Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category is for non-EEA nationals who want to set up or invest in a business in the UK. You will need to have access to £200,000 (or £50,000) and satisfy the Home Office that you genuinely intend and are able to be actively involved in the running of a viable UK business.
What are the main eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
In order to qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you have access to:
£50,000 if it is provided by a registered venture capitalist firm, UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition or UK Government Department or you are currently in the UK as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or as a Tier 1 Post Study Work migrant.
You will need to be competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking) and have enough additional money to support yourself without relying on public funds.
In order to obtain a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you genuinely intend and are able to be actively involved in the running of a UK business and that you have a viable and credible business plan.
If applying from overseas, you and any adult dependents will need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country that you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last 10 years.
What else do I need to know about the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
Two main applicants can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa at the same time as part of an ‘entrepreneurial team’ and rely on the same investment funds.
Your initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa will be valid for either 3 years and 4 months (if applying from overseas) or 3 years (if applying from within the UK).
You will need to register as a director of a UK company or as self-employed within 6 months, then invest your £200,000 (or £50,000) and create at least 2 full-time jobs for members of the settled population that last for at least 12 months.
You will be able to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur for a further 2 years, before qualifying for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after 5 years. There is also an accelerated route to settlement as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur after 3 years if you create at least 10 new full-time jobs or your business has a turnover of at least £5 million.
In order to settle in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you will need to spend not more than 180 days outside the UK in any rolling 12-month period and, unless aged 65 or over, have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK. For settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, the Home Office will consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes time before this date and you believe that this change would cause you exceptionally harsh consequences, you must set out the reasons.
Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as the Family Member of a PBS migrant.
As a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holder you will not be permitted take any employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established, joined or taken over.