Representative of Overseas Business

Representative of Overseas Business

Please note that this visa category is now closed.


A unique visa divided into two distinctive categories:

  1. For a sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly subsidiary of an overseas parent company; or
  2. For an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK

The most common applications over the years are for a sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly subsidiary. This is a visa designed to encourage foreign companies to set up their platform in the UK.


The parent company will need to show:

  1. That they have their headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK;
  2. Their turnover to demonstrate that the company is actively trading;
  3. Their registered offices overseas and confirmation that they have no active branch, subsidiary or another representative in the UK;
  4. The type of business – this must be the same type of business as the UK subsidiary or branch;

The company will need to provide supporting documents to demonstrate the above requirements. We will advise the company on the specific supporting documents to ensure a positive result.

The sole representative (applicant) must:

  1. Already be recruited and employed outside the UK and the parent company must be outside the UK;
  2. Must have extensive related industry experience and knowledge;
  3. Must hold a senior position within the company and is able to make full authority to make decision;
  4. Must not be a majority shareholder;
  5. Will be paid and will have enough money to support him or herself and family – their salary must be appropriate for a senior employee;
  6. Have passed an approved English test at level A1 of CEFR or have an academic qualification that was taught in English, or is a national of a majority English speaking

The applicant can:

  1. Work for the company full time but you will not be allowed to work for any other UK company;
  2. Bring their family member (Spouse and children below 18)
  3. Apply for permanent resident after 5 years

Once successful, the representative will be granted a visa which is valid for 3 years. You will be able to extend your visa (subject to meeting the eligibility) for another 2 years.

Going forward, once the company has been set up and trading in the UK, the company can apply for a Sponsor License to hire their foreign staff to be transferred to the UK.

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