The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is also known as the Sole Representative Visa. It enables you to establish a UK branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company.
This visa route offers the representatives the eventual opportunity to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (also known as Permanent Residence in other jurisdictions), through the 5-year route. The representatives, as well as their families, can spend up to 5 years residing in the UK on the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa (including extension).
Individuals who work for overseas newspapers, agencies, or broadcasters can also pursue this visa path, offering journalists, correspondents, and those in similar roles a stable period of stay during long-term or indefinite assignments.
Sole Representative Visa requirements:
To successfully receive a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa, you must meet certain specific requirements as well as the more general ones, such as meeting English language requirements and proving that you can support yourself and your dependants should you choose to bring any along.
Additionally, the company that you are employed by and are representing must meet certain requirements in order for you to be eligible as its sole representative in the UK.
Who is eligible to apply:
In order to apply for this visa, you need to either be:
- The sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK-based branch or a wholly-owned UK subsidiary for an overseas parent company.
- An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.
You may apply as the employee who:
- Is employed by a company that is outside the UK and was recruited to the business outside of the UK.
- Aims to set up the first commercial presence of the company in the UK.
- Has comprehensive relevant industry experience.
- Has a senior position in the company.
- Has full authority to negotiate and take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK.
- Is applying to be the sole representative in the UK of an overseas employer who intends to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary, and that branch or subsidiary will operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas business.
- Is not a majority shareholder in that overseas business (under 50% shareholding).
- Intends to work full-time for the organisation.
- Does not intend to take any other employment.
- Provides evidence that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.
- Meets the English language requirement.
Your employer must have:
- Its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
- No active branch, subsidiary, or another representative in the UK.
- A UK registered branch / wholly-owned subsidiary that will operate the same type of business as the overseas business.
If you are unsure about meeting the requirements or would like to make sure that your application properly highlights your eligibility, please contact us.
Our team has extensive experience in putting together strong applications that have a good chance of being approved by the Home Office. This can reduce the risk of a drawn-out appeal process.
Sole Representative Visa costs
The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa will cost £610 if applied for from outside the UK and £704 if you are applying from inside the UK.
There are also additional costs that must be considered, such as the £19.20 that you will need for biometric information, immigration health surcharge as well as fees for legal advice – which is highly advisable when applying for a Business Visa such as this one.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa offers 3 years of stay, with the option to extend for another 2 years. After 5 years of stay in the UK, you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. This will allow you to run your branch or subsidiary – or work for your news organisation – with the reassurance of Permanent Residence.
There is an application process that must be completed in order to be granted ILR, and there are some additional requirements that you may have to meet. You can learn more about paths to Indefinite Leave to Remain here.
How QC Immigration will help you
Our team has all of the expertise and experience needed to assist you with your Representative of an Overseas Business Visa. With extensive experience in immigration law for business people, we will make sure that your visa application highlights that you meet all requirements.
Can I bring family with me under this Representative of an Overseas Business Visa route?
Yes, your partner and children under the age of 18 may apply to join you as dependants. You must show that you can support yourself and any family dependants without recourse to public funds.
When is the earliest that I can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa?
The earliest you can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa is 3 months before you travel to the UK.
How long will it take to receive a decision on a Representative of an Overseas Business visa?
Generally, you will receive a decision on a Representative of an Overseas Business visa within 8 weeks. There are options to pay additional fees to obtain a decision faster.
You can check the guide processing times on the Home Office official website to find out how long it will take to receive a decision in your country.
How long can I stay under the Representative of an Overseas Business visa?
Once you are granted a Representative of an Overseas Business visa, you can come to the UK for 3 years. Thereafter, you may be able to extend your visa for additional 2 years.