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November 3, 2020

Sole Representative Visa: General Questions about shareholding

Our sole representative visa clients often asking questions in regards of shareholdings in the overseas business. Please kindly see some of them outlined below.

Majority shareholder

Home Office guidance states that applicant will be refused their visa applications where their shareholding is more than 50% of the available shares. This means an applicant can still be the largest shareholder, providing they do not own more than 50% of shares of the company.

Sole Proprietorship vs Private Limited Company

If an applicant’s business does not have shares, then there are no specific requirements as to the control applicant can have over it.  They should bear in mind that a purpose of the shareholding requirement is to ensure that the sole representative is genuinely a senior employee who will work to establish the business. If the employee has the ability to control their own assignment, then this could lead to the application being refused.

Shares ownership of UK company and Extension Application  

An Applicant cannot hold shares of UK company, because when they apply to extend their leave and for indefinite leave to remain applicant will need evidence that all shares are held by the overseas parent company.

Selling applicant’s shares in the overseas business

An applicant can sell them, but it is required that they provide the previous year’s share register when applying, so applicant will need to provide evidence of selling their shares since then, and an updated share register.


You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.