Overall rating is 9.8 out of 10.0 based on 300+ reviews from more than 351 clients

Sole Representative of Overseas Business Visa

Are you a foreign company wanting to enter into the UK market?

This visa category allows a senior official from your business to enter and work in the UK with ZERO upfront investment required.

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 are:

  • the chosen sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch for a wholly owned subsidiary or an overseas parent company.
  • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.

Sole Representative Visa – the Advantages

  •  A route to Permanent Residency/Citizenship:
  • After 5 years you may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
    After 6 years you may qualify for Naturalisation
  • This route is often favoured by those who are interested in conducting business in the UK but would rather keep their main operations outside of the UK.
  • Once you have set up your UK branch you can apply for a Sponsor Licence to recruit from your organisations other branches or recruit other foreign workers using Tier 2 Work Visa.
  • You do not need to invest any large capital to ‘try’ out the UK market for your business, simply send a single staff member to the UK as a sole representative and they can test the market and see if setting up a branch office is the right move.

Client Experience

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Overall rating is 9.8 out of 10.0 based on 300+ reviews from more than 351 clients


We offer the highest quality service so you can be confident that we will handle your application with the utmost care and attention and will obtain the successful outcome you desire.

Our Client Liaison Team are approachable, friendly and will be able to make your options clear and understandable.

If you are unsure whether you qualify for the Overseas Sole Representative Visa then simply complete the enquiry form or call our specialists on 0330 3800 599 for a free assessment.

Can a Shareholder of the business become a Overseas Sole Representative?

Yes, the nominated Sole Representative can be a shareholder of the business but cannot hold no more than 50% of the shares.

Is there an minimum investment requirement for the Overseas Sole Representative visa?

There is no investment required for the  Overseas Sole Representative Visa which makes it a popular route for businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to enter the UK market.

What is the duration of the Overseas Sole Representative visa?

The overseas representative visa lasts for three years and can be extended after this for a further two years. After the holder has been in the UK for a total period of five years, they can then apply for permission to settle permanently in the United Kingdom.

What are the requirements to extend the Overseas Sole Representative visa?

In order to make a successful visa extension after 3 years, the applicant must continue to be employed as a senior employee by the company he or she is representing in the UK. The company must show the applicant is still required to be in the UK as part of their expansion plan. The applicant will need to show evidence of financial transactions for the subsidiary in the UK.

Can I bring my dependents with me on the Overseas Sole Representative visa?

Yes, any dependents for the main applicant can enter and settle under the Overseas Sole Representative Visa category. Dependents are able to work and study whilst in the UK.

Can the Overseas Sole Representative Visa lead to a British Passport?

Applicants who have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a overseas sole representative will need to show they have remained employed for the whole 5 years. Documents such as P60 and payslips will be sufficient for this. Once the applicant has obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain for 1 year it is possible to apply for naturalisation. The requirements for the applicant to be able to apply for naturalisation are:

  • Not breached any immigration laws and is of good character.
  • Not spent more than 450 days outside of the UK
  • Has passed the English Language Test and Life in the UK Test-

Some of our clients who have already obtained a Sole Representative Visa in the following areas

  • IT Companies
  • Medical & Blockchain
  • Charitable Organisations
  • Financial Services
  • Logistics Companies
  • Investment Services
  • Property

Why instruct Optimus Law

Our business immigration team has extensive experience assisting with the Overseas Sole Representative Visa to help businesses expand into the UK, our lawyers are experts in the immigration rules and will guide you based on your circumstances.

We are exceedingly determined team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration guidance.

We carry out a comprehensive service which will include completing your application, booking your biometric appointment, checking your documents and submitting the reports to the Home Office on your behalf. In addition to this, we will be drafting legal representations to the Home Office arguing how your application meets the Immigration Rules. We will be your first point of contact with the Home Office.

As the company will need to show how they intend to operate their business whilst setting up the new subsidiary in the UK, it may be helpful to include a detailed business plan.

We can assist you with creating and reviewing a business plan that will highlight the businesses key strengths and weaknesses. We will also help you with the Company Registration, Bank Account and any dependent visas as part of the Sole Representative Visa service.

We always seek to build and maintain a professional relationship with our clients, handling all their long-term immigration matters.

Once your presence in the UK has been established and your representative has obtained the Sole Representative Visa, we can advise you on how to recruit employees from overseas. It may be advisable applying for a Sponsor License if you wish to recruit workers from outside the EEA.

Refused applications for Sole Representatives of Overseas Businesses

If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business has been refused, our immigration lawyers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the refusal decision.
If your application as a Sole Representative has been refused and the decision is unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration lawyers can appeal and arrange for leading barristers to represent you at your hearing.

We shall ensure we project manage the application from start to finish to secure the visa for you:

  • Direct access to an immigration lawyer
  • Advice on eligibility & evidence in support
  • A detailed consultation for any proposed application
  • A thorough assessment of the business aims and objectives.
  • A dedicated caseworker to advise and assist with your application
  • Assistance completing your application & collating documentation
  • Application form & document check
  • Legal advice & steps taken confirmed in writing
  • Full discretion & client confidentiality
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