Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
Update: on 7 March 2019, the Home Office announced that the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route would close at the end of that month, other than to those who are switching from Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). You can find up to date information here. It is still possible to make an application to extend or for ILR under this route.
Making a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application? The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is designed to enable entrepreneurs to come to the UK in order to establish or join a business.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur: Main requirements
In order to make a successful initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that:
- they are switching from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur;
- they are a genuine entrepreneur;
- they already invested, or have access to at least £50,000 to invest in their business;
- they meet the required level of English language (currently B1 of the CEFR);
- they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves;
- they hold a valid criminal record certificate (if applying from abroad);
- they have a valid TB test certificate, if applying from a relevant country; and
- they do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
Length and conditions of stay in the UK
Applicants will be granted an initial period of leave of 3 years.
All those with permission under Tier 1 Entrepreneur may apply to extend their stay in the UK for a further 2 years providing they meet a number of strict requirements including the following:
- they have formally registered as a director of a business or as a self-employed person within 6 months of either entering the UK or being granted permission to stay in the UK under Tier 1 Entrepreneur;
- they have created at least two full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months;
- they have invested the required funds into the business or businesses in the UK; and
- they are able to demonstrate that they continue to be a genuine entrepreneur.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made once an applicant has held Tier 1 Entrepreneur status for a period of at least 5* years. In order to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, applicants must demonstrate that they continue to meet the requirements as listed above.
Applicants must also demonstrate that:
- they have spent a continuous period of 5 years* in the UK and during this time have not breached any UK immigration laws;
- they meet the requirements in relation to absences; and
- they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test.
*Applicants may qualify for accelerated Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years if they have created 10 new jobs or their business received at least £5 million in income from business activity throughout the 3 years.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application: How we can help
The Home Office will carefully scrutinise applications under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category. If it considers that any of the requirements have not been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that the application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
For further advice, please contact us.