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Sole representatives of overseas companies

Sole representatives of overseas companies

Overseas businesses which intend to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary active in the same type of business as the holding company may establish a commercial presence in the UK by sending their long term representative here.

The employer must have its principal place of business outside the UK, and the company should have no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK.

The representative should meet the following requirements:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by the employer they intend to represent in the UK;
  • intend to work full-time for the organisation;
  • not intend to take any other employment;
  • not be a majority shareholder in that overseas business;
  • be a senior employee of the overseas company;
  • have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK obtain entry clearance in this category before arrival in the UK and present it to an border force officer on arrival;
  • provide evidence that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without needing to use public funds;
  • meet the required standard in the English language.

Sole representatives are normally admitted to the UK for an initial period of three years and can extend their stay in country.  They are eligible for settlement after five years of continuous residence in the UK.

Once a branch of business is established in the UK, the company may apply for a sponsorship licence if they require bringing further employees from overseas.  Further applications are made under Tier 2 intra-company transfer or Tier 2 General route.

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