Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Business Visa
This is a Points Based System for individuals wishing to invest a minimum of £200,000 in a new or existing business in the UK. The application can be lodged as a single application with one applicant or as an entrepreneurial team with a maximum of two applicants.
The eligibility requirements for the visa are:
£200,000 Investment Funds
The applicant must submit evidence to prove the following:
- He/she has access to at least £200,000 investment funds
- These funds are being held in one or more regulated
- These funds are readily disposable in the UK
The investment funds can be provided by any of the following
- Family members
- Any other investor
- Any corporate body
Note that if the investment funds are held in the applicant’s personal account, they must be held for a minimum period of 90 consecutive days prior to the date of the application. If the funds are held in a business account, then the 90 day requirement does not apply. However, the sole financial controller of that business must submit a Third Party Declaration.
Creation of Jobs
The applicant’s business must create at least two full time jobs or a combination of part time and full time jobs which must amount to a minimum of two full time jobs. For example, one full time job and two part time jobs or four part time jobs.
Applicants must prove their proficiency in the English language by meeting any of the following requirements:
- Being a national of a majority English speaking country, i.e. USA, Canada, Australia, etc.
- Having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
- Having passed an English language test to a level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) or by obtaining a minimum overall score of 4.5 in IELTS in all four components – reading, writing, speaking and listening
<h3style=”font-size:16px; font-family:’Open Sans’, sans-serif; color:#525252;”> Maintenance Funds
In addition to the investment funds, the applicant must have sufficient funds for maintenance and accommodation for themselves and any dependants. These maintenance funds must be held in the applicant’s personal bank account for a minimum period of 90 consecutive days prior to the date of the application.The applicant must submit evidence that he/she has access to the following maintenance funds and that these funds are the applicant’s and not provided by any third party:
- £3,310 if the applicant is making an entry clearance application from outside the UK
- £945 if the applicant is applying from within the UK
- £1,890 for each dependant if the applicant is applying from outside the UK or has been in the UK for less than 12 months
- £630 for each dependant if the applicant is applying from within the UK and has been in the UK for more than 12 months
UK Immigration (the British Embassy) will assess the application and decide whether or not the applicant is a “genuine entrepreneur” based on the following:
- The applicant’s submitted evidence
- The legitimacy of the source of the £200,000 investment funds
- The credibility of the applicant’s business plans and market research
- The applicant’s educational and business experience
- Whether mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained, if applicable
- The applicant’s immigration history and preceding activity in the UK
- Any other relevant information
First time applicants will be granted three years and four months’ stay whether they apply for entry clearance or switch from another immigration category.
For those applicants who already have a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Business visa, they will be granted a two year extension which enables them to complete five years’ residence in the UK and thus apply for ILR.