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Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is now Closed to New Applicants

Following a statement of changes to UK immigration rules issued on 7 March 2019, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa programme was closed to new applicants on 29 March 2019. This has been replaced by the new UK Innovator visa scheme.

Important Information

  • Only entry clearance applications made by people who have held Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave in the past 12 months will be accepted.
  • Applications for leave to remain will only be accepted from applicants who have previously been granted Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave in the past 12 months.
  • Dependents, including partners, spouses or children under 18, can still apply to join applicants with Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave in the UK.
  • Applications for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa extensions will remain open until 5 April 2023. UK settlement applications can be made up until 5 April 2025.
  • Applications to switch from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa will be open until 5 July 2025 if changing to another visa and 5 July 2027 if applying for UK settlement.

Please contact worldwide Immigration if you would like help with any of the above.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has been replaced by the UK Innovator Visa. If you would like to switch, or make a fresh application for the Innovator Visa, contact worldwide Immigration.

Alternatively, you could be eligible for other UK visas.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category allows businesspeople with between £50,000 and £200,000 in funds available for investment to enter the UK in order to establish or take over a UK business – either exclusively or as a partner. The funds must be held by a regulated institution, such as a bank or venture capital firm, and must be free to spend – not tied up in securities, shares, or similar arrangements.

You also need to create two new jobs for settled workers. This includes British citizens, EEA and EU Citizens and their dependents, and those who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. When applying for an extension the jobs should have existed for at least twelve months.

Please note that in most cases applicants based outside the UK will probably need to invest £200,000. To be able to invest the smaller amount of £50,000 you will need to have funding from a venture capital firm in the UK or have some form of UK Government funding. Please see further details below. Another option is if you can come under the entrepreneurial team requirements. with each member of the two-member team investing £100,000.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Points System

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications are assessed using a points system, applicants must score a full 95 points to be granted a visa. The following table gives a detailed breakdown of how points are awarded.

 Condition  Points
 Having access to at least £200,000 of disposable investment funds OR having at least £50,000 from one of the following:

  • One or more registered venture capital firms
  • One or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions
  • Proof that you've had the money for longer than 3 months OR;
  • One or more UK government departments
 25
 Having investment funds that are held in a regulated financial institution  25
 Having investment funds that are free to spend  25
 Having access to the required maintenance funds  10
 Meeting the required level of English language proficiency  10

Genuine Entrepreneur Test

This is an important part of the application. There should be a credible business plan and information and documentation should be provided to show that the applicant has the necessary skills and experience to run a business. The applicant should be able to explain where the funds were obtained. In addition, it may be worth including academic qualifications. Many applications are refused because the applicant does not pass this test.

English Language Ability

If the applicant does not have a degree taught in English and is not a national on the list of majority English speaking countries, the applicant will need to successfully complete an English language test at B1 or above.

If an English language test needs to be passed it needs to be equivalent to B1 level or above; it can be either academic or general skills training. You need to reach the appropriate level in all 4 components of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Criminal Record Certificates

You will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any Country that you have lived in for at least twelve months over the last ten years. This is needed for the spouse or partner and any dependents over the age of eighteen years of age. The certificates should have been issued within the six months of the UK visa application.

Maintenance Funds

Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants must have funds available to support themselves during their stay; the amount of maintenance funds required depends whether the applicant is making an initial visa application or applying for an extensions. Initial applicants must have funds of at least £3,310, while those applying to extend their visa must have funds of at least £945.

All applicants must have had this amount consistently for ninety days or more.

Length of stay granted

Up to 3 years and 4 months initially, and up to 6 years and 4 months in total with extensions.

The length of the visa extension depends on the applicant's visa status. Those switching to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from another category can extend their visa for 3 years. All others can only extend it for 2 years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

This is also known as settled status and is a form of "permanent residence". Usually, you can apply for this twenty-eight day before the end of five years stay in the UK on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, as long as you have not spent longer than 180 day a year outside the UK during this period of time. There are exceptions to the required period of stay in the UK under limited circumstances.

There is a shorter three year requirement for indefinite leave to remain (minus 28 days) if you have created ten jobs or have created a business that has had a gross income of £5 million over three years, or if you had taken over an existing business that has seen an increase in gross income of £5 million over three years. You will still have to meet the other residence requirements mentioned above.

Other activities and restrictions

Workers on this visa can work for the UK business they are running in a salaried or self-employed role, but cannot take another job outside of the business.

Further information, help, and advice

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at Info@worldwideimmigration.co.uk

WorldWide Immigration
WorldWide Immigration