Complete information about UK immigration Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa - An introduction 

 

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa is meant for those, living outside the European Union and wishing to come to the United Kingdom either to take over an exiting business or establish a new one.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category lets in  businessmen with between £50,000 and £200,000 in funds available for funding the proposed business in the UK,  to go to the United Kingdom with a purpose to set up or take over a uk commercial enterprise – both completely or as a associate. The funds available to the applicant, must be held by a regulated financial group, which includes a financial institution or venture capital firm. These funds cannot be in any shape other than liquid cash in a financial institution.  Assets tied up in securities, shares, properties etc. are not acceptable. 


 Eligibility (Visa Requirements) 
  • You should show your intention to set up or run a business in the UK

  • You must be from outside the European Economic Area (Including Switzerland)

  • You must have access to £50,000 in investment funds from within the UK or

  • You must have access to £200,000 in investment funds from outside the UK

  • You must meet the English language requirement

  • You can get in minimum required points (95) at the point score

Point Score

Under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), you must score 95 points:

  • At least 75 points for attributes (access to £50,000/ or £200,000/- as the case may be 

  • 10 points for English language 

  • 10 points for Maintenance (funds) 

English language

There are following four ways through which you can show you meet the English language requirement for this visa.

  1. • being a national of a majority English speaking country;or

  2. • passing an English language test as detailed in this guidance; or

  3. • holding a degree which was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above;or

  4. • you have already shown you have met the requirement in a previous application.

If you fall in the second category, you must have passed an English language test equivalent to B1 level or above; this can be in either academic or general skills training.
The qualification evidenced must be still within its validity period, and show that you achieved the appropriate level in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Click here to see and download the details of approved English Language Tests.

Business

Your eligibility to establish / take over a business is judged from certain indicator. In this evaluation, special attention is given to your current business experience and your future business plan.

Points will only be awarded for your business if it is a UK-based  business. A business will only be considered to be a UK business if you provide the specified evidence to show all of the following:

  1. It is trading within the UK economy

  2. It has its registered office in the UK, or, in the case of multinational companies with an overseas registered office, its Head Office in the UK, except where you are registered with HM Revenue & Customs as self employed and do not have a business office,

  3. It has a UK Bank account

  4. It is subject to UK taxation

 

A business will only be considered a “new” business if you established it no earlier than 12 months (or 24 months if you were previously granted leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant) before the date of the application which led to your first grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant.

Business Plan

If this is your first-stage application for this visa (i.e. not an extension application) you need to provide a business plan, which sets out your proposed business activities in the UK and how you expect to make your business succeed.

Entrepreneurial Teams

Two applicants (at most), may claim points in this route for the same investments, available funds, jobs created and business activity in initial, extension and settlement applications only if all of the following requirements are met:

  • Your team should have an equal level of control over the funds and (if relevant) equal status as owners, directors and/or members of the business or businesses in question.

  • Your both team members are shown by name, passport number and Points-Based System reference number in each other's applications and in the specified evidence required for the visa.

  • Neither member of your team should have previously relied on the same funds (available now to the team now) in a previous application.

Genuine Entrepreneur Test 

All Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants are subject to a genuine entrepreneur test. They must satisfy the visa officer that:

  • That they genuinely intend to and are able to establish, take over (or become a director, as the case may be) of one or more businesses in the UK within the next 6 months

  • That they genuinely intend to invest the available Money into the purposed business 

  • That the money is genuinely available to them and will remain available to them until such time as it is spent for the purposes of their purposed business 

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

Job Creation (This is not a condition to apply for this visa - so you can skip it) 

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur route has been created for those who will bring investment to the UK economy and create sustainable jobs for workers settled in the UK.
All the following rules apply to the extension of the visa only and the intended settlement in the UK. They are NOT for the initial application for Tier1 Entrepreneur visa. The job creation requirements are:

  • (a) A full time job is one involving at least 30 hours of paid work a week.

  • (b) “The equivalent of” a full time job means two or more part time jobs which add up to 30 hours a week will count as one full time job, if both jobs exist for at least 12 months. However, one full time job of more than 30 hours work a week will not count as more than one full time job.

  • (c) The jobs must have existed for at least 12 months during the period of the most recent grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant.

  • (d) A single job need not consist of 12 consecutive months (for example it could exist for 6 months in one year and 6 months the following year) providing it is the same job.

  • (e) The jobs need not exist on the date of application, provided they existed for at least 12 months during the period of the most recent grant of leave.

  • (f) Different jobs that have existed for less than 12 months cannot be combined together to make up a 12 month period. The only exception is where you successfully applied as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant before 6 April 2014 in which case you may be able to apply the job creation rules allowed under a transitional arrangement. Further details on transitional arrangements can be found below.

