note that Sole Representatives can be shareholders—so long as their shareholding does not render them a controller or majority stakeholder in the company.

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