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Expert UK Immigration Solicitors Chester Manchester

Expert UK Immigration Solicitors

Sole Representative (Extension) / UK Expansion Worker Visa

Intime Solicitors are experts in UK Visas and Settlement Applications. Contact us for a case assessment

Expert UK Immigration Solicitors

Sole Representative (Extension) / UK Expansion Worker Visa

Intime Solicitors are experts in UK Visas and Settlement Applications. Contact us for a case assessment

Expert UK Immigration Solicitors Chester Manchester
Sole Representative

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In 2022 there were some significant changes to work visas and one of the most important was the rebranding of the sole representative visa to the UK Expansion Worker visa. Essentially both visas are the same but now, the sole representative visa is not available to those applying for the first time. Instead, new applicants must apply for the UK Expansion Worker visa. However, if you’re already in the U.K. as a sole representative, you can extend your leave on the same basis. 

Sole Representative 

If you’re a representative of an overseas business who is currently living and working in the U.K. as a sole representative, then you can extend your leave to remain providing that your employment has remained the same, you work for the same employer and your employer’s principal place of business is still outside the UK. 

As well as meeting all the validity and suitability requirements for further leave to remain, you must also still be working full-time for your employers and not be working elsewhere. You must continue to be a senior employee of the business; you must have the necessary experience and knowledge of the business and have full authority to negotiate and take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business. 

You must also prove that you can continue to adequately maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants if they are here in the U.K. with you. 

You must provide evidence from your employer’s that you are required to continuing working in your employment and must provide evidence of your employment received within the last 12 months of the date of application. 

If you have already been in the U.K. for three years on this visa, you can apply to extend for a further two years. Once you have completed five lawful years under this route, you will be eligible to apply for settlement in the U.K. 

UK Expansion Worker 

A UK Expansion Worker visa allows for an applicant to come to the UK to set up a branch of an overseas business that has not started trading in the UK yet. For new applicants who are abroad, this is the visa which should be applied for as opposed to the sole representative visa. 

You must already work for the overseas business as either a senior manager or a specialist employee. You must have worked for your employers for at least 12 months before applying unless you earn a gross annual salary exceeding £73,900 or if you are a Japanese national working for a Japanese company. 

Your sponsor’s must be licensed to employ you here in the U.K. and must provide you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role which you will undertake. 

You must have worked for your employer outside of the UK, undertake to perform a job which is on the list of eligible occupations, and you must be paid the minimum eligibility salary required for your job. The minimum salary is £42,400 per year or the ‘going rate’ for your job – whichever is higher. 

These factors relate to your job specifically and we recommend that you contact one of our expert immigration lawyers as this can be a complex part of the application. 

You will also need to demonstrate that you can support yourself when you arrive in the U.K. unless your employers have agreed to certify your maintenance. If not, you will need to show a minimum of £1,270 in your bank account which has been present for at least 28 consecutive days prior to applying and then end of the 28-day period must be within 31 days of the date you apply. There are further requirements if your partner and children are also travelling with you. 

How long you can stay in the U.K. for depends on whichever of the following is shorter:

  • 12 months after the start date of the job on your Certificate of Sponsorship. 
  • The time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days. 

If after your initial period of leave to remain in the U.K. you would like to extend your visa, you can extend by a further 12 months but the total amount of time which you can remain in the U.K. as a UK Expansion Worker, is 2 years. 

Further, if you have already been in the U.K. on any over work visa, we recommend contacting our immigration solicitors as this can impact on the length of time which you’re permitted to remain in the U.K. for. 

You’re permitted to apply to the Home Office within the 3 months prior to your expected start date in the U.K. and the decision from applying outside of the country can take around three weeks. There may be an option for priority service if you require a decision faster. 

When in the U.K., you will be permitted to work for your sponsor in the job described in your CoS, bring your partner and children with you, do voluntary work and travel abroad and return to the U.K. You will not be permitted to apply for most benefits, change job (unless you’re eligible and update your visa), have a second job, or apply for settlement. 


Whether you’re already in the U.K. as a sole-representative or if you are looking to enter the U.K. for the first time as a UK Expansion Worker, the process of applying to the Home Office and corresponding with them can be very difficult and confusing for a first-time applicant. At Intime Solicitors we are experts in these applications and can do the whole application process on your behalf. You will simply only need to provide us with the documents, which we will explain to you and request from you, and we will submit your online application, upload all documents the Home Office, book your biometric appointment and correspond with the Home Office if any issues arise.

Contact one of our expert immigration lawyers today for a free initial consultation in your case.

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Updated on 01/01/2024
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