UK Sole Representative of an overseas business visa

Section Menu

show hide

This visa is designed primarily to allow senior executives and managers of an overseas company to enter the UK in order to set up the company's first UK office, branch, or subsidiary.

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa can also be used by overseas journalists who are posted on long-term assignment to the UK.

Length of stay

This visa is valid for an initial period of 3 years, and can be extended for another 2 years. This visa can then be repeatedly extended, for a further 2 year period each time.

After 5 years visa holders can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

Eligibility requirements

Applicants for the Representative of an Overseas Business visa must meet several eligibility requirements for their visa to be granted. All applicants must:

  • Meet the English Language requirement, this means either:

    • Scoring at least A1 in English on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), tested by an approved English language test provider

    • Having a university level qualification which was taught in English; this must be equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, and recognised by UK NARIC

Nationals of the following countries do not need to meet the English language requirement:

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Australia

  • the Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belize

  • Canada

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Guyana

  • Jamaica

  • New Zealand

  • St Kitts and Nevis

  • St Lucia

  • St Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • USA

Business representatives applying for this visa must also meet the following conditions:

  • Already be employed overseas by a company based outside of the UK

  • Have appropriate industry knowledge and experience to fulfil their role in the UK

  • Be a senior employee of the overseas company (such as a manager or executive) but not a major shareholder

  • Be travelling to the UK in order to establish the company's first UK office, branch, or subsidiary

    Journalists applying for this visa must be genuinely employed by an overseas news agency or broadcaster. Apart from the English language requirement, journalists do not need to meet any other eligibility requirements.


    Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa applicants must supply several documents with their application. These include:

    • Current passport and/or other travel documents

    • A separate passport photograph, with the applicant's name on the back

    • Proof of maintenance funds for themselves and any family members

    • Details of where they will be living in the UK

    • Proof that they meet the English language requirement detailed above

    • A clear tuberculosis (TB) test result letter, if the applicant is from one of the countries on the Home Office's TB testing list.

    Further information, help, and advice has been in the immigration services business for thirty years, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. and its associated companies are acting under Section 84 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at