Representative of Overseas Businesses

Who may apply for this visa?

This visa is aimed at sole representative or someone who has a senior position in an overseas business. The principal place of business must be outside the UK but the sole representative/ senior employee intends to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK. If granted this visa, you are permitted to live and work in the UK. The applicant can also be 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.

What are the requirements for the UK sole representative visa?

  • You are employed and hold a senior position in a overseas company whose headquarters and main place of business in not in the UK;
  • The company has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;
  • You have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the business, but are not a major shareholder;
  • The branch or subsidiary in the UK will carry out the same business activities as the overseas business;
  • You do not intend to take any other employment whilst in the UK; and
  • You hold less than 50% of the shares in the overseas business;
  • You are able to maintain and accommodate yourself adequately without the need to rely on public funds;
  • Adequately able to speak and understand English

Sole representative – UK Visas and Immigration considers a sole representative as someone who has worked for an overseas business for a long time and therefore has extensive experience and knowledge in their line of work. It would also include an employee who holds a senior position and has an ability of establishing companies. If you have just recently started work at an overseas company, you must prove to the UK Visas and Immigration that you have held a senior role previously and are able to meet the abilities and skills that are required for establishing businesses in the UK under this visa category.

Extension of UK sole representative visa

At the time of application:

  • Overseas business still has its principal place of business outside of the UK;
  • You are full-time employed as a sole representative of the same overseas business and have generated a registered branch/ wholly owned subsidiary since entry to the UK;
  • You are still needed by the employer and do not intend to work in another employment.

Settlement as a UK sole representative visa

  • Continuous 5 years spent lawfully in the UK;
  • In the 5 years you have been in the UK, in each of these years you have not spent more than 180 days outside of the UK;
  • You are seen as someone who is essential for the employment in question and your employer certifies this;
  • You met the requirements for an extension of stay throughout the 5 year period;
  • You have demonstrated adequate knowledge of the English language and life in the UK test.