Representatives Of An Overseas Business


The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa category is for those who want to establish a branch or subsidiary of their overseas headquartered firm /  business in the UK.

Non-European Economic Area (EEA)/non-Swiss national employees of overseas businesses may apply for immigration permission to enter the UK as either a sole representative of an overseas business or an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.

We can assist with all stages of the transfer to the UK, from the initial planning of the transfer to the UK by your sole representative, to preparing the necessary supporting documentation to support the application and ultimately assisting with the filing of the visa application abroad.

Our services include:

  • Providing you with expert assistance advising you on the procedure, requirements and what it takes to make the application to the relevant overseas post.
  • Making the necessary representations in support of your application to ensure you are able to begin the process of relocating your business to the UK.

Essentially this visa allows a senior employee of an overseas business to come to the UK to set up and run a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary of the overseas parent company.As overseas businesses look to grow, it is vital that key employees can quickly obtain permission to work in the UK to support expansion. This visa category is only open to applicants from outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

If your application for a sole representative visa is approved, you will be given permission to enter and remain in the UK for up to 3 years initially.  Beyond this, you will need to submit a further application for leave to remain, which would be valid for 2 years. After 5 years in the UK in the sole representative visa category, you may be granted permission to remain in the UK permanently. This is on the condition that you have remained in the UK as a senior employee of the same business throughout the 5 years.

To qualify for this application and be granted the extension you will need to:

  • Show that you have met an English language requirement. If you are a national of a majority English speaking country or already hold a qualifying degree, you will, subject to providing the necessary evidence, fulfil this requirement. If this is not the case, you will need to pass an approved English language test prior to applying for a sole representative visa.
  • If you are a senior employee of an overseas business and would like to come to the UK to set up and run a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that business, you may be able to make an application for a sole representative of an overseas business visa.

Your Dependants: 

It is possible to bring dependents, such as a spouse and/or child under the age of 18, with you to the UK. However, you will need to show that you have enough money to maintain and accommodate yourselves in the UK without recourse to public funds.Subject to some restrictions, dependants may work and study in the UK.

After 1 year of holding Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may qualify for UK citizenship as long as you have not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the 5 years preceding your application and you have no criminal convictions or questionable circumstances.

Our solicitors have substantial experience and broad knowledge of the complex rules regarding representatives of an overseas business and we assist clients from the planning phase through to  employee’s arrival in the UK.Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance and if you would like to apply.