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UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa

UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa

UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa

UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa was a special provision for foreign nationals who are interested in settling in the UK to start a new business or want to invest and partner in an existing business. The visa permits the applicants and their immediate families to migrate to the UK. Applicants are required to have funds between £50,000 and £200,000 for investment in a business. The entrepreneur visa, however, prevents the applicant from seeking paid employment in the UK. They are only permitted to work for the business they are starting or joining. 

How can you qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

There are a number of criteria that must be met to qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in the UK. First of all, the applicant must be at least 16 years old. The Entrepreneur visa follows a point system and you can only qualify if your score 95 points or higher. The points in the system are divided as follow –

  • 75 points for sufficient funds available for investment
  • 10 points for proficiency in the English language
  • 10 points for the applicant’s ability to meet the UK maintenance requirements By sufficient funds, it is meant that the applicant should have –
  • At least £200,000 of disposable funds held in a regulated financial institution, such as a bank
  • At least £500,000 available from some prescribed sources approved by the UK government.

The applicant is also required to have a genuine and viable business plan. Necessary documents and experience are also required to show that the applicant is capable of running a business in the UK. All of this is usually checked during the Genuine Entrepreneur Test. 

The applicants must have sufficient funds to support their stay in the UK as well.

How long is the validity of an Entrepreneur Visa?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is granted for a period of 3 years and 4 months initially. This period can be further extended by another 2 years if the requirements for extension are met. The visa holder cannot remain absent from the UK for more than 180 days a year, during these 5 years.

Entrepreneur Visa holders can apply for British citizenship after 6 years of stay. For businesses with high turnover or those that are creating a high rate of employment, there are provisions for getting citizenship faster.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has, however, been closed to new applicants since March 2019. No new applications can be made under this provision. Though existing Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas can be extended and dependents of the existing visa holders can still apply to join them in the UK.

For new applicants, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has been replaced by other provisions such as the Innovator Visa or the Investor Visa.

What is the UK Innovator Visa

The UK Innovator Visa is a new visa category meant for entrepreneurs and investors to set up a business and settle in the UK. It allows the visa holders to live in the UK for a period of 5 years and 4 months at a stretch, along with their immediate families. Once that duration is completed, the applicant may be permitted to permanently settle in the UK through an Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

The applicant has to have at least £500,000 in funds for investments. Another important criterion here is that the applicant can be from anywhere except the EEA and Switzerland. The minimum age required to apply for an Innovator Visa is 18 years. The business idea must be endorsed by an approved authority for the application to be considered. 

The remaining requirements are more or less the same as in the case of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. For instance, applicants must have sufficient funds to support their stay as well as their families’ in the UK. Applicants must disclose the source of their funding and so on.

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This provision is for investors looking to invest funds in UK businesses. Under this provision, the investor is required to have at least £1 million held in regulated financial institutions. It is, however, not mandatory for the investor to be proficient in English. The Investor Visa is also granted for 3 years and 4 months and can be extended for another 2 years if required. 

The visa holders will be granted permanent settlement in the UK based on their investments. Investors making investments of £1 million may be permitted to permanently settle after 5 years. Those investing £5 million can settle after 3 years and for £10 million investments, the investor can permanently settle after 2 years.

If you are looking to start a new business or invest in a start-up in the UK, Niyama Immigration can help you find the right immigration program to suit your goals. Our immigration consultants have advised hundreds of successful business persons on moving to and settling in the UK. Our knowledge and expertise in this field can be of good use in making the right decisions when it comes to setting up a business in a new country.