WHAT IS AN OVERSEAS OR SOLE REPRESENTATIVE VISA?

This visa is often seen as a very popular option for those looking to apply for the entrepreneur visa but do not want the outlay of a £200,000 investment. The overseas representative visa, also known as the sole representative visa, allows a senior representative of an already established company who do not have an existing U.K presence to come to the U.K to set up a U.K presence in the form of a branch or a subsidiary. The visa allows the senior representative to travel to the U.K in order to establish the company in the form of registering the company, conducting business matters, opening offices and acting as the sole representative of said company. Global-Migrate provides guidance for applicants looking to obtain their overseas representative visa and will mange every step of the application process from first contact through to the granting of the visa as well as extensions. 

What are the requirements?

To be eligible for the visa the applicant must:

  • apply from outside the EEA
  • have sufficient funds to maintain themselves without the need of access to public funds
  • meet the English language requirements

What is meant by a sole representative?

A sole representative must meet a range of criteria that must be considered by the individual and company at the time of applications. Firstly, the individual must be employed and recruited by the company they will represent and said company must be based and have their main place of business outside of the U.K. The representative must have both substantial experience in setting up branches for companies as well as relevant industry knowledge and experience. As such the sole representative is required to have a senior position within the company that allows them the authority to make decisions on the behalf of the company they are representing. The company must be able to show that its ability to expand and grow within the U.K is demonstrable.

What type of companies should consider this option?

This visa is favorable for growing companies who have no presence in the U.K and are looking to move into the market. Because there is no investment requirement it is often seen as a more flexible option than the Entrepreneur visa. It is suited to SMEs  who are looking to ‘test the waters’ and expand into the U.K who do not want to invest a lump sum of capital into the business nor have to fulfill other requirements under other similar business visa categories such as employing a certain number of employees.

Sole representative visa extension

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

You can:

  • work for your employer, full time
  • bring your family (‘dependants’) with you to the UK
  • extend your visa multiple times
  • apply to settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years
  • stay in the UK if your company’s circumstances change and you’ve been here for more than 2 years (eg if they appoint a superior in the UK)


You can’t:

  • work for yourself or any other business
  • stay in the UK if the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer
  • switch to this visa from any other visa category
  • get public funds