UK Visa TIER 1 Entrepreneur
This is the category of the Points based System for individuals wishing to invest in business in the UK.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur will be opened for extension applications only and will be replaced by Innovator visa
‘Genuine entrepreneur’ test
The ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test will be conducted by the Home Office caseworker taking into consideration the factors set out below in deciding whether or not he or she is satisfied the applicant is a genuine one:-
Applicants are required to score at least 95 points in total to successfully apply for the required visa and can claim points in the following ways:
The applicant has to score 75 points under this section in the following manner:
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants applying to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category need only show access to £50,000. These funds can already be invested in business or part-invested together with access to cash funds of the balance of the £50,000.
The funding can now be made available to the applicant's business, rather than directly in the applicant's name, provided that there is evidence to link the applicant sufficiently to that business.
For applications made from within the UK, the funds to be invested into the business must also be in the UK.
The applicant must claim 75 points in total using the points earned in all of the above mentioned subsections.
2. English Language
For Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), applicants are required to provide evidence that they speak, communicate and understand English language to a certain level. This requirement can be met in one of the following three ways:
This will give 10 points to the applicant.
Following persons however will automatically be given 10 points under this section:
10 points under the English language requirement will also be awarded automatically to those who were granted their initial leave under the Business Person category under the previous Immigration Rules. They were required to satisfy the stringent English language criteria but the rules have been relaxed to acknowledge that the English language requirement was not a requirement when they were granted their initial leave.
Applicants need to score 10 points under this section by providing evidence confirming sufficient money for the maintenance and accommodation of themselves and any dependants. It is necessary to provide evidence that a specific amount of money was held for at least 3 months prior to making the application (initial or extension).
The applicant must provide evidence that he has access to the following amounts of money to make the visa application for himself and his family members:
Please note that the applicant must have the above mentioned funds in addition to the £200,000 that he intends to invest in the business.
Source of Funding
It is not necessary for the applicant to show £200,000 (or £50,000) of his own money to seek entry clearance or further leave to remain under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. He can rely on third party funding for the required £200,000. The third parties may be one of the following:
Please note that third party funding is only allowed to make up the £200,000 to invest in the business, the applicant must have money of his own to score points under the maintenance funds section.
If funds are held by another business, which is not the business that applicant rely to score points, then these funds will be considered as a funding from a third party.
To avoid recycling the funds between the applicants the new rule is introduced. The applicants can not rely on funds or investments that have been provided by another Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holder or his close family members. The question “who can be considered as close family member” will be considered individually.
Duration of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and settlement
First time applicants will be given 3 years and 4 months stay whether they apply for entry clearance or switch from another immigration category.
Those who are already on a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa will be granted an extension for 2 years to enable them complete five years’ residence in the UK and thus apply for ILR. All other applicants will be granted an extension of stay of 3 years.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will also be eligible for accelerated settlement upon completion of 3 years` time, provided they fulfil one of the following requirements:
The requirements relating to naturalization applications have not been affected and even if they obtain ILR on completing three years’ residence they would still be required to wait for another 2 years and comply with the residence and other requirements in order to apply for naturalization.
If a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant is not eligible for accelerated settlement upon completion of 3 years’ residence he will need to obtain an extension for 2 years to enable him complete five years’ residence in the UK and thus apply for ILR.
The applicant has to score 75 points in the following manner:
The applicant can only claim 75 points if he can provide the relevant documentary evidence and claim points under all of the sub-sections mentioned above.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) is not required to provide evidences of English language to obtain extensions of visas.
Main applicant seeking further leave to remain must have at least £945 of personal savings which must have held for a consecutive 90 day period prior to the date of application. If the Tier 1 Migrant has been in the United Kingdom for 12 months or more, the dependant must have £630 to support yourself.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will be allowed to remain outside the UK for maximum 180 days in any calendar year without losing their right to apply for permanent settlement after 3 (if they create 10 full time jobs for 1 year or generate a turnover of £5 million) or 5 years.
Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category will be allowed to work only for the business in which they have invested money. They will not be allowed to take supplementary employment. However their dependants will be allowed to seek work or engage in self-employment activities for the duration of their visas. The only restriction for them is that they cannot work as trainee doctors or dentists or professional sportspersons or sports coaches in the UK.
Applicants can also apply in an entrepreneurial team of two people but each must have equal access to the investment funds. They can apply at the same time for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa using the same level of funds, i.e. either £200K or £50K funded by one of the above-mentioned establishments. Each one of them will still need to pass the language and maintenance requirements.
Into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur):
The following persons will be able to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category:
The rules of switching are very strict and no one else is allowed to switch to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) while remaining in the UK, unless there are exceptionally compassionate circumstances.
Although applicants on the above-mentioned visas are allowed to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, only the following will be able to use time spent on their visas towards the 5 years’ residence criteria for ILR.
It means that if a work permit holder having already spent 3 years on a work permit switches into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, he/she will lose that 3 years for settlement purposes and have to complete 5 years on a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa in order to become eligible for settlement.
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 one month before completing their five years.
Applicants for ILR under the accelerated route must also that they have invested the funds.
If the entry clearance application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of Administrative Review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information and documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to submit any fresh documentary evidence with the Review request. It is therefore strongly advised to seek professional help when making a Review request.
If an application for further leave to remain in the UK is refused by the Home Office, the applicant will be given a right of Administrative Review of the decision that must be exercised within 14 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information and documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to submit any fresh documentary evidence with the Review request. It is therefore strongly advised to seek professional help when making a Review request.
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