The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is aimed at those wishing to set up, join or take over an existing UK business and in most cases making a minimum investment £200,000. If you are switching into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category, or if your investment funds come from an FCA-registered venture capital firm investment or UK government department, the investment threshold is reduced to £50,000. There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you are required to demonstrate access to £50,000 or to £200,000.
Applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
In making your initial entry to the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you will be granted a 3 year and 4 month visa. You shall be able to apply to extend this visa at the end of the period for a further 2 years. Unless you meet the criteria to qualify to meet the £50,000 investment, you must demonstrate that you have access to £200,000 that is held in a regulated financial institution. The funds can be held in either yours or your partners name or of a third party that is providing you with the funds.
As with most Points Based System applications, you are required to provide evidence that you are proficient in English language and must meet the Maintenance criteria and provide evidence that you can support yourself and any dependants during your stay. Applicants can bring dependant partners and children under the age of 18 to accompany them in the UK either at the same time as applying or after their grant of leave.
All Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants, in addition to meeting the Points Based requirements must meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test, which involves the provision of a business plan and background as to the skills, qualifications and experience necessary to establish a business in the UK. Our partners GB Invest, provide applicants with a holistic approach to Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications, through provision of tax, accountancy services targeted for Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants, in addition to market research, investment opportunities and business plan preparation.
Joint Entrepreneurial Team
It is possible to form an “entrepreneurial team” with one other Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant and share the same investment funds. In order to do so, both team members must meet all the application requirements and must provide all the documents needed for evidence of the funds.
Extend your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
Prior to the expiry date of your visa, in order to extend your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be registered as a director or as self employed no more than 6 months after the date you were given permission to stay in the UK under a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
- Can prove you have been self employed or working as a director of a business 2 months before you apply
- Have created at least 2 full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months.
- Have invested the amount of funds as required in your initial application. In most cases this is £200,000.
Prohibited business investments
You shall not meet the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Rules should you invest your funds in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development.