Sole Representative of Overseas Business Visa

You can apply for a sole representative visa UK to come to live and work in the UK if you have a business outside the UK and wish to set up a branch office in the UK. These applications are complex in nature and they require thorough preparation and extensive documentation is required to be submitted, not only in respect of the business outside the UK, but also in respect of the branch  you intend to set up in the UK.

To establish a branch office in the sole representative visa UK, you must satisfy the following criteria:

Your main head office must be outside the UK and you must apply for entry clearance from outside the EEA/UK. You must have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds and must meet the English language requirement by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree
  • - being a national of an English speaking country

If you are coming to the UK as the sole representative of the overseas business you must be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the  UK and that you have extensive related industry experience and knowledge. You must hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf. Your intention must be to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, for example a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary company and you must intend to work full time in this position only.


How long you can stay:

You can come to the UK for an initial period of 3 years and then extend your visa for another 2 years. After you have been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK, providing you meet the relevant requirements.

Under this category you can also bring members of your family (‘dependants’) with you to the UK and they are entitled to work and/or study. You can bring your dependent partner/spouse as long as they don't own or control the majority of overseas business. In addition, the Home office have introduced the genuineness test to ensure whether you genuinely intend to establish a branch of overseas business in the UK.  The Home Office may invite you to the interview to establish this. 


Newspaper, News Agency Or Broadcast Employees
As an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organization, you can come to the UK if you are being offered work here on a long-term assignment. You may also need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

We are specialists in advising  in respect of opening and registering the  branch office in the  UK and on advising what documentation will be required for under this category.  The advice would include the legal criteria which must be complied with under the UK immigration rules; required documentary evidence and guidance on the business plan. We will prepare detailed representations, complete the online application form, assist with the preparation and submission of the application and prepare and guide you for the interview with the UKVI representative.