Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in the UK

Tier 1 Entrepreneur category of the Points Based System is for individuals investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom.
The route is for applicants who have a business idea or would like to take over/join a business. The successful applicant will need to score a total of 95 points on the Points Based System and meet all the necessary requirements under the Immigration Rules. You can achieve these points by having access to no less than £200,000 or £50,000.

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Who can Qualify

  • Must be a non European national
  • Must have access to £200,000 or £50,000 funds
  • Must have genuine intention to start a business

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FAQ – Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

Is it possible to apply with someone else

Yes, you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa with another business partner using the same investment funds. However, the control of these funds have to be equal and must be shown as such in
the application form and relevant documentation.

Does the source of funds need to be shown

Source of funds require an explanation, proof will need to presented where the money has come from.

Where should I keep the money

There is no requirement to transfer the money to the UK prior to an application. Nonetheless, money that is kept outside the UK must be checked for issues with any governmental regulations by restrictings its use.

Is it possible to apply as an entrepreneurial team from two different countries

Yes, it can be possible to apply as a entrepreneurial team from two different countries. Naturally, both applications have to be supported by original documentation and any other evidence. In other
words, these individuals will have to prepare two sets of specific documents to support each other to gather the necessary points of the point-based-system.

How long can I stay in the UK

With a successful initial application you will grant a visa with 3 years and 4 months. Moreover, if you are currently in the UK and you apply to switch into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) your leave will be 3 years. After that you may extend to an additional 2 years. Depending on your level of investment you may you have the ability to settle after 3, 5 years. To apply for British citizenship you will need to have lived in the UK for a total of 6 years.

When should I consider applying for settlement and/or British citizenship

It is possible to apply to settle in the UK after 3 years if you have either created 10 new full time jobs (30hours per week) or your business has an income of £5million over a 3 year period. For all other applications settlement is only possible after 5 years. Later on, after an additional 12 months you may apply for Naturalisation (Become a British Citizen).

Is it possible to bring my family with me to the UK

Yes you can bring your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and/or children under the age of 18 (those who are over 18 must be in the UK and apply as dependants from there). Their immigration status will depend on yours.

Is it possible for a third party to provide the necessary funds

Yes, it is possible to depend on money that was has been made available by one or more family members, corporate bodies or investors. However, the third party will need to provide their contact details and confirm that the money can be invested in the proposed business in the UK.

Can I rely on past investments

Yes, If you have already invested in a business in the UK while you were under a different immigration category. It is possible to rely on funds that were made in the UK within 12 calendar months (cannot be investments made in property related businesses, nor can it be in the form of a director’s loan, unless it is unsecured and subordinated in favour of third-party creditors.

Are there any restrictions on my visa

You cannot access public funds nor can you take any other employment besides your own business (or businesses) that you have created, joined or taken over.

Next steps after a successful application?

It is possible to apply to settle in the UK after 3 years if you have either created 10 new full time jobs (30hours per week) or your business has an income of £5million over a 3 year period. Furthermore, for all other applications settlement is only possible after 5 years. Later on, after an additional 12 months you may apply for Naturalisation (Become a British Citizen).

Is it possible to bring my family with me to the UK

Yes you can bring your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and/or children under the age of 18 (those who are over 18 must be in the UK and apply as dependants from there). Therefore, their immigration
status will depend on yours.

Is it possible for a third party to provide the necessary funds

Yes, it is possible to depend on money that was made available by one or more family members, corporate bodies or investors. However, the third party will need to provide their contact details and confirm that the money can be invested in the proposed business in the UK.

Can I rely on past investments

Yes, If you have already invested in a business in the UK while you were under a different immigration category. However, applicants can use funds that have been made within 12 calendar months.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

This visa is for those who wish to create or invest in a business in the UK. It is possible to switch from a different type of visa (Tier 1, 2 or 4) into a Tier 1 Entrepreneur one

To be eligible for this type of visa to enter, or remain, in the UK you must be able to show either:

£200 000 of your own founds which you are free to spend; £50 000 as a registered venture capitalist firm, UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition or UK Government Department; or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or a Tier 1 Post Study Work migrant with access to £50 000

You can use your own money (or those funds that are gifted to you) or money that is held by third parties. Provided you have permission to use them. These funds have to be held in a regulated institution (for those that are outside the UK they must available for transfer). Two people can apply under the same application as an ‘entrepreneurial team’ with equal access to the money. You will need to prove your English language with at least an IELTS score of 4.0, hold a UK bachelor’s degree or be a national of an English speaking country.