  • (g) If jobs are being combined, with two

Funds

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

  • your own sources

  • made available to you by other people (‘third parties’), such as a spouse, partner or investor

  • or in a joint account with your spouse or partner (if they aren’t applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa)
     

Maintenance funds

A very important requirement of Tier 1 is that the applicants must be able to support themselves for the entire duration of their stay in the UK without use of public funds. Any applicant who is unable to support himself / herself / dependents (included in the visa application) is likely to face financial hardship because they will not have access to most state benefits.
To qualify for entry clearance under Tier 1 (entrepreneur visa), you must show that you have enough money to support yourself (and any dependants) as detailed below:

  1. If you are outside the UK applying for 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;

  2. If you are in the UK applying for 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.

Evidence of investment funds

You must meet the following requirements to claim points for any available funds which you have not already invested in your business. You MUST provide the bank statements and bank letters from your bank account in support of your claim.
When providing personal or business bank statements and bank letters as evidence of your claimed funds, you need to be sure that:

  • The bank (whose statement is being used) must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the country.

  • Each bank statement must be on the institution's official stationery showing the institution's name and logo, and confirm your name (and, your entrepreneurial team partner's name, if you are a team), the account number and the date of the statement.

  • Each statement must be issued by an authorized official of that bank/institution.

  • If the statements are printouts of online statements, they must either be accompanied by a supporting letter from the institution, on its headed paper, confirming the authenticity of the statements, or bear the official stamp of the institution on each page of the statement.

  • Claimed available money must be ready cash, not in Individual Savings Accounts or other assets such as stocks and shares.

  • Where multiple documents are provided, you must show the total required amount is available on the same date as a sum up of the balances of all the account.

  • The money must either be held in a UK regulated financial institution or be transferable to the UK and convertible to Sterling.

 

Funding from another third party
If you intend to use money from a third party, you must provide:

  • an official letter from an accountant or the financial institution holding the money

  • a letter from the third party confirming the money is available for you to invest in a UK business

  • a letter from a legal representative  certifying the signatures on the confirmation are valid

 Applying for the Visa 

Follow the following steps to apply for this visa:

 1.   Prepare your documents

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

A current passport or other valid travel identification

  • Your CV

  • A business plan

  • Proof that you meet the English language requirement (please see above for details)

  • Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test*

  • A Police Charcter certificate from any country you have stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years

  • Evidence of the investment funds available to you (please see above for details)

  • Evidence that you can support yourself during your stay (please see above for details)

  • Documents regarding your marital status and your children

  • Documents about your current profession and its relevancy to your business plan

 

NOTE: For those documents that aren’t in English or Welsh, you must provide a certified translation of the documents.

*You will also need to provide a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of the listed countries.

 2.   Apply online for  Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

You will have to apply online for this visa. For this you will have to get yourself registered to apply for the visa. In case you are already registered (you have applied previously), then you need to simply login. In both cases, as the next step, you have to apply online. Click here to go to their official website to apply for the UK visa.

 3.   Pay the Healthcare Surcharge

You will need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
In case you are making an immigration application online, then you pay the healthcare surcharge as part of the application process. You have to complete the payment and return to the online immigration application in less than 30 minutes. However if you are making an immigration application at a premium service centre, then you may pay the surcharge when you book an appointment. However. you will have to pay the healthcare surcharge by debit or credit card only.

Click here to check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

 4.   Pay the Visa Fee

The visa fee for the main applicant (if you are applying online or by post) is £1228/- and £1228/- for each dependents.  All visa fees are nonrefundable in case your visa application has been processed. You will have to pay the visa fees by debit or credit card only. You pay this visa fee as the part of your online visa application process. So keep your credit card (open to make online transaction) ready before you apply for the visa.

 5.   Go for Biometric​ for the Rest of the Visa Process

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre as part of your application. For this you will need to book an appointment as part of the  online visa application process. You can choose to have an appointment for biometrics at a visa centre close to you, out of the given choices. You need to present a hard copy of the visa application (submitted online) along with all supporting documents, when you go for biometrics. 

Please keep in mind you can book an appointment for biometrics at a visa centre ONLY after you have paid visa fee in your online visa application. ​

 7.   After you apply

Wait for a reply from the British High Commission / British Embassy. You can be notified both by e-mail and the phone.  In most of the cases, you are called for a visa interview to the nearest British High Commission / British Embassy. In this interview, you can be asked detail questions regarding your previous work and immigration history (if any) and also about your proposed business plan. 

 Visa Details 

 

Here is what you can and cannot do on this visa:

  • You can (and you are expected to)set up a new or take over a running business in the UK ,including being self-employed, but you should check your work meets the conditions of being self-employed

  • You can travel in and outside the country.

  • You can bring your dependents to live with you in the UK.

  • However you cannot do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business. In other words, you cannot do a job in another business.

How long the visa processing takes

Depending upon how well-prepared your application was and from which country you are applying, the visa processing can take from 6 to 12 weeks.


How long the visa lasts

You can come to the UK with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa for a maximum of 40 months. You can apply to extend this visa for another two years if you are already on this category and three years if you are switching to it from another visa category.

You may be able to apply for settlement (indefinite visa) once you have been in the UK for 5 years.

 Visa Tips 

  1. Make sure that your proposed business is relevant to your past business experience.

  2.  Before you apply, make sure that you meet the required points in the point scores system.

  3. Always get a business plan prepared by a professional.  

  4. Always get an assessment of your case for a certain visa class even before making any decision.  

  5. Try to use the services of a professional immigration consultant before applying for any step of the visa process. This is because if you make a big mistake in your application, no one can help you after you have lodged this application.