Tier 1 Entrepreneur
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Tier 1 Entrepreneur

Please note that this visa category is now closed and is replaced by Start Up and Innovator visa.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) is a visa designed for non-European Union nationals who want to invest in the UK by setting up or buying – and being actively involved in the running of – a business in the UK.

 

You can come to the UK with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months, provided you meet all the requirements of the visa. You can then apply to extend this visa for another 2 years. After you have completed a total of five years under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain within one month before completing your five years of residency in the UK.

 

Initial application

For your application to be successful, you must score a total of 95 points and meet all requirements of the Immigration Rules.

 

You must score:

75 points for your attributes; and 10 points for English language; and

10 points for available maintenance (funds)

 

Genuine entrepreneur test

All Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants making an initial application are subject to a genuine entrepreneur test. You must prove that:

 

you genuinely intend and are able to establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within the next 6 months;

you genuinely intend to invest the money in the business;

the money is genuinely available to you and will remain available to you until such time as it is spent for the purposes of this business or businesses

 

if you are relying on one or more previous investments to score points, that you have genuinely invested all or part of the investment funds required in Table 4 of Appendix A into one or more genuine businesses in the UK; and

you do not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom other than working in your business.

 

If you are making an initial application, you must provide a business plan, setting out your proposed business activities in the UK and how you expect to make your business succeed.

 

Attributes (75 points)

You have access to not less than £200,000, or You have access to not less than £50,000 from:

one or more registered venture capital firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (please note that this is not available to all applicants – please see the ‘Eligibility to apply in the UK’ section for more information), or

one or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions which is listed as endorsed on the Department for International Trade (DIT) pages of the GOV.UK 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

 

If the funds to which you have access are being made available to you by a third party, the declaration from that third party must confirm that the funds will remain available to you until they are transferred to you or to your business.

 

If you are using money which has been transferred to you less than 90 days before the application, then you will need to supply the evidence required for third party funding.

 

This money can be made up from money already invested in your business (providing the investment was made not more than 12 months before the date of application and you provide evidence of this investment as specified in the Immigration Rules and the ‘Documents we require’ section below) together with access to any balance of money required to total the full amount.

 

AND

 

The money is held in one or more regulated financial institutions.

The money is disposable in the United Kingdom. If you are applying for leave to remain, the money must be held in the UK.

 

English Languages (10 points)

There are 3 ways in which you can show you meet the English language requirement. These include:

 

being a national of a majority English speaking country; or

passing an English language test level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference required; or holding a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or above.

 

Maintenance (10 Points)

In order to qualify for entry clearance under Tier 1, you must show that you have enough money to support yourself (and any dependants). The maintenance requirement is detailed below:

 

If you are outside the UK seeking entry clearance, you must have at least £3,310 of personal savings which you must have held for 90 consecutive days before the date of your application;

If you are in the UK seeking further leave to remain, you must have at least £945 of personal savings which must have held for 90 consecutive days prior to the date of your application;

£1890 for each dependant where the main applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months;

 

£630 for each dependant if the applicant and the family members are residing in the UK and the main applicant has been in the UK for more than 12 months

 

Eligibility to apply inside the UK

You are allowed to make an initial application in the UK for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant if you are currently in the UK with permission to stay as:

 

a Highly Skilled migrant;

a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant; a Tier 1 (General) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant; a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant; a Tier 2 migrant;

a Tier 4 student;

a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

 

Overseas criminal record certificates

If you are applying for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant or as an adult dependant (over 18 years old) of the main applicant in this route, you must provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country you have resided in continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more, in the 10 years prior to your application. If the original is not in English, then you must provide a translated copy of the certificate.

 

Extension Application

For your application to be successful, you must score a total of 95 points and meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.

 

You must score:

75 points for your attributes which are different depending on whether you make an initial or extension application; and

10 points for English language; and

10 points for available maintenance (funds)

 

Attributes (75 points)

You have invested, or had invested on your behalf, not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if, in your last grant of leave, you were awarded points for funds of £50,000) directly into one or more businesses in the UK.

 

You have registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as self-employed or registered with Companies House as a director of a new or an existing company or member of a new or an existing limited liability partnership.

 

On a date no earlier than 3 months prior to the date of application, you were registered with HMRC as self-employed, or registered with Companies House as a director of a new or an existing company, or member of a new or an existing limited liability partnership.

 

You have created at least 2 new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK of your established business or the business you joined. The jobs must have existed for at least 12 months during the period for which the most recent leave was granted.

 

English Languages (10 points)

 

There are 3 ways in which you can show you meet the English language requirement. These include:

being a national of a majority English speaking country; or

passing an English language test level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference required; or holding a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or above.

 

Maintenance (10 Points)

In order to qualify for entry clearance under Tier 1, you must show that you have enough money to support yourself (and any dependants). The maintenance requirement is detailed below:

 

you must have at least £945 of personal savings which must have held for 90 consecutive days prior to the date of your application;

£630 for each dependant if the applicant and the family members are residing in the UK and the main applicant has been in the UK for more than 12 months

 

Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

You can apply for settlement under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) once you have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the United Kingdom under the route. However, if you meet additional criteria (explained below), you may apply for accelerated ILR after a continuous period of 3 years:

 

if you have established a new UK business that has had an income from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3 year period (in which you have had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant);

if the number of new full-time jobs created is at least 10.

 

When you apply for settlement you are required to show that you have knowledge of life and language in the United Kingdom before you can be granted (unless you fall under an exemption). You can demonstrate this by passing both the Life in the UK test and holding an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above.

 

Entrepreneurial teams

Money for investment can be shared by a maximum of two entrepreneurs (referred to as an entrepreneurial team). Each team member may apply to come to the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant using the same investment funds. Neither applicant must have used the same funds with any other applicant.

 

Your family member

Your family members (‘dependants’), your husband, wife or partner and your child under 18 can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. The dependants of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) will have full rights to work in the UK apart from working as a Trainee Doctor/Dentist or professional sportsperson or sports coach.

 

Before 11th January 2018, the limitation of 180 absence days in continuous 12 months applies only to the main applicant, but from 11th of January 2018 the same requirement will apply to PBS Dependant partners.

 

At the stage of initial application, the dependent spouse of Tier 1 (Investor) applicant will have to prove that they are in a subsisting relationships with the family members.