In addition, you will have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members that you bring with yourself without the need to rely on public funds.

For those who are applying from outside the UK must have £3310 on account (plus £1890 for each dependant). If applying from inside the UK, the amount is £945. The money must be on account for at least 90 days prior to the date of application. If you are currently in the UK under a Tier 1 Post Study Worker or a Tier 1 (General) visa, Switching into such category is allowed if the business in question was opened before: 11 July 2014 – for Post Study Work type visas 6 April 2015 – for Tier 1 (General) type visas and must have been engaged in business activity skilled to National Qualifications Framework level 4 or above.

Genuineness Test

Every new entrepreneur has to prove they genuinely intend to start a business or be actively involved in an existing one and that you have a business plan. It is possible that as part of your application you may be called to an interview to prove the legitimacy of your new business (or that you are joining one)

For this you must show that:

  • The money is available to you or that you have permission to use it
  • The purpose of your migration is to start a business or join an existing one, within 6 months of entering the UK
  • You have a genuine intention to invest
  • Viability and credibility of your money
  • Credibility of your business plan and relevant market research
  • Previous experience in the relevant business field
  • Previous immigration history
  • Any other evidence to show the genuineness and credibility of your intentions

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extensions

To be eligible for a possible extension after the initial 3 years and 4 months of residence, you will be expected to show that: Within the first 6 months of your initial arrival to the UK, you have registered
with the HMRC as self-employed or registered yourself as the director of a new or existing company.

You have managed to invest the necessary £200 000 or £50 000 in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK You were able to create a new business (or businesses), taken over or joined an existing one and were able to create at least 2 full-time jobs at 30 hours per week (two part-time jobs can add up to be one full-time job).

The newly created jobs must have existed for at least 12 months You have registered with the HMRC as either self-employed or registered as a director of a company You have at least £945 on account which has been there for a 90 days period prior to the date of application The possible ways in which you can use your money are by way of a share capital (it is also possible to do it via director’s loan). Property investments are not recommended.

Genuine Tier 1 Entrepreneur Test (Extensions)

For extensions you will also need to demonstrate to the Home Office that you have fulfilled your obligations. In others words, you have genuinely established, took over or become a director of company
and you have actually controlled it. Furthermore, you will also need to show that you have invested the relevant funds in one or more businesses to be spent for the business and you genuinely intend to continue in that business and not undertake any other employment.

The Home Office will consider

  • The evidence you have submitted
  • The credibility of your source of funds
  • The jobs you have created
  • Relevant accreditations, registrations and etc
  • Any other relevant documents and information

Settlement in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur

For an Entrepreneur to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, the necessary documents are:

Registration with the HMRC as self-employed or registered as a director of a new or existing company, no earlier than 3 months prior to the date of your settlement application The Entrepreneur has managed to create at least 2 full-time jobs (30 hours per week and they had to have lasted for at least 12 months) Passed the Life in the UK test Proof of English (IELTS 4.0, UK bachelor’s degree or be a national of a majority English speaking country (e.g. Canada, USA and etc.) The Genuineness of your business will be held to the same standards as an extension A person can only spend 180 days per year outside the UK to qualify for settlement.

Additionally, after a successful application of settlement it is possible to apply for a British Passport after 12 months If a person has invested in the necessary funds and created the required minimum of 2 full-time jobs, he or she may apply for settlement. Accelerations is also possible. Application possible after 3 years. The requirements for acceleration are as follow: Creation of 10 full-time jobs; or The business receives at least £5 million in income

Apply for Settlement (ILR) after meeting the residency requirement.

Our Approach to UK Visas

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5
  • Initial Consultation
  • Document Collection
  • Document review
  • Finalisation of Immigration Matter
  • Home Office Decision