Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in the UK: Everything You Need to Know

Do you have an innovative business idea? Are you an expert in your field, or able to bring great value to others? If so, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in the UK may be right for you. In this guide, we’ll cover everything that aspiring entrepreneurs need to know about the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, including what it takes to apply and whether or not you qualify.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in the UK: Everything You Need to Know
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Are you an entrepreneur looking to expand your business globally? A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in the UK could be the first step towards establishing yourself as a global business leader, bringing more financial stability and more job opportunities to both you and your employees. This visa was created to attract foreign entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and the potential to grow their businesses into large UK companies. 

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa was designed to encourage business-minded individuals to come to the UK and start up their own companies, as well as to help them become more established in their chosen field. This visa allows you to make your business dreams come true while keeping yourself, your family, and your employees safe by giving you permission to live and work in the UK as long as your business continues to flourish. This is one of several visas that allow entrepreneurs to establish their business in the UK without going through the regular immigration process that most ex-pats face.

However, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa isn’t without its restrictions; there are certain conditions that must be met and specific steps that must be taken to get this visa, and it’s not as easy as just filling out some paperwork and waiting for approval. So, if you’re thinking about moving to the UK and starting your own business, you might be interested in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. 

If this sounds like something you could be interested in, it’s important to understand what this visa entails and how it can help you make your dream of starting your own business in the UK a reality. Learn more about how to apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and what to expect from the process here! This article will give you everything you need to know about it so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

What is a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a points-based, immigration route that requires you to invest £200,000 in your new business and create at least two jobs. The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is designed for high net worth individuals who want to start or invest in a business in Great Britain. It allows successful applicants to reside and work freely within British borders. The good news is that it’s relatively straightforward compared with other immigration routes. In most cases, you won’t need a detailed business plan or a complex financial projection.

However, to qualify, you must have access to at least £200,000 investment funds (which are available as a loan) that you can apply towards starting or running your business. Moreover, besides having a purpose of investing the aforementioned sum of money in a UK business, the applicant must also be a citizen of a country that is not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Also, the applicant must have full access to a minimum of 50,000 up to  200,000£ available in investment funds dedicated to a business in the UK.

Requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas

You will need to fulfill the requirements under three major categories to qualify for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The major categories include;

  • Access to Investment Funds
  • English language
  • Maintenance (funds)

As a points-based system application, you will need to score a total of 95 points to fulfill each of the requirements of the application.

Criteria Points Details
Access to Investment Funds 25

Access to at least £200,000 investment funds OR having at least £50,000 from:

i) One or more registered venture capital firms or

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ii) One or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions or

iii) One or more UK government departments

Money held in a regulated financial institution 25 Investment funds are held in a regulated financial institution.
Money disposable in the UK (for entry clearance applicant); held in the UK (for leave to remain applicant) 25 Investment funds are free to spend in the UK.
Meet English Language Requirements 10 English language level is equivalent to B1 level or above.
Meet maintenance funds requirements 10 Entry Clearance Applications: £3,310 of savings for 90 consecutive days; Further Leave to Remain: £945 of savings for 90 consecutive days

How to Apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

You will have to complete your application process for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa from outside the UK, more specifically from your home country 3 months before the intended travel. You will need to submit your application online through the official website of the UK government, where you will have to give some basic information, about you and your purpose for traveling to the UK, as well as to upload scanned versions of your original documents.

If this is your first time traveling to the UK, you will need to schedule an appointment at the nearest application center, UK embassy, or consulate in your home country, where you will need to submit biometrics and a photograph of yours.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

You may be able to extend your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to extend your visa if you:

  • 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, a member of a partnership 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
  • can continue to support yourself

You must have invested in 1 or more UK businesses either:

  • £200,000 in cash
  • £50,000 in cash

The amount depends on the level of funds your initial application was based on. Your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.

Final Thoughts

This visa is for those who have an existing business or wish to set up a new one within three months of entering Britain. However, Tier 1 entrepreneurs must have access to at least £200,000 in investable funds (so savings, not personal credit), and have no health issues that would prevent them from working full-time. The visa must be renewed after three years. If the entrepreneur has generated more than 10 jobs during this time, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years. Alternatively, if they are in receipt of public funding as part of their business plan they can also apply for indefinite leave to remain after two years. To qualify for Tier 1 entrepreneur you need to be able to prove your knowledge and skillset by showing qualifications, previous work experience, or trade qualifications. It’s important to note that the Immigration Act 2016 states only those with degree-level education and relevant qualifications can apply. Please refer to the official website of the UK immigration authorities via the link below for more information.

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