In contrast to the high cost thresholds for Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur Visas, a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa can often be described as a quick immigration path with zero cost. However requirements for this type of visa are still high in relation to the applicant's qualifications and their position in their business hierarchy. As such, certain conditions must be met before you are eligible to apply.
The original visa duration is 3 years, after which it can be extended for a further 2 years. Once you have been in the UK for 5 years and have an ongoing job with the same company, you may apply to settle in the UK.
To be eligible for this visa you must:
- apply for the visa from outside the EEA
- have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds
- be able to prove your knowledge of the English language equivalent to the standard of CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
- be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK
- have extensive industry related experience and knowledge
- hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder)
- intend to establish the company's first commercial presence in the UK e.g. a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary
You may also be eligible if the company has legal entity in the UK that doesn't employ staff or transact business.
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.