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UK Sole Representative visa – Representative of an Overseas Business visa

UK Sole Representative visa – Representative of an Overseas Business visa


The UK Sole Representative visa otherwise know as the Representative of an Overseas Business visa is designed primarily for non-EEA nationals who want to establish a representative office, branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK for the first time. This particular residency route allows senior executives and managers of an overseas company to enter and reside in the UK provided that: the intention of the Sole Representative is to represent the company in the UK, the representative owns less than 50% shares of the company and must pass an approved English language test.

With Brexit in effect the best time for company representatives outside the UK, looking to expand their business into the UK is NOW .

Table of Contents

1. Program In Detail

2. Who can be granted a Sole Representative visa?

3. What are the main advantages of a Sole Representative visa?

4. What are the main elements that could adversely affect my application?

5. How can we can help you to obtain a Representative of an Overseas Business visa?


An application for the UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa can be filed as early as 3 months before the intended travel date and a decision is usually made on the visa within 3 weeks from application day. The initial visa period is 3 years which can be further extended to 2 years, after which there is a possibility to apply and gain permission to settle indefinitely in the UK. One year after that, the representative would have the option to apply to naturalise as a British citizen. It is possible to bring dependents, such as a spouse and/or children under the age of 18, with you to the UK. Dependents follow the same pathway to settlement and citizenship.

This program route  is a great alternative option  to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route. It is great for entrepreneurs and HNWIs looking to permanently settle in the UK and access the advantages of doing business in the UK. With Brexit in effect the best time for company representatives outside the UK looking to expand their business into the UK is now.

One of the main requirements for the UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa is to demonstrate that the overseas parent company is indeed a genuine enterprise with its principal place of business based outside the UK. The Home Office will have to be extremely satisfied that the intention is purely to establish a representative office, branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK and keep the headquarter permanently overseas.

  • An individual who is employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK.
  • A senior executive or manager with related industry experience and knowledge that qualifies them to represent the company in the UK.
  • A person who holds a senior position within the company (but you must not be a major shareholder – not more than 50% shares) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf.
  • A representative who intends to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, for example a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary.
  • A sole representative who can financially support themselves and any dependents in the UK without depending on public funds, and must be evidenced by proof of funds.
  • A sole representative who has passed an approved English language test ( in particular the IELTS Life Skills Test – A1 Speaking & Listening ) with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.

Nationals of the following countries already meet the English language requirement

Antigua and Barbuda


the Bahamas








New Zealand

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

  • A sole representative can open a new branch on behalf of the overseas business.
  • Access to the UK’s lucrative economy which is the 5th largest national economy in the world; your business can operate in one of the world’s international business hubs and trading centers.
  • Access to a highly Skilled Workforce.
  • Travel Visa-Free to 25+ countries with your UK Residency.
  • Pathway to Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years representing the parent business and thereafter obtaining a UK passport.
  • Opportunity to bring your dependents to the UK.
  • Guaranty a bright future for your family.
  • Access to one of the best healthcare and education models (free).

There are certain elements that that can adversely affect your application if not handled correctly from the onset and by an expert immigration advisor.

A major issue that arises is the matter of whether the sole representative has a considerable number of shares in the company even though they are not majority shareholders. However, the Home Office may decide to conduct an interview which could determine the outcome of the entire application. Answering correctly is fundamental for the positive outcome of the application.

Additionally, during a hypothetical interview, the Home Office may have to verify which position the candidate currently occupies in the overseas parent company, as well as their real day-to-day responsibilities. Whether they believe the role to be indispensable or not for running the business, will determine the outcome the application.

Applications could also be refused in cases where the Home Office believes that the application has been made with the intention to transfer the headquarters to the UK. It is important to note that entry clearance will be granted only when the candidate is genuinely “representing” the main company.

Ultimately, it is essential to present the case properly from the beginning and ensure that the company representative is well-aware of the requirements and stands the best chance of success.


We have been helping successful entrepreneurs worldwide to obtain a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. With an unequaled team of expert Citizenship & Residency consultants in worldwide immigration programs, Wincore Advisory Group will assist you and your family to choose the most relevant program to reach your targets. Protect your family in a safe heaven, your wealth, your privacy, your investment returns, and freedom. As your trusted consultant, Wincore Advisory Group will deploy all its efforts to annihilate any obstacles or difficulties that might be surrounding your personal situation so as to be in the best position to obtain your UK Sole Representative Visa in fast-track time.

If you wish to discuss the many benefits of obtaining a UK Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa or any other immigration program, feel free to Get in Touch with our Corporate Team Today on +971 4 443 6694 or

Wincore specializes in Tax, Corporate and Fiduciary matters. We provide pragmatic, flexible and efficient solutions to individual entrepreneurs, startup businesses, foreign and local SMEs, multinationals, wealthy international families, HNWIs and UHNWIs.

Wincore Advisory Group’s full range of services on : CRS (AEOI) – OECD exchange of information ; Economic Substance Regulations; Trust & Foundation UAE; Asset protection, Estate & Tax Planning UAE; Corporate Services; Sophisticated UAE Sponsorship PlanningDebt Collection Services in UAE; Residency & Citizenship Services ( Foreign second passports).

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Mohammad Rahali

Managing Partner


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