Representative of an Overseas Business: What does it entail?

Under paragraph 144 of the Immigration Rules, you can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa (also known as Sole Representative visa) if you are a non- EEA national, and the overseas company, which is currently employing you, is planning to establish a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary in the UK.

The applicant must also:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK, and will continue to remain outside the UK;
  • have extensive related industry experience and knowledge;
  • hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf;
  • intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, for example a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary.
  • there is no active branch, subsidiary or other representatives already present in the UK.


Eligibility for the Sole Representative visa

  • An entry clearance is mandatory;
  • You have sufficient funds to support and maintain yourself and your family without help from public funds;
  • You meet the English requirement- 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, or you are a national of a majority English speaking country;
  • Your tuberculosis test (TB test) results if you are resident in a country listed under Appendix T of the Immigration Rules;
  • Documents pertaining to the parent company’s activities and financial standing;
  • Job description.


Please note that you need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not already in English or Welsh.

How long is it normally granted for?

Leave to enter of a sole representative visa is granted for 3 years, and it can be extended for another 2 years.

How much does it cost?

The application fees for a sole representative visa are £610, you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £400 per year and £220 to have the processing of the application expedited.

Indefinite leave to remain

To meet the criteria of Indefinite Leave to Remain, the migrant:

  • Has spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a representative of an overseas business or in one of the predecessor categories of overseas media representative or sole representative
  • Evidence of employment for the last 5 years
  • English language test- CEFR Level B1
  • Life in the UK test
  • Evidence that the UK entity has been trading


Please note that migrants must not be in breach of immigration laws, except that any period of overstaying allowed under the Immigration Rules will be disregarded.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Sole Representative visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.


The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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