Sole Representative Visa FAQs


  • What is a Sole Representative?

    When deciding whether the applicant can be classified as a sole representative under the representative of an overseas business category, the Home Office UKVI will consider the following factors:

    The sole representative must have:

    • been employed by the parent company in a senior position within the company
    • a track record of establishing branches for other companies, if they were hired specifically for this role
    • authority to make operational decisions once in the UK, as indicated by their position in the company hierarchy.

  • Can I switch to a different category?

    If a sole representative is still working for the same employer mentioned on their previous application as a sole representative of an overseas business, they can switch to a skilled worker visa category.

  • Can a sole representative be a shareholder?

    A sole representative visa is not offered to a majority shareholder in the parent company.

  • Can I sponsor my dependants to join me or accompany me to the UK?

    You can sponsor your dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) to accompany you to the UK or to join you later in the UK as your dependants.

  • How can I challenge the refusal of my Sole Representative visa application?

    As a sole representative of an overseas business, you can appeal the refusal of your entry clearance application by filing an administrative review of the decision.

  • How can I apply for extension of my sole representative visa?

    If you already have a sole representative visa in the UK, you can apply for an extension or renewal by filling out the online application form FLR (IR).

  • For how long will I be granted further extension if my application for sole representative visa renewal is successful?

    As a result of a successful application for renewal of your sole representative visa, you will be granted further leave to remain for 2 years as a sole representative.

  • When can I apply for ILR as a sole representative?

    You can apply for ILR as a sole representative 28 days before completing 5 years residence in the UK with leave to remain as a sole representative. Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application for entry clearance was approved.

  • What are the eligibility requirements for ILR as a sole representative?

    If you meet the following qualifying criteria, you can apply for ILR as a sole representative of an overseas business:

    • You've spent the last 5 years in the UK as the sole representative of an overseas company on a UK visa;
    • You have met all of the requirements of an overseas business representative for the last 5 years, and you should continue to do so - this includes being employed throughout the period, as evidenced by P60s for the last 5 years and pay slips for the last 3 months, for example.
    • You must show that you have formed a branch that is registered as a UK establishment or subsidiary and that it has produced revenue.
    • You must produce proof that your employer is still in business and has its headquarters in another country.
    • In any 12-month period, you must spend no more than 180 days outside the UK (known as 'continuous residency').
    • You demonstrate that your employer still requires your services;
    • Except for any time of overstaying authorised under the Immigration Rules, you must not be in violation of immigration rules.

    You should also

    • meet the English language requirements
    • pass the Life in the UK Test

  • Can I re-apply for ILR as a sole representative after the refusal of my ILR application?

    If your ILR application has been refused, you can reapply as a sole representative within 14 days of either the refusal of your ILR application or the Administrative Review (AR) judgement against the refusal of your ILR application. If your ILR application has been denied, our skilled team of immigration solicitors can assist you in preparing and filing a new application for ILR as a sole representative.