The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is aimed at overseas companies intending on setting up their business in the UK. This visa allows those companies, which do not already have an active presence in the UK, to send a sole representative for this purpose.
Who to send?
The first question to ask is, who to send? This is primarily a question for the business as they may want to send someone who is capable in setting up the business for them in the UK. However, the visa requirements expressly require this individual to have:
Overseas Companies should however note that the sole representative cannot be an agent who has been hired as a consultant to market the company’s services, neither can they be sales representative as the purpose of this representative is to have broader responsibility in setting up the business.
How many representatives can you send?
The route only allows one individual on this visa, but once the company is set up, the individual can then obtain a Tier 2 sponsor licence to sponsor further employees of the overseas company.
It is important to note that if during the course of this visa, the individual is no longer the sole representative, he should switch to a Tier 2 visa, provided the company has a sponsorship licence.
Can you send a shareholder?
This route is not for majority shareholder of a company, and the Home Office guidance says that applications from shareholders who own more than 50 percent of the company will be rejected.