The Sole Representative Visa was closed for new applications on 11 April 2022. The visa was replaced with the UK Expansion Worker Visa.
The Representative of an Overseas Business visa, or Sole Representative visa as it is also known, is a very advantageous and popular immigration route. The main advantage of this route is that it may eventually lead to settlement in the UK. The applicant can also enter the UK with his/her dependents.
Applicants need to obtain entry clearance from outside of the UK before travelling to the UK. However, an applicant might be able to switch to this immigration category if already in the UK, but switching from certain types of visa’s are not allowed.
How to qualify
It is possible to apply if you are either:
The Sole Representative of an Overseas Business
- You have to be recruited and employed outside the UK.
- The employer must be an active and trading business, with its main headquarters outside the UK and remaining outside the UK.
- The employee has to have the experience, skills and knowledge for the position.
- It must be a senior position within the business, and the employee must have the full authority to make decisions on behalf of the business. However, the employee cannot be a majority shareholder or otherwise own or control the overseas business.
An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.
- The posting to the UK must be a long-term assignment.
Both categories have to meet both the English Language requirement and the Maintenance requirement.
Length of Stay
The Representative of an Overseas Business visa is valid for three years. The applicant can then apply to extend the visa for another two years.
After spending five years on this visa, the applicant should qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, given that the applicant still adheres to certain requirements
Spouses and Dependants
Your spouse or partner and children under 18 years can apply to accompany you to the UK.
Your spouse or partner will not be able to accompany you if they own or control the majority of the overseas business you will be representing.
Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for specific advice relating to your family members that want to accompany you.
Right to Work
The Representative of an Overseas Business visa holder can work for the employer on a full-time basis.
You cannot work for another business or work on a self-employed basis.
Immigration Health Surcharge
The applicant has to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of his/her application.
If any dependents are applying to accompany the main visa holder, they also have to pay the surcharge as part of their application.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
One of the advantages of the Representative of an Overseas Business visa is that it leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
After spending five years on this visa, you should qualify to apply for ILR.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs have a dedicated and highly experienced team of experts dealing with business visas, such as the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to start your application.