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Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

Posted by on March 27, 2020




This category is for businesses located overseas intending to send a senior employee to the UK to establish a branch or wholly owned subsidiary in the UK.


For initial applications, applicants will need to demonstrate that the overseas company:

  • Is a genuine business currently trading
  • Has no other branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK
  • Intends to establish a branch or whole owned subsidiary in the UK whilst ensuring that the centre of its operations and principle place of business remains overseas

Applicants will personally need to demonstrate that they:

  • Are employed by the overseas company, holding a senior position with full authority to make decisions on behalf of the company (but not be a majority shareholder)
  • have extensive related industry experience and knowledge
  • intend to work full-time for the organisation
  • not intend to take any other employment other than for the business
  • can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds
  • meet the required standard in English language

If your initial application is successful, you will be granted leave to enter and remain for up to 3 years. Before your visa expires, you will need to submit an extension application.


To qualify for an extension within this category, the following requirements must be met.

The overseas business must:

  • Continue to have its headquarters and principle place of business outside the UK
  • Show that the business is continuing to trade
  • Be involved in the same business sector as of the branch/wholly owned subsidiary in the UK
  • Certify that the sole representative continues to be required for employment in the UK

The individual applicant will need to:

  • Provide evidence that they have established the business in the UK by providing either:
    • a certificate of registration, for a branch or
    • If a wholly owned subsidiary then a certificate of incorporation and either a share register or a letter from the company’s accountant, confirming that all shares are held by the parent company
  • Demonstrate that they have managed to secure business with UK based firms since being appointed as a sole representative (through company accounts, invoices, reference letter etc.)
  • Remain employed on a full-time basis as a senior employee and continue to have full authority to make decisions on behalf of overseas business in the UK
  • Provide evidence that they have been in receipt of a salary in the 12 months prior to the extension application
  • Show that they can continue to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds


After completing 5 years of lawful, continuous residence in the UK as a Representative of an Overseas Business. Applicants will need to continue meeting the requirement set out above for the extension application and in addition will need to:

  • have sufficient knowledge of the English resides in the UK
  • not have absences from the UK of more than 180 days in any of the five years prior to to the date of the settlement application


The exact requirements and documents required for each application will vary depending on each applicant’s circumstances.

Our experienced lawyers can help applicants, family members or dependants to:


  • Make an initial application under the overseas business representative category
  • Prepare a detailed and thorough business plan including financial forecast
  • Prepare you for interview
  • Make an extension application
  • Make a settlement application; or
  • Challenge decisions by way of Administrative Review or other appeal processes

We will assist by:

  • obtaining the complete facts of a case
  • collecting relevant documents
  • advising the best solutions
  • using our expertise to undertake one-to-one interview preparation
  • preparing the application (including completion of forms)
  • preparing covering submissions
  • submitting the application(s) to the relevant authority
  • communicating with the relevant authority until a decision is made
  • advising about rights and entitlements following a decision an application
  • providing follow up support and services


DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team will advise, prepare and submit high-quality visa applications for applicants and their dependent family members. Contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail