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Entrepreneur Visa


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What is an Entrepreneur Visa?

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is for those who want to set up their own business or take control of an existing business already being run in the UK. This visa is provisioned by the UK Government and is a potential route for those looking for permanent settlement in the UK. The spouse and any dependant children of the main applicant are also entitled to reside in the UK and obtain education, healthcare and employment. However, the main applicant cannot take employment - they must be either a director of a business or self-employed in the UK.

The applicants can, however, be allowed to switch to another category of business in the UK, provided they fulfil the requirements of the switching category.

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 upon the expiry of the initial visa, with an extension of 2 years granted subsequently

 

Mandatory Requirements for the UK Entrepreneur Visa

The mandatory requirements for a UK Entrepreneur Visa are as follows:

  • English language requirement - The 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 degree from the UK or outside the UK.

  • Maintenance requirement - Applicants must provide evidence that a specific amount of money has been held for at least 3 months 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:

  • £3310, if the applicant 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 where 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 or £50,000 that they intend to invest in the business.

 

The Genuine Test - UK Entrepreneur Visa

The ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test is conducted by the caseworker at the Home Office. They take the following factors into consideration to decide whether 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

Questions may be asked depending on your 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 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 be granted an extension to a UK entrepreneur visa, you will need to score a total of 95 points. Points are awarded on the following basis:

  • Mandatory 10 points for English Language

  • Mandatory 10 points for maintenance

  • 20 points once you have shown your investment of £200000 or £50000 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, or 3 years if you are applying within the UK, and 2 years for an extension.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants may also be eligible for accelerated settlement route upon completion of 3 years’ time, provided they fulfil either of the following requirements:

  • Generation of a turnover of £5 million or above over a 3 years’ period

        or

  • Creation of 10 full-time positions for resident workers for a period of at least 12 months

For naturalisation applications, even if they obtain ILR on completing three years’ residence they are still required to wait for another 2 years and comply with the residence and other requirements amounting to a total of 5 years.

 

Allowable absences on a UK Entrepreneur Visa

Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants are allowed to remain outside the UK for more than a period of 180 days in any calendar year, except for cases of compassionate or compelling circumstances, 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. They exempt from working for anyone as an employee. The restriction for a dependent is that they cannot 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 or £50000 categories. Those who have completed a total of five years in a combination of a Business Person visa or an Innovator visa or a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

 

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 of 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 able to rely on the information and documents submitted with the application - no fresh documentary evidence can be submitted for their administrative review unless requested by Home Office. Because of this, it is strongly advised to seek professional help when making an administrative Review request to the ECO or Home Office.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your Tier 1 UK Entrepreneur Visa application.


Do you need to apply for a Entrepreneur Visa ?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

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We specialise exclusively in UK Immigration and Nationality Law. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC). We provide immigration services to clients from worldwide. Immigration law is complex and with the rules constantly changing we strongly recommend that you use specialists to support and represent you from the start. Call us now for an honest opinion of your case, possible costs and options.

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