The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa is designed for non-EU businesses that would like one of their senior employees to set up and run a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary.

The employee will be regarded as the ‘sole representative’ of the business in the UK. Eligibility requirements will apply to both the business and the employee.


The Business

  • The overseas business must intend to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK that will operate in the same field as the overseas business
  • The business cannot have any pre-existing UK branches, subsidiaries, or representatives
  • The headquarters and main site of the business are outside the UK

The Employee

  • The employee has a senior role in the business and has strong expertise in their field
  • The employee has been employed for at least 6 months
  • The employee is not a majority shareholder in the business
  • The employee is able to speak English to at least the basic standard (A1)
Settling in the UK as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

This visa is initially granted for 3 years and can be extended by another 2 years. To extend the visa, the employee will need to demonstrate that they have established the branch and continue to work as a senior employee. They will also need to demonstrate that the overseas business still has its principal place of business outside the United Kingdom.

After the employee has been in the UK for 5 years they can apply for permission to settle permanently, subject to all requirements being satisfied. Alternatively, they can extend their visa multiple times.