Representative of an Overseas Business or Sole Representative Visa
The sole representative provisions of the Representative of an Overseas Business route closed to new entrants from 11 April 2022. Those who already hold permission to stay under this route can apply to extend their stay or apply for settlement.
What is the Representative of an Overseas Business Route?
The Representative of an Overseas Business visa allowed a sole representative of an overseas company to come to the UK to establish and run a UK branch or subsidiary. The route is also known as the Sole Representative visa.
There is also provision in the Representative of an Overseas Business route for employees in the media and information in relation to that category can be found here.
Here we focus on the business route which was closed to new entrants from 11 April 2022. Those who would have previously used this route may be able to apply under the Global Business Mobility UK Expansion Worker route, which was introduced in part to replace the Representative of an Overseas Business route.
Individuals who are already in the UK with permission to stay as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business can continue to live in the UK on this route, subject to meeting the requirements, and may apply to extend their stay and settle in the UK.
Representative of an Overseas Business Visa: extension applications
In order to qualify for an extension as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:
- be employed by a company which is active and trading outside the UK, with its principal place of business remaining outside of the UK;
- works full time for the overseas business and does not undertake other work;
- is a genuine Representative of an Overseas Business;
- is a senior employee and continues to have the skills, experience, and knowledge of the business necessary for the role;
- does not have a majority stake or majority control of the overseas business;
- has established the UK branch of the overseas business since their last grant of permission;
- is required by their employer to continue their role;
- has sufficient funds to support themselves; and
- meets the required level of English language ability.
An applicant will have initially been granted permission to stay for three years. This can be extended for a further two years.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made once an applicant has held leave as a Representative of an Overseas Business for a period of five years. In order to be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, an applicant must demonstrate that:
- they have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK and during this time they have not breached any UK immigration laws;
- they are still required for the employment in question, as certified by the employer;
- they continue to meet the requirements of a Representative of an Overseas Business;
- they meet the requirements in relation to absences;
- they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test; and
- they do not fall for refusal under the general ground for refusal.
Representative of an Overseas Business visa applications: How we can help
The Home Office will carefully scrutinise applications for permission to stay and Indefinite Leave to Remain on the Representative of an Overseas Business route. If it does not consider that the applicant has the relevant knowledge and experience, or if it considers that any of the other requirements have not been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that the application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing Representative of an Overseas Business visa applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
For further advice, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.
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