TIER 1 (ENTREPRENEUR)
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the Points Based System is for those investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom (UK).
This visa leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement).
Genuine entrepreneurship in the UK is encouraged under this immigration policy.
Applicants must have a tangible, executable business plan, required funds and meet the English language requirements to obtain a 3-year initial Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. This is extended, upon visa expiry, for a further 2-year period before applicants could apply for Settlements.
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:
Attributes 75 points
The applicant has to score 75 points under this section in the following manner:
- By providing evidence that the applicant has got access to at least £200K(25 points) or have access to £50K (25 points) held in a regulated financial institution which has been funded by:
- An FSA registered Venture Capitalist firm
- A UK Government Department
- A Devolved Administration Department or
- An entrepreneurial seed funding competition recognised by UK Trade and Investment.
- By providing evidence that the money is being held in one or more regulated financial institutions: 25 points.
- By providing evidence that the money is disposable in the UK: 25 points.
English Language 10 points
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:
- By being a national of one of the majority English speaking countries, i.e. USA, Australia, Canada, etc.
- By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
- By having passed an English language Test level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference required, please refer to the Approved English Tests Providers List
Maintenance 10 points
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:
- £3310 from 01 July 2014, if the applicant is making an entry clearance application from outside the UK
- £945, if the applicant is making an in-country application either to extend his existing visa or an initial application while remaining in the UK
- £1890 for each family member where the main applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months
- £630 for each family member if the applicant and the family members are residing in the UK and the main applicant has been in the UK for more than 12 months
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.
If a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant is not eligible for accelerated settlement upon completion of 3 years’ residence they will need to obtain an extension for 2 years to enable them complete five years’ residence in the UK and thus apply for ILR.
The applicant has to score 75 points in the following manner:
- By providing evidence that the applicant has invested, or had invested on his behalf, not less than £200K(or £50K if the initial application was made on this basis) directly into one or more businesses in the UK. (20 points).
- By providing evidence that the applicant has registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a self-employed person or registered a new business in which he is a director or registered as a director of an existing business. (20 Points). This requirement must be met within six months of the grant of the initial visa if the applicant was granted his last leave to remain/entry clearance under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and wishes to seek an extension of stay.
- By providing evidence that the applicant is engaged in business activity at the time of this application for leave to remain (15 points).
- By providing evidence that his business has created two full-time positions for persons settled in the UK (max. 20 points). If the applicant's last grant of leave is as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) then these two jobs must have existed for at least 12 months.
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.
Existing Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) will no longer be required to provide evidences of English language or maintenance to obtain extensions of visas.
Indefinite Leave to remain (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:
- Creation of 10 full time positions for resident workers for at least 12 months; or
- Generation of a turnover of at least £5 million over a 3 years period
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are allowed to remain outside the UK for maximum 180 days in any calendar year without losing their right to apply for permanent residency after 3(accelerated route) or 5 years.