For overseas businesses looking to expand their business and send employees to the UK, there are many visa options to consider. Your choice will be determined by a number of factors, including the role of the employee, the nature of the activity, the time they plan to spend in the UK and the status of the company's operations in the UK.

Since overseas businesses are not allowed to sponsor workers in the UK, the Sole Representative Visa is used by foreign companies to send a single employee to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary.

There are many advantages to the Sole Representative Visa making it a desirable entry route, but the eligibility requirements are strict, and place heavy restrictions on the nominated individual and the type of activity that can be carried out when in the UK.

What are the requirements to apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa?

To be eligible for this visa you must:

  • have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds;
  • meet the English requirement.

To apply as a sole representative you must:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by an active and trading business (whose headquarters and principal place of business are, and will remain, outside the UK);
  • have the skills, experience and knowledge to do the role;
  • hold a senior position within the business (but do not own or control the majority of it) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf;
  • intend to establish the overseas business's first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary.

You may also be eligible if the business has a legal entity in the UK that does not employ staff or does any business. If your employer has been working to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but it is not yet set up, you can replace a previous sole representative.

You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.