Tier 1 Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Business Immigration

This Immigration visa category is intended for individuals who wish to immigrate to the UK and start their own business.

An Overview of British Entrepreneurship

The UK Home Office has adopted a policy of “Entrepreneurial migration” to attract elite business-minded individuals who have the ability, financial resources and a desire to settle and set up business in the UK, thereby creating employment opportunities for the local market and boosting the UK economy.

A core requirement for such a visa is having an “entrepreneurial spirit”. UK Immigration Authorities and Visa Application Centres carefully scrutinise every applicant’s business plan and conducts interviews in order to determine the authenticity and feasibility of the plans and, in turn, determine the legitimacy of the visa application. To enhance your chances of obtaining an entrepreneurial visa, it is vitally important to have the guidance and expertise of an experienced and reliable solicitor.

As a legal expert recognised by the Department for International Trade (formerly the UK Trade & Investment authority), Christine Lee & Co can not only provide you with professional legal advice, but also the expertise and experience of a team of solicitors who have been practicing for more than 10 years. Your visa application could not be placed in more capable hands.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Benefits

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is suitable for individuals who have a practical business plan, strong entrepreneurial experience and a willingness to start their own businesses in the UK. The initial duration of the visa is 3 years, after which the visa can be extended for a further 2 years. After 5 years you can apply for permanent residence in the UK. After 6 years can apply to become a British citizen under UK naturalisation rules.

  • No deposit period for Investment funds
  • Team applications possible – need to have £100,000 in funding for each team member
  • Entrepreneurs can choose their own investment projects after funds have been transferred (one or more existing commercial projects can be acquired)
  • English requirements are relatively low
  • There is no minimum turnover requirement for commercial projects

Applicant Eligibility Requirements;

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • No criminal record
  • English language CEFR level B1, IELTS 4 or equivalent
  • No less than £200,000 of venture capital in personal accounts
  • Must have a relatively complete business plan
  • Must be able to support yourself and your family for the duration of your stay

Upon approval of the visa, a company must be established within 6 months of entry into the UK and you must be registered as the company director. Two full-time local UK positions must be created during the first three-year visa period.

Authenticity of the Entrepreneurial Visa Application

Applicants must also submit a business plan along with the visa application and, as such, a practical business plan will be the key to success in the process. Business plans should include details of investment funds, market research, operating cost accounting, analysis of competitors and recruitment plans in the UK. The business plan must provide accurate information and data which can serve to support the feasibility of the project. Additionally, applicants may also be invited to attend an interview to determine the legitimacy of the business plans and the intentions of the applicant to set up business in the UK. As such, guidance from an experienced solicitor during the application and review process can be vitally important in successfully obtaining an entrepreneurial visa.

Business Plan and Interview Preparation for UK Entrepreneur Immigration VIsa

Express path

During your first three-year visa period, you must create ten full-time positions in the UK or reach £5,000,000 of income. You may then apply for permanent residence immediately after the initial three-year visa period without having to renew for a further 2 years.

Proof of Funds

You must have at least £200,000 transferred from a domestic account to a UK bank account. The source of funds may be a parent or spouse gift. The funds should have been in your bank account for at least 90 days. If not, you will have to show detailed proof of funding.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa Policy Developments