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If you are a substantial trading company located outside the UK, and have no current UK presence, you may be able to send a member of staff to the UK on a 'Sole Representative Visa'.
The employer must have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK, and where the applicant is seeking entry as a sole representative, the company has no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK. You must be a genuine existing enterprise. If you have been established for less than a year you are unlikely to be considered suitable sponsors under this category. The sending of a Sole Representative to the UK must be for the benefit of your company, and not for the immigration convenience of the candidate, so the budget allocated to the UK expansion should not be unrealistic in the context of your size, trading activities or profitability.
The candidate should be a senior employee recruited outside the United Kingdom. In most cases, he or she will have been employed by you overseas for a significant period of time and be fully familiar with your business and procedures. This may not be the case when the individual has been recruited specifically to fulfil the role but in these circumstances, the applicant will need to demonstrate a background appropriate to the role.
- an overseas media employee employed by an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation and posted by their employer on a long-term assignment in the UK, or
- the sole representative in the UK of an overseas employer who intends to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK and
- have been recruited and employed outside the UK
- intend to work full-time and only as a representative of that overseas business