What is Sole Rep Visa UK (updated 2021)
The Sole Rep Visa UK is a visa for applying for a representation of an overseas company in the UK to set up either a branch or subsidiary of the company. It can also be used to start the company’s first UK office. To apply for the representative visa, you must either be the sole representative of an overseas business trying to establish a foothold in the UK or you could be an employee of an overseas broadcasting agency that has come to fulfil a long-term assignment in the UK. The said representative cannot own more than fifty percent of the business, and the primary business should be outside of the UK. The area of business in the UK and overseas must be similar.
What are application availability
If you apply outside of the UK, you can book a date 3 months before the date of travel. (Ex. If you’re traveling on 20 Aug, you can begin applying from 21 May). The visa decision takes an average of 2-3 weeks. If you apply inside the UK, it takes 8 weeks to give a decision. The visa has a validity of an initial period of 3 years and an extension of 2 years. After 5 years, you can go on to apply for permanent settlement in the UK.
Click here to know more about How to extend Sole Rep Visa UK?
What are the eligibility criteria for UK Sole Rep Visa
The eligibility criteria for this visa are twofold.
The eligibility criteria stand as
- You must be a recruit and employee of an active and trading business, whose headquarters and principal place of business exist outside the UK and will remain so. Your recruitment and employment must also have been done outside the UK.
- You must possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to do the role.
- You must hold a senior level position within the business where you get the full authority to make decisions on its behalf. You must, however, not own the business or exercise majority control over it.
- You must set up the business with the intention of establishing the first commercial presence of the overseas business in the form of a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary.
You can also be eligible if a legal entity of the business exists in the UK but it doesn’t employ staff or do business. You can also replace a previous sole representative of the UK branch that has not been set up yet.
English language requirement for UK Sole Representative Visa
- To get a visa in the UK, you may need to prove your command of the English language.
- To prove your knowledge of the English language, you can –
- Pass an English language test approved by the Home Office with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.
- Possess academic qualifications where the courses were taught in English with a degree recognized by UK NARIC to be equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a Ph.D.
There are a few other methods to prove your English language requirement which are mentioned in the full visa guidance (GOV.UK link). There are a few countries where you will not need to prove your knowledge of the English language if you’re the country’s national. You can check for the same in the full visa guidance.
What documents are required for UK Sole Representative Visa
Any valid travel identification, like your current passport.
Bank statements, payslips of the last 6 months, or similar evidence to show that you can support yourself and any dependants during your trip.
Proof to show that you meet the English language requirement.
If you’re applying from overseas
You’d need a blank page to put your visa when you’re applying from overseas. You might need to provide additional documents as the circumstances require. Such circumstances can be predicted by the UK Visa experts at The SmartMove2UK to ensure a seamless visa application.
Sole representatives need to provide business documents like
- A complete description of the activities of the business, including the details of assets and accounts it holds.
- A letter that confirms that the overseas business will set up a branch or subsidiary in the same business activity as run overseas. The branch must be registered and the subsidiary must be wholly owned.
- Details of your job description, salary, and employment contract.
- A letter that confirms your ability to authorize decisions and proves your familiarity with the business.
For newspapers, broadcast agencies, and news employees
- A detailed description of your parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts, must be provided.
- A confirmation letter that stages you will be representing the business in the UK for a long term and full-time role.
Applying for a visa can be a taxing experience. The SmartMove2UK can help you every step of the way with the full representation services or check your UK Visa application through personal review services.
Using the opinion of UK Visa experts at The SmartMove2UK, you can better your chances of visa acceptance in a hassle-free manner. You can then go on ahead to build your business at a new location or work on your awaited assignment in the UK.
You can know more details about how this process works by contacting us on