The Sole Representative visa is specifically designed for companies that wish to send one key individual to the United Kingdom in order to establish a branch or representative office of the company there.
How to qualify
In order to qualify for this visa you must have been recruited as an employee outside the United Kingdom by a firm which has its head quarters and principal place of business outside the UK and has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK.
You must be a senior employee, intending to be employed full time, with full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas firm, for the purpose of representing it in the United Kingdom by establishing and operating a registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary of the overseas firm.
You may not be a majority shareholder in the overseas firm.
Spouses and dependants
Your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and dependant children may apply to join you in the UK.
The dependants will be granted the same period of leave as the main applicant and will be able to work without restriction in the UK.
Length of stay and right to work
The visa is granted for an initial period of 2 years which then may be extended for an additional period or periods of up to 3 years.
Permanent Residence in the UK
At the end of successful completion of a five-year period on this type of visa the holder can, subject to certain requirements, qualify to apply for permanent residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain..