Entrepreneur visa (tier 1) guide

Entrepreneur visa

An entrepreneur visa (Tier 1) is for business investors or business owners seeking to establish, set up or invest into and be actively involved in the running of a business. Applicants must normally have at least £200,000 to invest in a new or existing UK company.

It is possible for two entrepreneurs to form a team of investors and use £200,000 for two people applying for this category of visa.

The £200,000 provides the necessary 75 points required the Immigration Rules for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), and the migrant will initially be granted leave to enter for three years.

How long you can stay?

  • You can come to the UK with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa for a maximum of three years and four months.
  • You can apply to extend this visa for another two years if you’re already in this category and three years if you’re switching to it from another category.
  • You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve been in the UK for five years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • Set up or take over the running of one business or more
  • Work for your business, including being self-employed, but you should check your work meets the conditions of being self-employed
  • Bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • Do any work outside your business, eg work where you’re employed by another business get public funds

Who can apply?

You must also:

  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Be able to support yourself during your stay
  • Nbsp; score 95 points
  • Be at least 16 years old

Investment funds

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) if you have access to £200,000 in investment funds and you can prove that the money is :

  • Your own
  • Made available to you by other people (‘third parties’) – eg a husband, wife, 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

You can also apply if you’ve invested £200,000 in a business that you’ve set up while in the UK on a different visa. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.

Creating 2 full time jobs in the UK

By the time their leave expires applicants in this subcategory will have to show that their activities have created at least two new full time jobs for UK employees. Meeting these requirements will gain applicants the necessary points needed for further leave to remain, which will be for two years.

The number of years for which a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) must remain in the UK – under the newly relaxed conditions brought in since April of 2011 – in order to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain can be as low as three, if the business has created at least ten new jobs in the UK, or can show an income from its activity of at least £5 million.

In the usual route, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants can apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years. They must meet the additional requirement at this stage of satisfactory knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. If successful they can apply for UK nationality after they have had indefinite leave to remain for 12 months.

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