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Sole Representative of Overseas business visa

If you need high calibre immigration advice for your business, our team of top immigration lawyers is at your disposal

The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa ( known as a Sole Representative Visa) is designed for companies outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland wishing to send a person to the UK to set up a branch.

The UK remains one of the most coveted destinations for business purposes. It has a vibrant market, brilliant connections to the European and other overseas markets, low level of red tape and one of the most talent-filled skill markets in the world. It is, therefore, fully understandable why many businesses and businesspeople see the UK market as their way into international market.

This visa category has become more popular with overseas businesspeople, since the abolition of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. At RVS Solicitors, we have a team of top immigration lawyers that work with many high-net-worth individuals and senior business representatives who wish to establish a commercial foothold in the UK. We understand the challenges that you will face on this route and are able to make the expansion of your business as smooth and stress free as possible.

The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa allows the company’s nominated employee to reside and work in the UK for a period of three years.  Dependants can also come to the UK with the visa holder.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

At RVS Solicitors, we work with many high-net-worth individuals and senior business representatives who wish to establish a commercial foothold in the UK.  For high-net-worth individuals and those at the forefront of business leadership, time is a scarce commodity; you have enough to do managing your business interests and family life.  Clients engage us because we will take on their matters entirely, leaving them to concentrate on their lives, businesses, and families.

We are a modern, progressive, efficient, digitally based boutique law firm that gets positive results, while respecting our client’s valuable time.  Where we differ from most traditional law firms is that we tailor our services to your immigration law needs.  Not only do we provide a bespoke service, we care for the lives of our clients, and their families, and we do everything we can to make the process as easy as possible.  To this end, you will have our direct contact information, and we will always make ourselves available to speak to you, if you have a question, would like an update, or would like to discuss any other matter.

There are several criteria that must be met to apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.

  • These visas are only open to those outside of the EEA and Switzerland, those with sufficient funds to support themselves and their family, and those who meet the English language requirements.
  • The company who has recruited or employs the sole representative must have its headquarters outside of the UK, and intend to establish their first business presence in Britain as a registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary. This means that if the company already has a presence in the UK, this route cannot be met. If you have been previously trading in the UK, but are not sure whether this constitutes as previous presence, call us on +44 20 3372 5125 for an obligation free conversation with one of our friendly business immigration lawyers.
  • The business must not intend to move fully to the UK and must keep its centre of operations outside of the UK.
  • The sole representative themselves must be highly experienced in and have considerable knowledge of the specific industry in which the business operates.  They must also be in a senior position, have full authority to make commercial decisions, and cannot be a major shareholder.

The application process for a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is completed online.  The most time-consuming element of the application is the collation and preparation of the required documents and evidence that must accompany your application.  We will complete this task for you as much as possible by liaising directly with your nominated advisor/s.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will require you to submit the following documents and information to support your application:

  • Your passport or other valid travel identification
  • Evidence that you can support yourself and any dependants during your trip, e.g. bank statements or payslips for the last six months
  • Details of where you’ll be staying during your stay
  • Proof that you meet the English requirement
  • Your clear tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  • A full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts
  • A letter confirming the overseas company will establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK in the same business sector as the parent company
  • Your job description, employment contract and salary details
  • A letter confirming you’re familiar with the company and have the power to take operational decisions
  • You should also provide evidence that you:
  • Are directly employed by the parent company
  • Were recruited to the company outside of the UK
  • Hold a senior position and are able to make decisions on its behalf
  • Have the authority to establish and operate a registered branch
  • Will work full time for the company for the duration of your stay
  • Are not a majority shareholder in the organisation

In most cases a business plan will also need to be provided.

You will also be asked to provide biometric fingerprints and photographs – both can be completed at your local visa application centre.  Applicants and their dependent family members also need to pay the Healthcare Surcharge when making their initial application.

You can apply to extend a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa for two years after your initial three-year stay.  To be eligible, you must show:

  • you are still working for the same employer
  • you are still establishing your company’s presence in the UK
  • your employer’s main place of business is still outside the UK

After your two-year extension period, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.  Our team will assist you and your family with making an application for settlement.  We understand how much you would have invested into your life in Britain.  Our top business immigration lawyers are highly experienced in Sole Representative visa applications at all states, you can be confident our advice will leave you in a position where an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain goes through quickly and smoothly.

To find out more about how we can assist you with Sole Representative visa, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 to make an appointment. 

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