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Category: Immigration


Published: 20 July 2020

Sole representative visa

You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’re either:

  • 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

You must also meet the other eligibility requirements.

In order to qualify for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that your overseas company:

  • Is an active and trading business;
  • Has and will continue to have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the United Kingdom;
  • Has no branch, subsidiary or another representative in the UK;
  • Intends to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK,
  • The said branch or subsidiary will actively trade in the same type of business as the overseas business;
  • Intends to maintain the centre of its operations overseas.

You will also need to demonstrate that you genuinely:

  • Have been recruited and employed outside the UK,
  • have the skills, experience and knowledge to do the role,
  • hold a senior position within the business and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf,
  • intend to establish the overseas business’ first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary,
  • Intend to be employed full-time as a representative of the overseas business;
  • Will not engage in business of your own or represent any other business’ interest in the United Kingdom;
  • Do not have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, that overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding, partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement;
  • Are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level A1 (speaking and listening);
  • Can maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependents.

For a parent company to satisfy the requirements of the representative of an overseas business visa category it must be a genuine commercial enterprise with its principal place of business outside the UK.   

There are 2 types of job in this category that a person can apply to enter the UK to do, an applicant must either be an overseas media employee or applying to be the sole representative in the UK of an active and trading overseas business.

The sole representative must be an employee subject to an employment contract and the terms and conditions of your employment in the UK must comply with UK law. You will be expected to provide the terms of your employment, payslips, bank statement and tenancy agreement or title deed to confirm where you will be living in the UK. 

You must also provide evidence that you can maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds. 

You will need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply by either passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening or having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

If you are successful, you will be granted an initial visa for a period of 3 years and may be able to extend your leave for another 2 years. After you’ve been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK.

Your family members can come with you when you travel to the UK on this visa.  

Contact our Immigration Solicitors

If you require assistance with your visa application, get in touch with our team of immigration solicitors for advice today. Call us on 0141 375 9090 or complete our online contact form.

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