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 £514.

An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation costs £514.

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

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