Representative of an Overseas Business visa

The UK Expansion Worker Route Replaces the Sole Representative Visa. On the 11 April 2022 the UK expansion worker route replaces the sole representative visa.

Representative of an Overseas Business – your ultimate route to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company and expand your business on an international level. Eligibility for permanent residence in 5 years – citizenship in 6 years.


Representative of an Overseas Business is the most suitable route for companies to use when they wish to establish a commercial presence in the UK. The Representative of an Overseas Business visa, can be granted to individuals that hold a senior position within the company whose headquarters are outside the UK, when the company is planning to set up a representation in the UK, and where this individual is appointed the sole representative of this company in the UK, responsible for running the business. No investments are required for this type of visa, though there are a set of requirements to be met.


Initial Representative of an Overseas Business visa grants entry for 3 years which can be extended 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.



Eligibility Criteria (initial application):


This visa category is for those who hold a senior position in an overseas business and that company intends to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK.  


In order to meet the eligibility criteria, you should be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters are outside the UK. Further, you should hold a senior position within the company (but not be a majority shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf.


Further requirements include showing you have enough funds to maintain yourself in the UK and to have knowledge of the English Language. You must meet the English language requirement which requires applicants to have obtained at least CEFR Level A1 in speaking and listening.



You can:


  • Bring your dependent family members with you to the UK;
  • Apply to settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years;
  • Extend your visa multiple times.



You cannot:


  • 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.



Processing time:


  • The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel;
  • Priority Service may be available for entry clearance applications which should result in a decision within 10 – 15 days;
  • Standard processing times for entry clearance applications is approximately 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK. For applications submitted from within in the UK, processing time is currently approximately 8 – 12 weeks.


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