Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is an ideal visa category for business people who wish to set up a new business in the UK, or invest into growing an existing UK business.
There are 2 routes available, depending on your access to the level of investment funds of either £200,000 or £50,000.
You can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa:
• With another person sharing the funds, as part of a Tier 1 Entrepreneurial Team
• To bring your Spouse or Partner, and Children under the age of 18
The UK is often regarded as one of the best places in the world for Entrepreneurs due to its business-friendly regulations and diverse workforce. There are two options available and the visa route depends on the level of investment funds and other relevant criteria.
You have access to £50,000 in investment funds from one or more of the following:
• a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
• a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
• a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
• you can also apply if you’ve already invested £50,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.
More details about this type of investment funds can be found in our blog post titled, How do you prove the investment funds in Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications?
If you have access to £200,000 in investment funds and you can prove that the money is either:
• your own
• made available to you by other people (‘third parties’), such as a spouse, partner or investor
• in a joint account with your spouse or partner but only if they aren’t applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
The investment funds can be held in one or more bank accounts from one or more regulated banks or financial institutions such as venture capital firm. It should be held in cash and liquid, so that it can be freely withdrawn to spend or dispose on a business in the UK.
Note: If you have invested some or all of the £200,000 in a UK business, you must have invested the funds for less than 12 months before you apply.
Genuine Entrepreneur Test
You are expected to justify business plan and may be interviewed. The business must be:
• A new business or an existing UK business
• Relevant to your experience or qualifications
• Any business where there is a gap in the market, except property investment, property development and property management
More tips about the Genuine Entrepreneur Test interview can be found in our blog post titled, The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa interview: What you need to know.
You would need to provide evidence for self-sufficiency. In addition to the above investment funds, you would need to show additional cash funds held in your account for over 90 days.
You need to pass an English language test, unless you have a UK degree or a qualifying degree taught in English. More details about how to meet the English Language requirement are explained in our blog post titled, Proving your English knowledge when applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.
Second Extension application
Before your First Initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa expires, you should apply for the Extension Visa. You will need to demonstrate that you have:
• Registered as self-employed or director of a UK company within 6 months of initial visa granted
• Invested the £200,000 or £50,000 funds
• Created 2 new full-time jobs
Further information that explains how to meet the Job Creation criteria can be found in our blog post titled, Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Job Creation.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur (Extension) Visa would normally be granted for 2 years and you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain before it expires.
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
Indefinite Leave to Remain would be the final visa once you complete all requirements under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route.
You can apply for ILR:
a) After 5 years if you:
• Created 2 new full-time jobs
b) After 3 years if you:
• Registered as self-employed or director of a UK company within 6 months of initial visa granted; and
o Created 10 new full-time jobs, or
o Your business has had an income (new business) / net increase of income (existing business) of at least £5 million during your time as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant
You cannot have spent more than 180 days outside the UK during any consecutive 12 months. Be sure to take a read our blog post, 6 Tips For A Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Applicant.
A subsequent British Citizenship application is the final option available although at this stage it is possible to remain via your ILR. If your Naturalisation application is successful, you may qualify for a British Passport.
See these blog posts for more tips and advice:
There is also more information on entrepreneurs available on the Home Office official website.
If you would like to learn more about the how we can help you with a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application, please call 02036378633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
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