Sole representative scheme explained

The representative of an overseas business visa is also known as the “sole” representative visa. Under paragraph 144 of the Immigration Rules, this category visa allows a senior employee of an overseas employer company to enter the UK in order to establish and operate a registered branch or subsidiary of the overseas business.

What are the requirements of the sole representative visa?

  • You must be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside and will remain the UK;
  • You have extensive related industry experience and knowledge;
  • You hold a senior position within the company (but not be a majority shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf;
  • You intend and are capable to set-up the first and only commercial presence in the UK, for example, a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary;
  • You must meet the required standard in English language – CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening;
  • You must be able to support and accommodate yourself and any dependants;
  • You can be joined by your spouse/civil or unmarried partner and children under 18.


The employer must:

  • Have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK;
  • Have no active branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK.

Please note that the applicant can only apply for a sole representative visa from outside of the UK.

How long it can be granted?

The sole representative visa is granted for an initial period of 3 years, and it can be extended for another 2 years. The migrant is able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after he/she has been in the UK for 5 years under this scheme.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the sole representative visa, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.




The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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