REPRESENTATIVE OF AN OVERSEAS BUSINESS
For people establishing their overseas company’s first representative office in the Isle of Man and UK
In this section
Representative of overseas business
A visa for those intending to be the first commercial representative of an overseas business in the Isle of Man and UK, for instance by establishing a wholly owned subsidiary or a branch of the overseas company
The Isle of Man offers many advantages as a first base for overseas companies requiring representation in the UK and Europe. This is typically by means of appointing a resident representative of their overseas business.
The Isle of Man is part of the same territory as the UK for customs and VAT purposes. As such, an Isle of Man company can efficiently import goods and benefit from low or zero corporate tax in the Isle of Man, with no need for goods to be brought physically to the Isle of Man.
A person coming to the Isle of Man as a first representative must be recruited and employed outside the Isle of Man and UK by a company based outside the Isle of Man and UK. The person must also have extensive industry experience and knowledge, and already hold a senior position within the company, with authority to make decisions on its behalf. However, the representative cannot be a major shareholder in the company.
Application under this category requires careful preparation of supporting documents from the overseas company, working with Kinley Legal, including financial projections and corporate data.
Due to the complicated documentation required, it is often worth assessing whether the representative route is best, or whether another route may be more appropriate.
Alternatives to this category can include the Worker route (including Intra-Company Transfer) and the British ancestry route. Kinley Legal can assess the circumstances of the business and the representative to ensure the most appropriate route is chosen.
How good does my English need to be?
You will need to demonstrate your English level in a way prescribed under the Immigration Rules, for instance by passing an IELTS Life Skills SELT test at CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening. Level A1 is a basic level of English, and if after five years you expect to seek Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you will need to demonstrate a higher standard of English, for instance by passing an IELTS Life Skills SELT test at CEFR level B1 in speaking and listening.
Can I bring my family?
Yes, this category allows a spouse or partner and minor children to move with the main applicant, and they can work, subject to work permits and conditions set out in the Immigration Rules. Older children may need to be considered as a separate case: Kinley Legal can advise on this.
Can I live in the UK on this visa?
This visa is based upon work in the Isle of Man, and you will need to be employed in and based in the Isle of Man. If your work requires you to travel, this is permitted. Provided that you comply with the conditions of the visa, the UK recognises the right of the holder to visit the UK.
Do I need a criminal record certificate to obtain this visa?
No, but you and your dependants will be required to disclose any criminal convictions as part of the visa application.
Do I need to pay NHS Surcharge?
No, there is no NHS Surcharge in the Isle of Man. This means that the costs of making an Isle of Man visa application are often considerably cheaper than in the UK.
Do I need a work permit in addition to my visa?
This type of visa does not automatically exempt the main applicant or dependants from the requirement to obtain an Isle of Man work permit. However, whether or not a work permit is required will depend on the job you intend to do, and your personal circumstances. Kinley Legal can help assess whether or not a work permit is required.
Do I need to spend all my time in the Isle of Man?
No, you can travel, but you will be expected to be employed and based in the Isle of Man throughout.
Can I work on this visa, other than for my main employer?
No. On this visa, you are not permitted to work except in representing the overseas business.
Does this category lead to ILR and British citizenship?
Representatives and their dependants may apply for ILR after five years, and for British citizenship after a further one year.
I applied for this visa, but have been refused. Can Kinley Legal help?
Yes, contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss your options. Unlike in the UK, in the Isle of Man applicants have a full right of appeal against immigration decisions, which means that if you have wrongly been refused, an appeal can often be heard by an independent immigration judge within weeks.