Sun | Mar 7, 2021

Immigration Corner | How to applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa

Published:Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | 12:18 AM
John Bassie
John Bassie

Dear Mr Bassie,

I represent a business outside of the United Kingdom and I would like to go there in this capacity. I would like to know what type of visa I should apply for.


Dear AP,

Persons can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa. To be eligible for this visa, persons must apply from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), meet the English requirement and have enough money to support themselves without help from public funds.

If persons are going to the United Kingdom as a sole representative they must:

• Be recruited and employed outside the United Kingdom by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside of the United Kingdom

• Have extensive related industry experience and knowledge

• Hold a senior position within the company, but not be a major shareholder, and have full authority to make decisions on the company’s behalf

• Intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the United Kingdom, for example, a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Persons may also be eligible if the company has a legal entity in the United Kingdom that does not employ staff or transact business.

Please note that if your company has been working to establish a United Kingdom branch or subsidiary, but it is not yet set up, persons can replace a previous sole representative.

When applying as a sole representative of an overseas company, persons will need to provide

• A full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts.

• A letter confirming the overseas company will establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the United Kingdom in the same business activity as the parent company.

• His/her job description, employment contract and salary details

• A letter from the company confirming the applicant is familiar with the company and he/she has the power to take operational decisions.

Persons should also provide evidence that they:

• Are directly employed by the parent company and are not acting as a sales agent, i.e., hired by a company to sell or distribute their products within the United Kingdom but working for themselves and providing their services for a fee.

• Were recruited to the company outside of the United Kingdom, hold a senior position and can make decisions on its behalf and have the authority to establish and operate a registered branch

• Will be working full time for the company for the duration of the stay and will not carry out any other work

• Are not majority shareholders in the company

Persons must apply online for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa. They will need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a Visa Application Centre as part of the application. They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they are in. They should check with the visa application centre. Just for completeness, persons can only extend their existing visa if they are already in the United Kingdom.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: