Immigration change notice:
The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa route is closed to new applicants at 9 am on 11 April 2022.
However, the existing Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa holders will be able to extend their stay and settle in the UK, for details please read here.
Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa
Suitable for: senior employee of an overseas business who wants to set up and run a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas parent company
Duration: 3 years
What is a Sole Representative?
A Sole Representative applicant must be a direct employee of the overseas business at the point at which they first seek permission in this route.
Sole Representatives cannot be:
- an agent hired to market the business’s products in the UK (they are normally
- self-employed and provide services for a fee)
- a sales representative or buyer who only fulfils that role for the business:
- however, senior sales staff who are also responsible for other functions, for example, marketing and distribution, may qualify as a sole representatives of an overseas business
- a secretary or personal assistant accompanying a Sole Representative
What you can and cannot do as a Sole Representative?
- extend for another 2 years
- bring dependents (spouse and children under 18) to the UK
- apply for a UK settlement
- work for your employer, full time
YOU CAN NOT:
- work for yourself or any other business
Requirements for applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa:
- the sole representative of an overseas business planning to set up either a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary
- an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK
- have enough money to support yourself
- English requirement at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
How much does it cost to apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa?
The applicant need to pay the Application Fee and Healthcare surcharge.
£610 (if you are applying from outside the UK)
£704 (if you are applying from inside the UK)
Healthcare surcharge: £624 per year
After submitting your online application, normally you’ll get a decision within 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK.
Requirements for Sole representatives:
To apply as a sole representative, you must:
- be hired and employed by an active and trading business outside of the UK (whose headquarters and principal place of business are, and will remain, outside the UK)
- having the skills, experience, and expertise to specifically to undertake this role
- hold a senior position within the business (but do not own or control the majority of it) and able to make decisions on behalf of the company
- intend to create the overseas business’s first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary
About the Overseas business
The oversea business must meet the following requirements:
- must demonstrate the business is actively trading
- its Headquarter or registered office must be outside the UK
- the type of business must be the same as the intended branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK
- overseas business has no other branch, subsidiary or representatives in the UK
- must not intend to move the main centre of business to the UK or effectively cease trading outside the UK.
- must intend to operate a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK in the same business as the overseas business
Did you know?
As an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation, you can come to the UK if you’re being posted here on a long-term assignment.
Common FAQ about sole representative of an overseas business visa
Can an overseas sole representative be a shareholder?
According to the Home Office Guidelines for Representative of an Overseas Business, an overseas sole representative must not hold or control a majority stake in the overseas parent company. You can be shareholders, but at the time of application, you cannot own more than 50% of the available shares in the overseas head office.
What are the employment conditions for overseas sole representatives?
First, you must have the authority to establish and operate a branch or subsidiary in the UK and to make most key business decisions on behalf of the company in the UK. Second, you must work full-time for the branch. In addition, overseas sole representatives have no minimum salary limit and no benefit requirements, but their salary needs to match the status of senior employees.
What documents do I need to provide in support of my application?
If an applicant is seeking entry clearance or is switching into the route as a Sole Representative, they must supply from their employer:
- a full description of the overseas business’s activities, including details of the business’s assets, accounts and the business share distribution for the previous year
- a letter which confirms the overseas business will establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK in the same business
- a job description, salary and contract of employment of the applicant during their employment in the UK
- a letter which confirms the applicant has the skills, experience, and expertise to specifically to undertake this role
- a statement which confirms: applicant will be their Sole Representative in the UK; overseas business has no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK; overseas business’s operations will remain centred overseas