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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Sole representative visa questions Hi Dear, May I ask the

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Sole representative visa questions
Hi Dear,

May I ask the following questions related to sole representative visa?

1)To come as a sole representative visa holder, do you really have to been employed by the parent company?
If so ,how many years or months that he/she has to be employed by the parent company?
2)Would it possible to be employed specifically to undertake this role as the applicant has an excellent track record of setting up branches?: parent company employs the applicant due to his expertise and track record of setting up branches a month(or just before) prior to his sole representative visa application?

Thank you in advance.

Is the job that the application specifically to set up these branches?

Have they simply just set up branches in the country where the parent company is based?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



The parent company is based in Russia and this company provides IT consulting.


The parent company wants to employ this applicant who is IT professional and has the necessary experience and expertise of setting up branch and running business in IT.


The applicant will be setting up the branch in the UK and will be providing the services.


Thank you



Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that you do have to be employed by the company. Please refer to the first paragraph under the heading “Sole representative of an overseas company
“ on the following link:-

Please also refer to the second bullet point under the sentence “You must also provide evidence that:” on the following link:-

You will see that it is necessary for the employee to have been employed by the company for some time in senior post. This effectively means that consultant employed for the specific one off purpose of setting up a branch would not meet this criteria.

Presumably they would also be employed under a relatively short fixed term contract which would also cause problems.

The UKBA would likely reject the application I’m afraid. If you applied you would be doing so in the hope that the UKBA would exercise discretion and allow the application even though it would appear that it was not eligible under the rules. This drastically decreases the chances of success I’m afraid

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Kind regards,


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dear,


Thank you very much for your swift reply.


Before rating can i just double check the following:


The situation is as below:

The applicant will not be only employed for one off purpose, only setting up the branch in the UK. The applicant will be setting up the branch will be continuing to work, providing services of IT consulting as a full time employee of this company for minimum of 10 years.


The parent company has chosen this candidate as he has the expertise and necessary skills to set up their branch and run their services as a sole representative of their company. The parent company would like to offer full time employment in senior job role from June 2013.


The parent company wants the applicant to make an application for sole representative visa in June 2013 so that he can be the sole representative of their company, setting up the branch and operate the registered branch.


He will be given full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK.


The questions are:


1)The fact that the applicant is just being employed (new employee)by the company will affect his visa application negatively?



2) How many months or years minimum does the applicant have to be employed by the parent company?

Thank you very much in advance.






Thanks for your reply.

Well, looking at the "documents required" criteria it states that the application it does state that the applicant must have been employed for "some time". However under the actual immigration rules it does not refer to "some time":-

See Rule 144 on the above link.

There is no strict definition of how long an employee should be employed for so far as I can tell.

Under the circumstances I would say that provided they are issued a permanent employment contract with no probationary period then it would still be worth making an application on this basis.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,

Thomas and 2 other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you

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