Representative of an Overseas Business (ROB) Visa.

Our expert Immigration team assist our clients to enter the UK in several ways: Whether you want to start up a business in the UK, invest in a UK company, visit relatives & loved ones, work as a skilled worker or study as a student, we can help secure your entry into the UK.

Representative of an Overseas Business (ROB) Visa

The ROB visa, also commonly known as the Sole Representative Visa, is a business visa that allows an overseas business to set up either a UK branch or subsidiary. In this post, we will look at the key requirements for the ROB visa and common reasons for refusal.

Overseas Business

In order to qualify for the ROB visa, the overseas business must:

  • Intend to set up a branch office in the UK to trade from
  • Continue to have its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
  • Not already have any active branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK.

Senior Employee (The Representative)

The UK subsidiary and wholly-owned branch must not be established solely for the purpose of facilitating the entry and stay of the applicant but must be for the genuine promotion of business in the UK. You will need to demonstrate that the applicant:

  • Has been recruited and taken on as an employee outside the UK.
  • Is an existing senior employee of an active and trading overseas business.
  • Intends to be employed full time as a representative of that business and will not engage in business of their own or represent any other business’s interests in the UK.
  • Will establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas business as the overseas business’s representative.
  • Will be the sole representative of the overseas business present in the UK.
  • Is skilled, experienced and knowledgeable of the business necessary to undertake the role.
  • Has full authority to negotiate and take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business.
  • Does not have a majority stake in, or otherwise own or control, the overseas business, whether that ownership or control is by means of a shareholding partnership agreement, sole proprietorship or any other arrangement.
  • Meets the English Language requirement.
  • Is able to adequately maintain and accommodate themselves and their dependants in the UK without access to public funds.

Common Reasons for Refusal

Although the above requirements may seem straight forward at first glance, the ROB visa is a document-heavy application. Therefore, it is crucial for the applicant and the overseas business to provide the correct documents and meet the eligibility requirements. The documents required will vary from business to business and expert advice is required.

Below, we have listed common reasons why the ROB visa may be refused:

  • Failure to provide the requested information/ documentation.
  • Failure to attend the Home Office interview.
  • The overseas business is already present and trading in the UK.
  • The applicant is engaged in business of their own.
  • The applicant is not genuine or is complicit in taking the role as the overseas business’s representative primarily as a means to obtain permission to enter the UK.
  • The applicant is a majority shareholder in the overseas business or has majority control over the business.
  • The applicant does not have the skills, experience or knowledge to set up a branch or subsidiary in the UK.
  • The overseas business intends to move the main centre of business to the UK and effectively cease trading outside the UK.

Contact our Immigration Specialists

If you require expert advice regarding the BN(O) visa, contact our Immigration Specialists in London on +4420 3588 3500 or complete our enquiry form below.