Entrepreneur Visa – A route to settle in the U.K. permanently
Those interested to set up their own business in the U.K. or are desirous of taking control of an existing business already being run in the UK - Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa is an ideal route. All persons looking for permanent settlement in the UK can adopt this route. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa offers the opportunity to the spouse and dependant children of the main applicant to reside in the UK and obtain the education, healthcare, and employment. However, the main applicant having opted for running the business cannot take employment - they must be either a director of a business or self-employed in the UK.
The applicants can switch to another category of business in the UK, provided they fulfil the requirements of the business they switch over.
The UK Entrepreneur Visa is:
§ Initially granted for a period of 3 years and 4 months to those applying from outside the UK
§ Granted for 3 years for people applying from within the UK.
§ After expiry of the initial period of three years, the applicant can opt for further extension of 2 years subsequently.
Mandatory Requirements for the UK Entrepreneur Visa
The mandatory requirements for a UK Entrepreneur Visa are as follows:
English language requirement – English being the language of the U.K. it is mandatory that the prospective applicant must fulfil Level B1 of the CEFR in reading, speaking, listening and writing components. This can also be met by other documents, such as your educational qualification and degree obtained from the UK or outside the UK.
Maintenance requirement - Applicants must provide evidence that a specific amount of money required for applying for Tier 1 visa has been held for at least 3 months in the personal account of the applicant, prior to the date of making the application (which may be the initial application or extension application).
The applicant must provide evidence that applicant has access to the following amounts for maintenance:
§ £3310, for the applicant who is making an application for Entry Clearance from outside the UK
§ £945 if the applicant is making an application in-country
§ £1890 for each family member if applying from outside the UK or the main applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months
§ £630 each family member if the applicant and the dependents are applying within the UK and the main applicant has been in the UK for more than 12 months.
It is important that the applicants’ must hold the above-mentioned funds in addition to the £200,000 that they intend to invest in the business.
The Genuine Test - UK Entrepreneur Visa
In order to ascertain the veracity of the genuineness of the case, ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test is conducted by the caseworker at the Home Office by taking the following factors into consideration before arriving at a decision to if the applicant is genuine:
Evidence that the applicant has submitted:
§ The viability and credibility of the source of the money
§ The viability and credibility of the applicant's business plans and market research
§ The applicant's previous educational and business experience
§ Knowledge of applicant about UK tax laws and minimum wages
§ Whether the applicant has any required accreditations for business in the UK
§ The applicant's immigration history and previous activity in the UK
§ Any other relevant information
The applicant may be subjected to various questions depending on the business plan, past experience, and market research.
Third Party Funding
If the funding is being held by someone else, it is not necessary for the applicant to show their own money to seek entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category.
The third parties may also be one of the following:
§ Any corporate body (within the UK or overseas)
§ Any Family members (within the UK or overseas)
§ Any other investor (within the UK or overseas)
Please note –
That the third party funding is only allowed to make up the £200,000 to invest in the UK business; the applicant needs their own money to score points for maintenance.
UK Entrepreneur Visa Extension
In order to obtain an extension to a UK entrepreneur visa, the applicant will require to score a total of 95 points. Assessment of the points is made on the following basis:
§ Mandatory 10 points for the English Language
§ Mandatory 10 points for maintenance
§ 20 points once you have shown your investment of £200000 depending upon which category the initial category was made in
§ 20 points on the basis that you have registered yourself as self-employed or a director of a business in the UK within 6 months from the date of your initial approval was granted
§ 15 points awarded on the basis that you are registered as self-employed or a director of a company within last 3 months from the date of application
§ 20 points are awarded on the basis that you have created 2 full-time jobs for settled people in the UK. The employees need to be working for a minimum of 30 hours per week for one year
Duration of a UK Entrepreneur Visa and Settlement as an Entrepreneur
Entry Clearance applicants will be given 3 years and 4 months’ visa. In case the application is made within the UK the time period is prescribed as 3 years. Thereafter the applicant can seek extension for a period of 2 years.
Accelerated settlement route upon completion of 3 years’ time can be an incentive for those who fulfil either of the following requirements:
§ Generation of a turnover of £5 million or above over a 3 years’ period
§ Creation of 10 full-time positions for resident workers for a period of at least 12 months
For naturalization, applicants will be required to wait for another 2 years and comply with the requirement of residence in addition to other conditions. The applicants will have to complete minimum 5 years residence conditions even if they obtain ILR on completing three years’ residence they.
Allowable Absences on a UK Entrepreneur Visa
Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants can spend a period of 180 days in a calendar year outside the UK. Cases of compassionate circumstances or exceptional grounds can be given due consideration, which rests at discretion of the Home Office.
Applicants having to leave to remain or leave to enter under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category can only work for their own business in which they have invested money, or remain self-employed, but cannot work for anyone as an employee. Dependents of the Tier 1 visa holder are not permitted to work as trainee doctors or dentists or professional sportspersons or sports coaches while in the UK.
UK Entrepreneur Visa - Entrepreneurial Teams
Applicants can also apply in an entrepreneurial team of two people with the £200000.
Administrative Review if Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is Refused
There is no Right of Appeal if an application for entry clearance or leave to remain is refused. However, the applicant is given a right to apply Administrative Review which must be exercised within 28 days from the decision from outside the UK and 14 days within the UK. The Home Office will take 28 days to give a decision. The applicant can rely on the information and documents submitted with the application - no fresh documentary evidence can be submitted for their administrative review unless required by Home Office.
In order to succeed in securing the Tier 1 visa, it is strongly advised to seek professional help for making the application or seeking an Administrative Review, request to the ECO or Home Office.