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Immigration

UK Immigration Services

Key criteria for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Extension

In order to apply for an extension of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, the applicant will need to have continued to invest, or had invested on his behalf, not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if, in his last grant of leave, he was awarded points for funds of £50,000 ) in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK. Within six months of being issued with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa the applicant must do the following:

  • Registered with HM revenue and Customs as self-employed; or
  • Registered a new business in which he is a director; or
  • Registered as a director of an existing business; and
  • The applicant would need to have done the above at least three months prior to the date of application.
  • The applicant has established a new business or business, or taken over or invested in an existing business which has created at least two full time jobs for persons settled in the UK for a minimum of 12 months of the period for which the previous leave was granted.
  • The applicant will need to demonstrate that the funds shown to have been invested in the UK remain available to him beyond the date of his or her application. The funds must continue to be available to the applicant and be available to you until they are spent by the business or businesses.

Key Criteria for ObtainingIndefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The applicant has continued to invest, or had invested on his behalf, not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if, in his last grant of leave he was awarded points for funds of £50,000) in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK:

  • On a date no earlier than three months prior to the date of application, the applicant was:
  • Registered with HM Revenue and Customs as self-employed, or
  • Registered a new business in which he is a director, or
  • Registered as a director of an existing business; and
  • The applicant has established a new business or business, or taken over or invested in an existing business that has created at least two full time jobs for persons settled in the UK for a minimum of 12 months of the period for which the previous leave was granted;
  • The applicant has spent the specified continuous period lawfully in the UK, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during that period.

There is also an accelerated path to obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) providing a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant can show that he has create 10 jobs in the UK or turn over £5 Million in a three year period.

Switching to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The following Applicants will be able to switch into the Tier 1(Entrepreneur) visa category:

  • A highly skilled migrant
  • A Tier 1 (General) migrant
  • A Tier 1 (Investor) migrant
  • A Tier 1 (Post-Study work) migrant;
  • A Tier1 (Graduate/Entrepreneur) migrant;
  • A Tier 2 migrant
  • A prospective entrepreneur;
  • A business person;
  • An innovator;
  • A student (only if they can show £50,000 investment from a specified source);
  • A student nurse (only if they can show £50,000 investment from a specified source);
  • A student re-sitting an examination (only if they can show £50,000 investment from a specified source);
  • A student writing up a thesis (only if they can show £50,000 investment from a specified source)
  • A work permit holder;
  • A postgraduate doctor or dentist;
  • A self-employed lawyer; and
  • A writer, composer or artist.

How Long Is The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Valid For?

The initial visa will be granted for 3 years and 4 months and thereafter, upon successfully meeting with the criteria for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension, the visa will be granted for a further 2 years. After the applicant has completed a continuous period of five years in this visa category he or she can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
There is also an accelerated path to obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) providing a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant can show that he has created 10 jobs in the UK or turnover of £5 million in a three year period.

Tier 1 Entrepreneurial Team Visa

This category allows two applicants, to form a team and apply jointly for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. They can thereby share the burden of the investment between them, i.e. they either need to show they have access to requisite £200,000 or £50,000 (depending on their last visa status). The qualifying criteria for this visa category are as follows;

  • That both team members have equal access to the investment funds;
  • That both team members meet with the relevant maintenance requirements;
  • That both team members meet with the relevant English Language requirements;
  • The sum must be held in a regulated financial institution;
  • The money must be disposable in the UK;
  • That both team members intent to either establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within a period of six months; and
  • That both team members are only able to work in the course of the business they are looking to establish or join.

Advantages of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

  • The applicant will only need to invest the money in the UK after the approval of the initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur application;
  • Applicants can rely on funding from third parties (this includes funds held by family members, as well as by other investors and corporate bodies);
  • Two applicants can share the burden of the initial investment of either £200,000 or £50,000 (this can mean investing as little as £25,000 per applicant);
  • Funds may be held in more than one institution and in more than one country;
  • Entrepreneurs may bring their dependent family members to the UK and their family members are permitted to take employment and/or study at a state or private educational establishment during their stay in the United Kingdom; and
  • Depending on the level of investment in the UK, Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement) can be obtained in as little as three years.

The potential disadvantages of this visa category are that you can only take up employment in the course of the business you are looking to establish or join and therefore cannot pursue alternative employment. The procedural requirements for applying for an extension and Indefinite Leave to Remain are quite onerous in comparison to the Tier 1 Investor Visa where the requirements remain the same throughout the application process, namely the availability of funds.