The entrepreneur category is for those applicants who wish to invest in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom.The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category applies to the main applicant as well as their immediate family members, including spouse and children under the age of 18. The entrepreneur visa is initially granted for 3 years and 4 months but there’s an option for it to be extended for another two years. Applicants in the first category are eligible to apply for British citizenship after they have spent a period 6 years in the country, while those who create ten jobs or achieve an annual turnover of at least £5 million a year are eligible to apply after 5 years of residence in the UK.
Eligibility : The UK follows a point based system, and hence for a successful entrepreneur visa application, applicants need to score sufficient points on a points-based assessment.These points are based on a number of factors like the funds that are available to the applicant for investment purposes, their English Language ability and whether they have enough money for their living costs in the UK (maintenance).
Requirements: Applicants must score at least 95 points for their attributes which also vary with whether it is an initial or an extension application. Also required are 10 points for English language as well as 10 points for available maintenance (funds). If an applicant does not score a minimum of 75 points for their attributes and 10 points for English language and 10 points for available maintenance (funds), the application will be refused.
Step 1: Online points based calculators are available for applicants to complete a self assessment and find out if they are likely to score enough points. Applicants can use these to ensure before applying that their applications are eligible on the basis of the points.
Step 2: Applicants need to take or send their forms, fee and supporting evidence to the visa application center. Biometrics and photo is must to be taken at the visa application center. It needs to be ensured that all the supporting documents are submitted with the application as any evidence provided after a decision has been reached will not be considered. Once granted entry clearance as an entrepreneur from outside of the United Kingdom, an applicant shall be able to live and work in the United Kingdom for a period of 3 years and 4 months. As the end of these 3 years and 4 months approaches, If an applicant wishes to continue the stay, the applicant must apply for an extension before the expiry of his initial entry clearance.
While making an initial application, The applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Access to £200,000 (must be maintained for consecutive 90 days )
- Funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions
- Funds must be disposable (transferrable) to UK
Apart from the above:
- English Language Requirements or NARIC assessment of educational credentials if the applicant has completed graduation studies in English.
- Must be maintained for consecutive 90 days
When an applicant is applying for an extension on their entrepreneur visa, they must have:
- Invested £200,000 in to a United Kingdom business
- Business must be registered within 6 months of arrival
- The applicant must not work as an employee in any other business
- The applicant must create 2 employments for minimum 12 months
- Must meet the English Language Requirements
- Maintenance funds must be held in a regulated financial institution for 90 days
Our Most Frequently Asked Questions!!
- Q1. Who can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?
You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:
- you want to set up or run a business in the UK
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- you meet the other eligibility requirements
- Q2. What are the eligibility criteria for applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?
The eligibility to apply to an entrepreneur visa to the UK is based on a point assessment system. You have to show the availability of at least £200,000 as funds that are
- held in one or more regulated financial institutions
- free to spend (‘disposable’) on business in the UK
Apart from the funds, you must also:
- meet the English language requirement
- be able to support yourself during your stay (maintenance)
- score at least 75 points on the assessment
- be at least 16 years old
- Q3. What if I lack the funds that are required to apply for an entrepreneur visa?
In case one person cannot show for the amount of funds that are required for applying for an entrepreneur visa, they can form an ‘entrepreneurial team’ with one other Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant and share the same investment funds. You and your team member must meet all the application requirements and:
- not use the same funds on another application with a different entrepreneurial team
- provide all the documents needed for evidence of the funds with your own applications
- Q10. Can I switch to a Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa if I already have a different category visa?
You can apply to switch to the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa if you meet the eligibility requirements for it and are already in the UK un
der one of the following categories:
- Tier 1 (General)
- Tier 1 (Investor)
- Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
- business person
- Highly Skilled Migrant Program
- work permit holder
- self-employed lawyer
- writer, composer or artist
- Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
- Tier 2
- prospective entrepreneu
- Q4. How much does the application for a Tier 1 visa cost?
The amount you have to pay for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa depends on a number of factors, like where you are and how you apply.
Who you apply for Applying online or by post Applying in person outside UK Self £1,180 £944 Self (residents of Turkey or Macedonia) £1,125 £889 Dependents £1,180 for each person £944 for each person
- Q5. How long does a Tier 1 visa allow one to stay in the UK?
With a Tier 1 visa you can live and work in the UK for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months. As the end of this period approaches, you can apply to extend the visa for another 2 years. If you switch from another visa category, you can get an extension for 3 years. Once you have completed 5 years of living in the UK, you can also apply for settlement.
- Q6. What documents are needed to be submitted with a Tier 1 visa application?
When applying for a Tier 1 visa, the documents that you will need to provide are:
- a current passport or other valid travel identification with a page that’s blank on both sides for your visa
- a passport size color photograph
- evidence of the investment funds available to you
- a business plan
- evidence that you can support yourself during your stay
- proof that you meet the English language requirement
- your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
- a criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.
- Q7. What evidences of funds are required to be submitted with a visa application?
The following evidences are considered sufficient proof of the availability of the required funds when applying for a Tier 1 visa
- an official letter from each financial institution holding the funds
- for money held in the UK, a recent personal bank or building society statement from the financial institution holding the funds would suffice
- for money that has been provided by a venture capital firm, a recent letter from an accountant confirming the amount of money made available
- for money provided by a UK government department, a recent letter from an accountant or authorized official confirming the amount of money made available
In case of funding from a third party other than a UK entrepreneurial see funding company or if you have had the money for less than 90 days before your application, the following need to be submitted:
- confirmation the money has been made available for you to invest in a UK business
- a letter from a legal representative validating the signatures on the declaration
As evidence that you can support yourself during your stay (maintenance), you must prove that you have enough personal savings for the purpose. Depending on where you apply from, the requirements are:
- outside the UK – £3,310
- in the UK –£945
Your personal savings must have been in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
- Q8. Who can apply for a Tier 1 visa extension?
As the end of your Tier 1 visa period approaches, you can apply to extend your visa, provided that your current visa has not yet expired. For this, you must: –
- meet the eligibility requirements
- 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’ve been self-employed or working as a director of a business 3 months before you apply
- created at least 2 full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months
You must be in the UK to extend your visa and should include any dependents who are on your current visa on your application (including children who turned 18 during your stay.
- Q9. How long does it take to process an application for extension of visa?
Generally, a decision on an extension application is made within 8 weeks. But can take longer in case an application is complex. Eg.
- if your supporting documents need to be verified
- if you need to attend an interview
- because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
In the period between application for extension and receiving the decision on the application, an applicant may live in the UK, provided that they applied before the expiry of the last visa.