You can apply as a representative of an overseas business if you’re an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.
If you’re a representative of an overseas business planning to set up its first UK branch, apply for a UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) instead.
You must also meet the other eligibility requirements.
If you’re already in the UK as a sole representative, you can still apply to extend your stay.
How long it will take
If you apply from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
You can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
If you apply from inside the UK
You will get a decision within 8 weeks.
UKVI will contact you if your application will take longer, for example:
- if your supporting documents need to be verified
- if you need to attend an interview
- because of your personal circumstances (for example, if you have a criminal conviction)
Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expires.
If you apply from outside the UK, a Representative of an Overseas Business visa costs £625.
If you apply from inside the UK, the visa costs £719. You’ll also need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken - there’s no fee for this.
How long you can stay
The visa lets you stay in the UK for an initial period of 3 years.
You may be able to extend your visa 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.
What you can and cannot do
- work for your employer, full time
- bring your family (‘dependants’) with you to the UK
- apply to extend your visa
- apply to settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years
- switch to this visa from inside the UK
- work for yourself or any other business
- get public funds