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UK Immigration Services

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 UK Entrepreneur Visa is aimed at applicants who have a minimum of £50,000 to £200,000 to establish a business in the UK, or join and invest into an existing business.

Key Criteria For a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

In order to make a successful application, the applicant will need to meet with the following criteria:

  • The applicant has access to a minimum of £200,000 to either establish or join an existing business in the UK; or
  • The applicant has access to not less than £50,000 from one of the following:
  • One or more registered venture capitalist firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority;
  • One or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions which is listed as endorsed on the UK Trade & Investment website, or
  • One or more UK Government Departments or Devolved Government Departments in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and made available by the Department(s) for the specific purpose of establishing or expanding a UK business, or
  • The applicant was last granted leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and has access to not less than £50,000,or
  • The applicant was last granted leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant and has access to not less than £50,000.
  • You will also need to demonstrate that three months prior to the date of application;
  • The applicant was registered with HM revenue and Customs as self-employed or
  • The applicant registered a new business in which he or she was a director or
  • The applicant registered as a director of an existing business;
  • The applicant is working in an occupation which appears on the list of occupations skilled to the National Qualifications Framework Level 4 or above;
  • The sum to be invested must be held in a regulated financial institution;
  • The money must be disposable in the UK;
  • The applicant must intend to either establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within a period of six months;
  • The applicant will need to meet with the English language requirements;
  • The applicant is only able to work in the course of the business he or she is looking to establish or join; and
  • The applicant will need to meet with the maintenance requirements.

Subjective criteria of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

Due to the large number of Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications made the UK government has decided to introduce subjective criteria to ascertain whether the applicant is a genuine entrepreneur. The following will be considered by the UKBA when processing a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application;

  • Previous relevant business experience of the applicant;
  • Viability of the business plans and evidence of market research, to confirm the genuineness of the application;
  • Relevance of the educational background of the applicant;
  • The viability and credibility of the source of the money relied upon to fund the application;
  • Previous immigration history of the applicant; and
  • Continued access to the funds being invested in the UK business by the applicant.

Switching to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

An applicant can switch to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, provided he or she is in the UK under the following categories;

  • a highly skilled migrant;
  • a Tier 1 (General) migrant;
  • a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant
  • a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant;
  • a business person;
  • an innovator;
  • a student;
  • a student nurse;
  • a student re-sitting an examination;
  • a student writing a thesis;
  • a work permit holder;
  • a writer, composer or artist;
  • an investor;
  • a Tier 2 Migrant;
  • a Tier 4 Migrant.

How Long Is The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Granted For?

The initial visa is usually 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 Investor migrant can show that he has invested a large amount of capital in the UK.