Tier 1 Entrepreneur Initial Application

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Home Office in the United Kingdom introduced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for existing and prospective entrepreneurs interested in establishing, investing in or taking over businesses based in the UK. The most important requirement to satisfy in order to qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is the provision of evidence of at least £200,000 in accessible funds, reduced to £50,000 if sourced from seed funding competition endorsed by the UK TDI, or if the applicant is switching from a Graduate Entrepreneur visa.

If you’re interested in applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, we strongly suggest consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer before submitting your application. Aristone Solicitors will provide the support you need to carefully assess your case and ensure your application is supported by the evidence and documentation needed for a prompt and positive outcome.  However challenging the case, we’ll do everything we can to streamline and simplify your entry to the United Kingdom as an entrepreneur.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Overview

Entrepreneurs worldwide look to the United Kingdom as one of the most appealing markets in which to establish and grow new businesses. One of the world’s most powerful and prosperous economies, the UK attracts existing and prospective entrepreneurs spanning countless industries and sectors.  Nevertheless, earning the legal right to establish and/or operate a business in the United Kingdom can be complex and time-consuming.

Please note at this stage that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme is open exclusively to non-EEA nationals.

Under the terms of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme, the applicant must meet certain requirements with regard to the nature of their business and their general status in the United Kingdom. The legal text of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme defines a business as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited liability company registered in the UK.

Qualifying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and any subsequent extension of your leave to remain means satisfying a variety of mandatory requirements.  Particularly if your ultimate goal is to be granted indefinite leave to remain, you need to demonstrate your current status, your track record and your genuine intentions to the Home Office. The information you provide and the evidence you submit from the earliest stage can and will impact your future eligibility.

Hence, you should ensure your initial application is completed and submitted under the supervision of an experienced immigration lawyer.

Key Requirements

Of the various requirements that must be met to qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, evidence of available funds is perhaps the most important. The applicant must provide evidence of at least £200,000 in available funds, held by a recognised and regulated UK financial institution. This minimum financial requirement is reduced to £50,000 for some applicants, in accordance with their current visa status and the method by which the funds were sourced.

In addition, entrepreneurs who wish to be granted indefinite leave to remain (aka settled status) are required to spend a minimum of five consecutive years in the UK. The assumption is that such individuals have demonstrated sufficient commitment to the British business ventures to be considered an asset to the UK and thus may be considered for settled status. Nevertheless, it is possible to fast-track this five-year requirement – see below for further information.

The vast majority of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas are initially granted for a period of three years and four months, after which the individual may apply for an extension. This provides up to two additional years of leave to remain, taking their total period of stay in the United Kingdom to the threshold required to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Fast Track Options – Tier 1 Entrepreneur

There are instances where an individual residing in the UK with a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa can fast-track their settled status. If their company generates an annual turnover of at least £5 million for three years or creates a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for at least one year, they have the right to apply for settled status after just three years.

Qualifying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The basic criteria that must be fulfilled for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa to be granted are as follows:

  • Evidence of a minimum of £200,000 in available funds, reduced to £50,000 for some applicants and existing visa-holders.
  • The funds must be held with a recognised and regulated financial institution in the UK and evidence provided accordingly.
  • Applicants are expected to prove their genuine intention to establish, invest in or take over one or more viable businesses in the UK, no later than six months following the date of entry.
  • When a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is granted, the entrepreneur must transfer some or all of the funds into a business bank account in the UK under their name.
  • All Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications are scrutinised in accordance with the Home Office’s Genuine Entrepreneur Test, which seeks to establish both the viability of the business idea and the intentions of the applicant.

Important Supplementary Information:

  1. It is not strictly necessary for the £200,000 investment funds to be yours and yours alone. You may also provide evidence of funds sourced through third-party investments and contributions, which may come from family members and other investors in the UK and overseas.
  2. Whereas it was previously acceptable to employ one person for two years to meet the Home Office requirements for a via extension, new legislation dictates that two full-time employment positions must be created for two separate persons.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Lawyers in Luton

The complexities of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application process can be daunting for even the most experienced entrepreneurs. It’s important to remember that the completeness of the information and evidence you provide will play a key role in determining the outcome of your application. Prior to completing and submitting your application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, we strongly suggest consulting with a trained legal expert.

Here at Aristone Solicitors, our experience and expertise extend to all aspects of business immigration of new and prospective entrepreneurs alike. With our help, your case will be presented with the strong supportive evidence needed to ensure a prompt and positive outcome.

Call today to arrange your obligation-free consultation with one of our business immigration experts.

Get in touch with aristone solicitors today



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