You can apply as a representative of an overseas business if you’re either:
-the sole representative of an overseas business planning to set up either a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary
-an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK
You must also meet the other eligibility requirements.
How long it will take
If you apply from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
How long you can stay
The visa lets you stay in the UK for an initial period of 3 years.
You may be able to extend your visa for another 2 years.
After you’ve been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK.
What you can and cannot do
-work for your employer, full time
-bring your family (‘dependants’) with you to the UK
-apply to extend your visa
-apply to settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years
-work for yourself or any other business
-stay in the UK if the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer
-switch to this visa from any other visa category
-get public funds
To be eligible for this visa you must:
-have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds
-meet the English requirement
To apply as a sole representative you must:
-be recruited and employed outside the UK by an active and trading business (whose headquarters and principal place of business are, and will remain, outside the UK)
-have the skills, experience and knowledge to do the role
-hold a senior position within the business (but do not own or control the majority of it) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf
-intend to establish the overseas business’s first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary
You may also be eligible if the business has a legal entity in the UK that does not employ staff or do any business.
If your employer has been working to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but it is not yet set up, you can replace a previous sole representative.
Newspaper, news agency or broadcast employees
As an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation, you can come to the UK if you’re being posted here on a long-term assignment.
Knowledge of English
You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.
You can prove your knowledge of English by either:
-passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
-having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa.
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:
-your husband, wife or partner
-your child under 18
Your husband, wife or partner cannot come to the UK as your dependant if they own or control a majority of the overseas business you will be representing.
Dependants applying from outside the UK
Your family members must apply online.
They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.
They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in – check with the visa application centre.
Dependants applying from inside the UK
Your partner or children can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. They must apply online.
They can either apply:
-at the same time as you
-at any time before their current visa expires
Members of your family cannot apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.