Sole Representatives of Overseas Businesses

You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you’re either

  • the sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary, or
  • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK

To be eligible for a visa as the sole representative of an overseas company you must be a senior employee of the company overseas.  Any shareholding must be less than 50%, and ideally less than 30%.  The overseas company must have a clear plan and explanation for the setting up of a branch or subsidiary in the UK which will operate in the same field as the parent company overseas.  A business plan will generally be the best means of demonstrating this.

From 4 June 2020, sole representative applicants will need to meet additional requirements, including a ‘genuineness assessment’ and a requirement that the applicant must have ‘relevant skills, experience and knowledge of the business’. Further, if an applicant has a majority stake in the overseas business, it is no longer possible for them to apply as a dependant to join a partner who was granted leave as a sole representative of that business.

We can advise you in more detail of the requirements for this visa and thereafter advise on the documents required to support your visa application.

The sole representative visa can allow you to be accompanied or joined by your immediate family and we can also advise on the requirements which they will have to meet.

Once you are resident in the UK we can assist with further applications, through to permanent residence after five years.