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Immigration Office:
17 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1BN

Representatives of Overseas Businesses

This visa category has been introduced for those intending to come to the UK to establish a branch of subsidiary of a company based abroad or representatives of foreign media organisations being posted to the UK with a view to stay for a long-term assignment.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. An applicant must either be:
  • An overseas media employee employed by an foreign newspaper, news agency or broadcasting company posted on a long-term assignment in the UK.
  • The sole representative in the UK of an employer based abroad who intends to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK.
  1. The employer must have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
  2. Where the applicant is seeking entry as a sole representative, the company has no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK. On the other hand, if the company is a media company, it can have more than one representative in the UK at the same time.
  3. All applicants must meet the basic standard in English Language.

Sole Representative

In order to apply under this category, both the applicant and his employer must meet certain requirements:

For the applicant must:

  1. Be an employee of the company abroad
  2. Intend to undertake full time employment in the same company when in the UK.
  3. Not undertake any other employment regardless whether this employment is part-time.
  4. Be applying as a sole-representative of the parent company based abroad.
  5. Not hold more than 50% of shares of the parent company based abroad.
  6. Hold a senior position within the company.
  7. Have every permission to act and make decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK.
  8. Submit documentary evidence proving that the applicant will maintain and accommodate himself and any dependants throughout the duration of his stay in the UK.
  9. Must have the required level of English Language proficiency.

The employer must have:

  1. Its headquarters and principal place of business in the UK
  2. No presence in the UK (branch, subsidiary or prior representative)

Important notes to consider when applying:

  • A sole representative must not be an agent engaged to market the company’s products in the UK. The role does not include sales representative roles or someone acting as a buyer. However, senior sales staff responsible for marketing and distribution may qualify as a representative of an overseas business.

Visa duration

Two years

Can the applicant’s dependants apply? Yes
Work and study permitted? Yes, both are allowed but only as the sole representative of the company.
Is switching into this category allowed? No
Does this category lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain? Yes
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