Mon-Fri 9am-6pm
    020 7237 3388
    (UK Local Number, 1p per min)
    ICS Legal, Suite 11, City Business Centre,
    Lower Road, London SE16 2XB

Sole representatives of overseas firms | Working in the UK | Work Permit

Sole Representative Visa - Representative of an Overseas Business visa

The sole representative visa is a category which allows a business to expand their services in the UK. The visa category contains 2 type of employment that a person can undertake in the UK.

The purpose of the sole representative visa is to permit an overseas business to set up a subsidiary or a UK branch in the UK. Further to this, the policy sets out in the immigration rules allowing an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or a broadcasting organisation to work in the UK for the organisation who is based outside of the UK.

Those employees intending to be working for their overseas employers in the UK for less than 6 months, may be able to apply for a visa under the business category. For more information, you can email us at info@icslegal.com or call us on 0207 237 3388.

Sole representatives of an overseas business

The requirements of a sole representative visa require you to meet the following as set out by the immigration rules.

  1. You must be employed outside of the UK, by a company whose head office and their principle place of business is outside of the UK.

  2. As part of your application, you will need to show that you have industry experience and knowledge. The Home Office have a right to request further information on this as well as interviewing you as part of their visa process.

  3. Must hold a senior position within the company because the Home Office will expect you to make decisions for your business in the UK.

  4. You must not be a majority share holder of the business; therefore a business owner cannot apply under this visa category.

  5. Able to demonstrate that you hold full authority in order to make decisions on behalf of the business.

  6. To establish the businesses first presence in the UK.

  7. You must demonstrate that you meet the English language requirements, as you will need to prove you would be able to communicate in English.

Parent company for the sole representative visa

The purpose of the application is to allow a parent company to open a branch in the UK. They must be able to demonstrate that they have a strong financial position, as well as demonstrate that the business has a clear vision of where it needs to be at.

The burden of proof will sit on you as well as your employer, to prove to the Home Office that the business is a genuine enterprise and has a strong plan of what it intends to do in the UK. Its current financial reports will need to show that the business can work in the UK. The business must remain outside of the UK as its principle place of business.

Overseas media business

The second visa category is the overseas media employee visa which allows journalists, producers, and news cameraman, to work in the UK for their employers. To meet the published requirements of the immigration rules, here are the requirements as follows:

  1. You must be recruited and employed from outside of the UK.

  2. Intend to work for your overseas employer who is a media organisation.

  3. You will not be allowed to work for anyone else.

  4. You must be based in the UK and working on a long term assignment.

  5. You must apply for the visa prior to your entry to the UK.

  6. Able to demonstrate that you can maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK.

  7. You must meet the English language requirements.

Indefinite leave to remain under the sole representative visa

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain once you have completed a 5 years continuous period of residency in the UK.

At first, you will need to make sure you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds of refusal. Here is in summary what you will need to meet in order to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

  1. You have been in the UK for a period of 5 years continuously and no break of residency.

  2. Continue to meet the requirements of an overseas representative of a business or media representative.

  3. You will need to meet the extension requirements and demonstrate the business is still present in the UK.

  4. Parent business must continue to be based outside of the UK.

  5. You must meet the knowledge of life requirements including the English language requirements.

  6. Able to demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and have adequate accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about the sole representative visa

You will find some useful information below regarding the sole representative visa and its process.

How to lodge an application for a sole representative visa

The application is based online for a sole representative visa and will need to be completed in full. After submitting your application, it will allow you to book your visa appointment. You must ensure all the specified evidences are enclosed at the date of application in line with the immigration rules.

How long does a sole representative visa take to be decided by the Home Office

First of all, this depends on the country of application. However in most cases, an application is decided within 15 working days. Failure to provide all the specified documents can result in the delay of the application or possible refusal.

Can ICS Legal advice and help on the sole representative visa

We first would assess and advise whether you meet all the requirements of the visa category as a sole representative.

If you do, then we will help with the application which includes advising on evidences, checking to make sure the documents meet the specified requirements of the immigration rules, draft our legal representation letter setting out how the sole representative visa requirements have been met and provide full instruction on the process.

Do I need a business plan and any expert help in the UK?

As with any business, you will need to have a full business plan as part of this application if you are applying as an overseas business and this can be completed by ICS Legal’s project team. We can complete a full business plan, which is realistic and meets the requirements of the visa.

We use our experience and knowledge to prepare the financial reports and build a comprehensive business plan for you. Please email us on info@icslegal.com for further information. When emailing us, please provide as much information as possible, so we can advise on the projected costs of the business plan.

If a sole representative visa is refused, can the decision be appealed?

An application that is refused under the sole representative visa cannot be appealed against however you can lodge a request for a review of the decision. It is advisable that you seek legal advice on the refusal of the sole representative visa prior embarking on the process to challenge the decision. If the review does not overturn the decision, you have other legal remedies to challenge the decision.

Taking legal advice on the sole representative visa

We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on which route to apply under the sole representative visas and we find this is essential when considering working in the UK. You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at info@icslegal.com.

ICS Legal : UK Immigration Advice | UK Visas | Partners & Marriage Visas | Tier 1 Start-up, Tier 1 Innovator & Tier 1 Investor Visas | British Citizenship. ICS Legal is part of ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd. The content and the source codes contained in this page and subsequent pages of www.icslegal.com are the property of ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd. Company Reg Company No. 08703375. Company Registered in England & Wales. By logging into the site, you have accepted our terms and conditions and must abide accordingly. Unauthorised reproduction and copying is strictly prohibited. Selective contents of the website have been re-produced in accordance to Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd holds PSI Licence and licence number is C2009002244. Parliamentary Licence number is P2009000241. 

The content on our site is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date. We do not guarantee that our site, or any content on it, will always be available or be uninterrupted. Access to our site is permitted on a temporary basis. We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue or change all or any part of our site without notice. We will not be liable to you if for any reason our site is unavailable at any time or for any period. You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to our site. You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access our site through your Internet connection are aware of these terms, and that they comply with them.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to receive our latest immigration alerts