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Overseas Business Representative Visa


This page is now only relevant to individuals who hold the Overseas Business Representative visa who will be applying for indefinite leave to remain.

If you are an overseas business and wish to establish operations in the UK and have no presence here, you can do so by sending a senior employee to open an office.

Once the operation is established it should be possible for your business to bring in overseas personnel through the Skilled Worker Sponsorship Scheme under the Points Based System.

Your business can then expand its operations into the UK by transferring or recruiting personnel directly. Getting through the legal process seamlessly will be imperative to avoid delay and to meet your business’ objective promptly.

RLegal have extensive experience of assisting businesses to commence operations in the UK and then proceeding to assisting with Skilled Worker Sponsorship and the transfer or recruitment of personnel.

For more information, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980 where you can talk to one of our team, email us at or complete our online enquiry form

Alternatively click on the links below for frequently asked questions.


The requirements to be met by a sole representative are that he:


- has been recruited as an employee outside the UK as a representative of a company which has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK and which has no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK;


- is a senior employee with full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas firm as its representative in the UK;


- will establish a branch or wholly owned subsidiary of the overseas firm;


- will be employed full time as a representative of the overseas firm;


- does not intend to take any other employment;


- is not a majority shareholder in the company;


- can demonstrate competence in the English language to a specified standard; and


- he will not be reliant upon public funds.

Applications to enter the UK as a sole representative should normally be made at the nearest British diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of usual residence.


The Entry Clearance Officer will require detailed evidence regarding the applicant’s intention to set up a UK branch or subsidiary. Such evidence would normally take the form of a business plan, company accounts, etc.


In addition, it is necessary to provide two statements; one from the parent company confirming that the applicant will be its sole representative in the UK; the second from the applicant himself confirming that he will not engage in business of his own account and will not represent any other company’s business.


Applicants for an Overseas Business Representative visa were required to pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £624 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.

A sole representative will normally be granted entry to the UK for up to 36 months.


It is possible to extend this leave providing that a UK branch or subsidiary has been established and the overseas company has not transferred its principal place of business to the UK.

After five years of continuous employment in the UK, sole representatives may apply for indefinite leave to remain.


Once granted, this allows individuals to remain in the UK indefinitely and to switch jobs freely, without the need to obtain further approval from the Home Office.

The spouse and any unmarried children under 18 of a sole representative may accompany him to the UK.


However, they must obtain entry clearance from the relevant British diplomatic post before they travel. They will be allowed to remain in the UK for the same period as the sole representative and will also be granted any extensions or indefinite leave to remain in line. They may work in the UK if no special restrictions have been placed on their stay.


Each dependant of an Overseas Business Representative visa were required to pay an 'NHS surcharge' fee in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.

- Comprehensive legal advice


- Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements


- Assistance with compiling the evidence required for this category


- Completion and submission of all forms


- Booking a biometric appointment


- Ongoing liaison with the authorities where possible.


To find out more about our Overseas Business Representative visa services, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980, email us at or use our online form.

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