You can apply as a representative of an overseas business if you’re either:

  • the sole representative of an overseas business planning to set up either a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary
  • 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

If you apply from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

Example 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.

Find out about paying for a faster decision.

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 £610.

If you apply from inside the UK, you’ll need to pay:

  • £704 for the visa
  • £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken

Healthcare surcharge

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

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

You can:

You cannot:

  • 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