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March 2, 2021

Sole Representative Visa: Test the UK market by Establishing Branch Office and Employing Local Staff

Sole Representative Visa UK Route was designed for representatives (employees or shareholders) of an overseas business to establish a branch or subsidiary in the United Kingdom. To test the UK market, the company can send a sole representative worker to the UK, establish a branch office and employ local staff.

Any individual who holds a senior position in an active trading company whose head office is outside of the UK can take advantage of the visa. The individual will be responsible for running the business in the UK and will be appointed as the sole representative of the company in the UK.

Entry clearance requirements:

• The company’s headquarters and main place of business must be outside the UK.

• The individual must be recruited outside the UK. 

• The applicant must hold a senior position in the company and must have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the company.

• The applicant must meet the English language requirement applicable to a Sole Representative visa.

• The applicant must intend to start the company’s first commercial presence in the UK with the same type of business activity.

• The applicant must intend to work full-time as the company’s sole representative in the UK, and not engage in other work.

• Applicants need to provide evidence that they can support themselves, and dependants as well as details of where they will be staying.

Besides, the representative must be directly employed by the company and not be hired by the company as an independent sales agent. 

Documents required from the company’s overseas headquarters

Employers need to provide further documents to establish the following:

• A detailed description of the overseas company’s business activities, including details of assets and accounts, its turnover, and its registered offices.

• A letter confirming that the company will set up the first subsidiary or register a new branch in the UK with the same business activity as it runs overseas.

• A statement that the applicant does not own or control a majority of the overseas business.

• The applicant’s employment contract, with a full job description and salary details that will apply whilst the applicant, is employed in the UK. 

• A letter stating that the applicant is familiar with the business and has the relevant skills, experience, knowledge, and authority to take operational decisions and perform their duties.

• A letter providing information about the applicant’s recruitment process.

The company also should submit notarised statements confirming that:

• The applicant will be the sole representative in the UK.

• The overseas business operations will continue to have its headquarters outside the UK and centre the business overseas.

• The company has no other branch, subsidiary, or representative in the UK.

• The applicant will not engage in any other business of their own or represent any other business interests.


Contact our Immigration Lawyers – Sole Representative Visa UK

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

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