Representative of an overseas business


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.

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.

Please read the full guidance on the Tier 4 (Child) student visa.


You can:

  • apply from outside the EEA;
  • have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds;
  • meet the English requirements.

Sole Representatives

  • If you are coming to the UK as a sole representative you must:
  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK;
  • 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 its behalf;
  • intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, eg a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary.

You may also be eligible if the company has a legal entity in the UK that doesn’t employ staff or transact business.
If your company has been working to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but it is not yet set up, you can replace a previous sole representative.

Newspaper, news agency or broadcast employees
As an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation, you can come to the UK if you’re being posted here on a long-term assignment.

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