Sole Representative Of An Overseas Business

The Sole Representative Visa (also known as the Overseas Representative Visa) is for the benefit of an overseas business which wishes to establish an international branch in the United Kingdom. These visas provide an excellent business opportunity for the successful applicant and their new UK company, and can lead to permanent status in the United Kingdom for the representative and their family.

The Sole Representative visa is an area in which we have great expertise and extensive experience at Cromwell Wilkes. We know exactly what needs to be done to bring your company (and you) to the United Kingdom. We look to bring talented individuals and exciting businesses to the United Kingdom to both benefit our clients and deliver real value and investment to the UK economy. These cases allow us to show that we are not just experts in immigration law, but also in company law, commercial law, contract law, employment law, and business planning.

What Is Required?

i) An overseas business operating in any field in its own country, which can show a proven history of trading, and which does not already have a corporate presence in the United Kingdom.

ii) A business proposal to show what the new company in the United Kingdom will do, and why it will be a success and of benefit to the UK economy.

iii) A nominated person, over the age of 18, who will come to the United Kingdom as the representative of the overseas company to establish and run the new UK branch.

iv) This person must not be a majority shareholder in the overseas company (ideally no more than 30%), but they must hold a genuine position of authority in that company.

v) In the event that the person chosen to come to the United Kingdom to open the new company is a major shareholder in the overseas company, then one of the first tasks will be to arrange for transfer and re-allocation of company shares so that the rules are met. In fact, many of these cases start with such a re-allocation of shares in the overseas company, so this is never a major problem.

vi) The person chosen to come to open the new UK company will need to have experience in the appropriate industry, as well as the skills and ability to run the new UK company. The overseas company will need to confirm that the representative has full authority to establish and run the new UK company.

vii) The person coming as the representative will need to pass an English language exam to Level A1 – or the equivalent in IELTS (unless they are from a majority English-speaking country, or have completed a university degree taught in the English language). They will also normally need to produce a certificate from their own country showing that they have a clean criminal record.

viii) There will need to be a job description and appropriate salary set out for the representative who is coming to run the new UK company.

ix) The overseas company must continue trading for so long as the representative is running the UK company, and the UK company must not become bigger in terms of capital assets than the overseas one. The centre of operations must remain overseas while the representative is in place in the United Kingdom.

x) The representative will need to have a modest amount of maintenance money for themselves and their family for the early stages of their arrival in the United Kingdom, before the representative starts taking an income from the new company.

You Must Also Meet The Following Requirements:

The representative can bring their spouse or partner and any children under the age of 18. They will initially be granted three years permission to live in the United Kingdom, followed by an extension of two further years if all the rules are still being met. After these five years, they can then apply for permanent status (indefinite leave to remain). One year later, they can then normally apply to be British Citizens.

The representative can only work for the new UK company, but their spouse can work freely (including for the new company). The children of a representative can attend school free of charge and the family will have full access to UK health services.


What Will Cromwell Wilkes Do For You?

We will do everything that is required to ensure success. Working with the overseas company from the moment the case is opened until the time the representative is successfully trading in the new United Kingdom company. We will gather all required evidence of the overseas company’s activities and trading history, and we will build the business plan and portfolio for the new UK company.

We will help to provide all the evidence that is required from the overseas company by giving detailed advice on exactly what is needed at every stage of the process. We will draft all UK legal documents that need to be approved and authorised by the overseas company.
Where required, we also can assist in the preparation of a Shareholders’ Agreements and other corporate or commercial legal paperwork required to succeed in the case – we believe very few other immigration lawyers can also offer this range of legal expertise.

We will do all of the visa applications and give business, commercial and company law advice to help establish the UK company and get it ready to start trading. We will provide advice on any employment contracts that need to be drawn up for the UK company. We will provide assistance in hiring company accountants or other related business professionals should you require them, including advice and assistance on finding company premises, understanding commercial leases, opening corporate and personal bank accounts, and the recruitment of UK-based employees or contractors.

We will provide ongoing support after the representative and their family have arrived in this country to help them settle in easily. This can include advice on finding schools and a home, or anything else that is needed to make the move to this country as easy and rewarding as possible. We look to build lasting relationships with our clients, and their families.

Please note this 5-Star Review from a recent Sole Representative case which can also be found on our website and on Google:

“We are a professional engineering consultant in the Middle East. I had established the firm a few years ago and hired Cromwell Wilkes to move our company to the UK. As a serious businesswoman I expect and demand professionalism and high standards. Richard and his team never failed us and exceeded our expectations. They were attentive, fast, and professional. They do whatever it takes to succeed. My case as a sole representative was approved very fast and they met all the requirements. Thank you Richard for everything”

Asel El-Housan, November 2021

This reference is from a major overseas company that is now successfully establishing itself in the United Kingdom. We look forward to delivering the same success for our new clients whenever they are ready to start doing business in this country.

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