Challenges faced by sole representatives

Challenges faced by sole representatives

(This article was updated on 24/06/2020)

Challenges faced by sole representatives

UK immigration rules allow overseas businesses who wish to establish their presence in the UK may choose to send an individual employee to test the waters in UK and develop a presence in UK and commence its operations, without making any large investments – this route is referred to as representative of an overseas business. UK immigration also makes an allowance for media houses, broadcasting companies to send their representatives [e.g. journalists, correspondents, reporters etc] to the UK.

A Sole representative is the ‘senior’ employee of the overseas company nominated to come to the UK to establish a branch or wholly owned subsidiary from the objective of testing the waters in the UK as a pre cursor to the company making a sizeable investment.

To apply for the sole representative visa the applicant files an online visa application form and is supported by various documents which confirm the financial standing of the company particularly:

  • evidence that the company is actively trading
  • the company has ‘adequate’ funds to support expansion
  • has registered office outside the UK
  • The type of business should same as the intended business in the UK.

Few challenges which may be encountered by the businesses and sole representatives are that:

  • There should not be any other representative in UK at a time. A company can only send one representative. If one is admitted, then the other employee can apply under the Tier 2 of the points based system- this is subject to the company holding a Tier 2 sponsor license.
  • A sole representative cannot work for any other employer other than the overseas company he has been sent from for expansion purpose. They are not allowed to take up any other establishment or paid job.
  • An agent hired to market the company’s products in the UK cannot be considered as sole-representatives.
  • There should not be any physical presence of the company in UK such as no active branch or subsidiary.
  • The company’s headquarters and principal place of business should be outside the UK.
  • The branch established in UK should exist only as a legal entity.

It is essential to know the duties and responsibilities of a Representative of an Overseas Business. If you would like to have more insights on Sole representative visa, we are a call away. We can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your application and deal professionally and competently with questions from the UK Home Office. To know more about the sole representative visa or if you have any other queries, send in an email to and one of our associates will get back to you with the answers to your queries in the times

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