1. Overview

You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’re either:

  • the sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company
  • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK

You must also meet the other eligibility requirements.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before you travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

A Representative of an Overseas Business visa costs £535.

An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation costs £535.

You must pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can come to 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 can’t do

You can:

  • work for your employer, full time
  • bring your family (‘dependants’) with you to the UK
  • extend your visa multiple times
  • apply to settle in the UK after you’ve been here for 5 years
  • stay in the UK if your company’s circumstances change and you’ve been here for more than 2 years (eg if they appoint a superior in the UK)

You can’t:

  • work for yourself or any other business
  • stay in the UK if the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer
  • switch to this visa from any other visa category
  • get public funds