What is a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?
The UK offers a Points-Based Systems for non-EEA nationals who are seeking to enter the UK for business purposes specifically under tier 1 of the system, there are various categories however one of the most common categories is the tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
Why should I apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?
The UK’s economy has been growing rapidly in recent years and more people are deciding to set up or take over a business in the UK due to the rising opportunities. If this is a route you are currently considering, please contact our business immigration team who are specialists in this field and who will be able to provide you with detailed advice.
What are the funding requirements for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
As with all immigration applications, there are certain requirements that you will need to satisfy to obtain a grant of leave to enter via a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. As this visa is under the Points-Based System, the applicant must meet a minimum of 95 points and aged at least 16 years of age or older. Please note that where the applicant is aged 18 years of age or older, the Home Office must be provided with a criminal record certificate from any country that the applicant has resided in for 12 months or more. One of the main requirements for a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa relates to the funds required as there are two separate categories.
Funding under the £200,000 route
The first category requires that you hold a minimum of £200,000.00 of disposable funds which can be your own funds or third party funding. The funds in this category takes into consideration any funds already invested in the UK either by the Applicant or by the third party.
Funding under the £50,000 route
The second category allows you to make an application for a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if you have £50,000 however, this only applies if the investment funds are from an FCA registered UK venture capital firm, UK seed funding competition or a UK government department.
Depending on the funds available to you, the evidence required by the Home Office will differ and as such it is vital that you apply under the correct route to ensure that you satisfy the correct set of requirements. Each category has complex guidance notes instructing applicants on the specific documents required as evidence to demonstrate eligibility; failure to adhere to these guidelines will render your application as either invalid or your application refused.
What is the Genuine Entrepreneur requirement?
The ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’; entails providing sufficient evidence to demonstrate your genuine intention to establish or take over a business here in the UK within six months. The Home Office can request that you attend an interview during which they will attempt to ascertain whether your intentions are genuine.
If you do not satisfactorily demonstrate genuine intention, your application will be refused even if you have met all of the other requirements. Our team of immigration specialists can take you through the interview stage step by step to ensure that you are able to answer questions with regards to your application confidently and accurately.
Additionally, you must also evidence that you have the required qualifications and business experience to create a successful business in the UK with the necessary level of English language as well as being able to maintain and accommodate yourself without any recourse to public funds.
Applying for an extension
If you are granted leave on a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you will be able to remain in the UK legally for three years and four months. Following the initial grant of leave, you can make a further application to the Home Office to extend your tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for a further two years.
The extension application has further requirements that you must satisfy before your leave to remain is extended. To be eligible for an extension under tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you must demonstrate that you created a business, invested either £200,000 or £50,000, and established a minimum of two full time jobs with their employment continuing for at least 12 months. It is also important that you evidence your registration with HMRC and you must also show that you are heavily involved in the business by undertaking activities within the business.
Route to Settlement via the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
If you have held a grant of leave by way of a tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for five years then you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the condition that you have resided in the UK lawfully for a continuous period of five years and have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any given 12 month period.
The Home Office can request that you attend a further interview at the settlement stage to once more satisfy the ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’. The requirements for the ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’ for Indefinite Leave to Remain include evidencing that you still have an established business that you invested funds in and that you are genuinely intending to continue with your established business.
Following the changes to the immigration rules in April 2011, some Tier Entrepreneur migrants may be eligible for accelerated settlement after only three years of residence in the UK.
To be eligible for accelerated settlement, the applicant must demonstrate that their business was able to create a minimum of 10 new jobs in the UK or alternatively, that their business had an income of £5 million during the three year period. The three year qualifying period can start from the date the applicant was granted leave however, the period in which leave was granted and the entry date to the UK can count towards the 180 days of permissible absence in any 12 month period.
A settlement application can potentially be one of the most significant applications that you will make whilst in the UK and it is important that you obtain correct, detailed advice from specialists in the field to ensure that your application is successful. A settlement application has considerably more detailed guidance notes published by the Home Office which must be followed meticulously. A refusal for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be detrimental not only for your future but also for your business and as such it is vital that the first application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is made correctly and competently. Our business immigration team undertakes settlement applications daily and have vast experience in this area. Please contact our team on 0207 936 9960 and we will ensure that your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is successful the first time and your future in the UK secured.
How is OTS Solicitors Different to other immigration law firms?
Our business immigration team is led by top ranked immigration lawyers, former immigration judges, and barristers. Our Senior immigration Solicitor and former immigration judge of the immigration Tribunal Mr Paul Gulbenkian is also advisor to the UK Government’s Migration Advisory Committee. Our business immigration team is also headed by our principal solicitor Ms Teni Shahiean recognised and recommended by the Legal 500 from 2012 and 2015, together with our team of immigration solicitors we provide a flawless and strategic business immigration service to you throughout the process.
As an award winning law firm we understand that your success is our success. We also understand that entrepreneurs and investors are vital in continuing the fast economic growth in the UK. At OTS solicitors we are here to help as a gateway to that success by providing world class business immigration services to tier 1 entrepreneurs and investors. We can assist you, your business or corporate partners to enter the UK and take full advantage of opportunities to invest in the UK, set up a business, or take over the running of one or more existing businesses in the UK.
This page contains a brief summary of the UK Entrepreneur and Investor Visa requirements. For detailed and tailored advice to your individual circumstances, please contact the OTS Solicitors business immigration department on 0207 936 9960 or contact us online.
One-Stop Business Immigration Service
To provide our client’s with a one-stop business immigration service, our immigration solicitors along with business plan writers, and accountants will work togerther to ensure your application is successful and for continued support as an Entrepreneur. Our employment and Corporate lawyers will also provide support to ensure you are advised on any aspects of meeting the specific immigration rules and requirement and also thereafter while running your business. By proving you with a one-stop business service our teams work together to provide the best seamless business immigration service in the UK.
Our solicitors from the business immigration team led by Mr Paul Gulbenkian and Ms Teni Shahiean will take the lead to ensure your immigration application is completed successfully, and that you remain compliant with the requirement for this visa category throughout your stay in the UK.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Success Stories
For a more detailed discussion regarding your case, or to book an appointment with a member of our business immigration team, please call us now on 0207 936 9960