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Is the Sole Representative visa losing popularity?

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

Based on the Home Office’s most recent Immigration Statistics (published on 27 May 2021), 122,512 work-related visas were granted in the year ending March 2021, 37% fewer than the previous year. Such work-related visas include visas granted under the Representative of an Overseas business category.

Significant amendments to the Representative of an Overseas Business category were made in June 2020, which may explain the potential decline in the popularity of this visa route.

Perhaps most noteworthy were changes to the effect that neither the main applicant nor their dependant partner, individually or combined, can own a controlling stake in the overseas business and apply together under the route. In this way, the Representative of an Overseas Business category became an unviable option for small, family run businesses, looking to establish a presence in the UK.

However, the Representative of an Overseas Business category still retains several distinct advantages. These include the fact that just one employee of the foreign company will suffice to open an office in the UK, meaning that there is no large initial investment commitment for the overseas company, the fact that the route is capable of leading to UK permanent residence and British citizenship, and that it requires a lower level of English language proficiency (A1) for the initial application. Accordingly, for the appropriate candidate, the Representative of an Overseas Business category can still be an efficient pathway to UK relocation.

The Corporate Immigration Team at Gherson has a wealth of experience in dealing with Representative of an Overseas Business applications and would be delighted to hear from you if you require any assistance. Please send us an: e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2021


Lisa Uttley 

  Lisa Uttley

  Solicitor in our General Immigration Department

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