Tier 1 Sole Representative Visa

Tier 1 Sole Representative Visa

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa is a credible way to move to the UK and take your business to the international level by setting up a UK branch or subsidiary. The successful applicant is eligible to apply for UK indefinite leave to remain after 5 years and for UK citizenship after 6 years.

This route allows companies to effectively enter the UK market. A representative of an overseas business visa – also known as a ‘sole representative visa’ – is designed for people occupying senior positions within companies headquartered outside the UK.

If a company plans to open a UK office, the applicant can be appointed as the sole representative of an overseas business in the UK responsible for the company’s business activity and development. The visa category does not require any investment. However, all the rules and requirements must be met for a successful application.

The initial period for the sole representative of an overseas business visa is 3 years and afterwards it can be extended for another 2 years. The representative is entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years in the UK.

Application requirements for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa (initial visa):

The visa is designed for individuals who occupy senior positions within overseas companies that have not previously had a commercial presence in the UK.

To meet the requirements, you must be an employee of a company with a head office located outside the UK. Moreover you must occupy a senior position (but cannot be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on the behalf of the company.

You will also need to prove you have funds sufficient to support your living in the UK and to meet English requirements. According to the guidelines, an applicant must pass an English language test with at least CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) level A1 in speaking and listening.

You can:

  • bring dependent family members with you to the UK
  • apply to settle in the UK after 5 years
  • extend your visa multiple times as the sole representative of an overseas business

You cannot:

  • work for yourself or any other company
  • stay in the UK if you are no longer the sole representative of your company
  • switch to this visa from any other visa category

Application processing time:

  • The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel to the UK.
  • Priority service is available, allowing you to have your application processed within 10-15 days.
  • The standard processing time for applications submitted from outside the UK is approximately 3 weeks. The decision on applications submitted in the UK will be ready within 8-12 weeks.

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