Open an Existing Business Branch in the UK

Branch Office in the UK

A UK Sole Representative Visa is the immigration mechanism used by international companies to establish a commercial presence in London or elsewhere in the UK. Overseas businesses looking to send employees to the UK, there are many visa options to consider. Your choice will be determined by a number of factors, including the role of the employee, the nature of the activity, the time they plan to spend in the UK and the status of the company’s operations in the UK. The Sole Representative Visa permits companies to send a single employee to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary.


  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK
  • have extensive related industry experience and knowledge
  • hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf
  • intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, eg a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary
  • sufficient resources to support yourself without help from public funds
  • meet the Basic English Language requirement by passing an exam at CFER Level A1 in Speaking and Listening.
  • must produce Business Plan

What you need to know about the Sole Representative Visa?

The visa holder is allowed to work full-time in the UK for their employer. Their dependants can apply to join them, and they have the option to apply to extend their visa beyond the initial period granted and apply to settle in the UK after 5 years. 


What is the Sole Representative Visa processing time?

The processing time for a Sole Representation visa varies considerably. 

As per UKVI guidance you should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK. 

Can I extend this my sole representative visa UK?

You can apply to extend this visa for a further term, providing you continue to meet the requirements.

Does this visa lead to settlement?

Once you have extended your visa and you have been inside the UK for a continuous period of 5 years you may be eligible to settle in the UK.

Can I Naturalize as a British citizen?

Yes, after you have held Indefinite Leave to Remain for 1 year you may apply to Naturalization.

What about the spouse / children of the Sole Representative?

You may apply for the candidates spouse and children to accompany them as their dependents.

  • Education
    The children of persons entering the UK as sole representatives are entitled to the same free education as British children. The candidate may choose to send their children to a private school if they wish.
  • Health care
    A sole representative and their family here as their dependents are eligible to free health care provided by the National Health Service. They are not required to take out private health insurance.
  • Work
    The spouse of a sole representative is entitled to take up any employment.

Further Information

Please contact us for more information on UK  Representative of an Overseas Business visa and other immigration programmes or to arrange initial Personal Consultation with immigration Lawyer

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