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July 15, 2019

Sole Representative Visa: Guidelines who can apply for this visa

Can an applicant on sole representative visa own shares in the UK company?

No, because when they apply to extend their leave and for indefinite leave to remain they will need evidence that all shares are held by the overseas parent company.

What if applicant doesn’t want to sell shares, or they would like to be a shareholder in the UK company?

If an applicant wants to maintain their shareholding in the company or hold shares in the UK company then, they CAN NOT apply for sole representative visa, however there are a number of other potential possible immigration routes:

  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 2 (General)/(Intra Company Transfer)
  • Start-up Visa
  • Innovator Visa

What is a majority shareholder?

The Home Office guidance states that they will refuse applications where an applicant’s 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%.

Applicant’s business doesn’t have shares?

If their business does not have shares, then there are no specific requirements as to the control applicant can have over it.

However, they should bear in mind that a purpose of the shareholding requirement is to ensure that the 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 subject to a higher degree of scrutiny than usual.

Can an applicant simply sell their shares in the overseas business on sole representative visa?

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


You can request 15 minutes free consultation from our immigration lawyers; it will be conducted over the phone only.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and St Petersburg 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.