Following are the various frequently asked questions (FAQs) about sole representative of overseas business visa visa category:

FAQs: Sole Representative Of Overseas Business Visa

Sole Representative visa is for representatives of overseas businesses who are being posted to the UK to establish a branch or subsidiary of the overseas business.

The Home Office UKVI expects the sole representative to have:

  • been employed by the parent company in a senior job role within the company
  • a track record of setting up branches for other companies, if they have been employed specifically to undertake this role
  • authority to take operational decisions once in the UK, as indicated by their role in the company hierarchy
  • Sole representatives must have been employed by the company directly at the point at which initial entry clearance is applied for.  

The applicant must:

  • be the sole representative in the UK of an overseas employer who intends to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK;
  • have been recruited and employed outside the UK;
  • have intention to work full time and only as a representative of the overseas business;
  • not intend to take any other employment;
  • not be majority shareholder in the overseas business;
  • be a senior employee of the overseas business;
  • have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK;
  • show sufficient funds to prove that he/she can maintain himself/herself or any dependants without recourse to public funds;
  • meet the English language requirement at level A1 of CEFR.

The employer/parent company of the applicant must:

  • be a genuine commercial enterprise with its principal place of business outside the UK;
  • have no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK;
  • demonstrate the company is actively trading;
  • have similar type of business as the intended business in the UK.

You should complete application form FLR(IR) to apply for extension of sole representative visa from inside the UK.

You should use application form SET (O) to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Sole Representative of Overseas Business.

If your UK visa application for sole representative of an overseas business is successful, you will be initially granted 30 days leave (vignette) endorsed on your passport to enable your entry in the UK. Within 10 working days of your entry in the UK, you will collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from nominated post office which will be valid for 3 years and 4 months.

The Home Office UKVI can admit 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
  • has identified, and set up, premises

The Home Office UKVI can grant entry clearance to an applicant only where:

  • no staff are employed
  • the branch has not yet transacted any business

An example might be when the company has set up as a legal entity in advance of the company’s expansion into the UK.

No, you cannot switch into this category from inside the UK and must apply for entry clearance from outside the UK.

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) once you have completed 5 years continuous residence in the UK under sole representative of an overseas visa category.

You can challenge the refusal of your entry clearance application as a sole representative of an overseas business by filing an an administrative review of the refusal of the entry clearance application.

Sunrise Solicitors is the trading name of Sunrise Solicitors Ltd (company registration no. 6405492). Sunrise Solicitors Offices are regulated by SRA under SRA ID 490903 (London Office) and SRA ID 645256 (Manchester Office). Sunrise Solicitors are also members of Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA).


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