Sole Representative Visa Extension

UK Immigration as the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business

Representative of an Overseas Business visa extension and settlement

The Representative of an Overseas Business route is now closed to new entrants and it has been replaced by the UK Expansion Worker route, but those already on the Representative of an Overseas Business route may be able to apply for extension and settlement when the time comes.

 What are the requirements for Representative of an Overseas Business visa extension or settlement?

 In both cases, the applicant must already hold leave as a Representative of an Overseas Business and they must still be working at running the business/company in the UK, on the basis of which the initial visa was granted.

And in both cases, the applicant must show that the parent overseas company is still actively trading, that the UK business they are running is also actively trading, and that they have not carried out any work for any other employer in the UK. They must also show that the overseas company still requires them to run the UK business.

The initial visa was typically granted for two years, and after that the applicant might be able to apply for extension. If the application is successful leave will be granted for a further three years and after five years in total the applicant might be able to apply for settlement. There is in most cases a Life in the UK text requirement for settlement.

How much does it cost to apply for a visa?

The visa extension application fee is £827 and there is also an IHS health surcharge fee of £624 per year. The fee for settlement is £2,885 and for this there is no IHS fee.

 What is the usual processing time for a Representative of an Overseas Business application?

The normal processing time for the visa extension is eight weeks. Settlement applications should be processed within six months.


Frequently Asked Questions for Sole Representative Visas

Can I be the major shareholder in my business?

Sole representatives can be shareholders, but they cannot be majority shareholders with more than 50% of shares in their parent company.

Can my dependent work in the UK on Sole Rep dependent visa?

Yes, your spouse can take up employment without needing to apply for a work permit. Also if you have children they can study at a school in the UK without you having to pay any school fee as UK public schools offer free education to the children.

Can multiple people apply for Sole Representative Visas in my company?

A sole representative is a single person, which means that only one person from each company may hold this visa. If you would like to send more employees to the UK, you will need to apply for a sponsor licence following the establishment of your branch. This allows employees to follow the skilled worker visa route to work in the UK.

How has Brexit changed the Sole Representative Visa application?

Brexit has essentially levelled the playing field when you apply for a Sole Representative Visa, with no benefits or alternative routes available for EU companies and citizens. For businesses in STEM fields, the new immigration policies may provide an advantage to seeking to open a branch or subsidiary within the UK.

Can I use the Sole Representative Visa to relocate a company to the UK?

A Sole Representative Visa is exclusively for setting up branches of companies from overseas in the UK. This permission does not allow you to move your operations or HQ to the Britain.


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