UK Entrepreneur Visa

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa now closed for new applicants

After the statement of changes was being issued with respect to UK Immigration rule on 7 March 2019, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa programme was announced to be closed for new applicants from 29 March 2019. 

However, if you want to run or set up your own business in UK, then are required to apply through an Innovator Visa or a Start-up visa.

Important things to note:

The Entry Clearance Application will be only accepted by those individuals that are being submitted by individuals who hold Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa from past 12 months. 

Applications for leave to remain will be accepted for those applicants who have been granted the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for the past 12 months.

Dependents, that includes spouses, partners or children aged under 18 are still eligible to apply and join those applicants that have been granted Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa in the past.

Applications for extending the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa will remain open till 5 July, 2025. However, UK settlement applications can be submitted till 5 April, 2025.

Applications required to switch the visa from Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa will remain open till 5 July, 2025 if an applicant wants to change it to some other visa. However, it will be open till 5 July, 2027 if the applicant would be applying for UK settlement. 

As the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa has been replaced by the new UK Innovator Visa and the UK Start-up Visa, you can contact Immigration Experts for a FREE evaluation of your profile for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, along with other UK visas.

Overview: The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category enables business people who intends to invest a sum between 50,000 Pounds to 200,000 Pounds to take an entry in UK, either to establish or to take over a business in UK (individually or with a partner). These funds must be possessed by a regulated institution, which includes a bank or a venture capital firm and should be available for free to spend, that is, it should not be tied up as securities, shares or some similar arrangements. 

You would also be required to create at least two new jobs for already settled workers. The settled workers include British Citizens, EU Citizens and EEA and also their dependents. When applying for an extension of the visa, these jobs should be existed for a minimum period of 12 months.

Note: In majority of the cases, applicants that are based outside of UK would be required to invest 200,000 Pounds. In order to invest a smaller amount equivalent to 50,000 Pounds, you would be required to have received funding from a venture capital located in UK or from some type of UK Government funding. 

An alternative option could be that if you could be considered under the entrepreneurial team requirements scheme, where each of the two members in the team would need to invest 10,000 Pounds.

Point System for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applications are evaluated on the basis of a points-based system. Applicants should score a full 95 points to become eligible for the visa. The table below provides a detail breakdown of the points awarded across relevant parameters.

Points Table for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

You have access to a minimum sum of 200,000 Pounds in the form of disposable funds OR should have a minimum of 50,000 Pounds received from one of the following sources:

    • Venture capital firm
  • Departments of UK Government 
  • DIT endorsed seed competition 
You have investment funds that are present in the form of regulated financial institution  25
You have investment funds which are free to spend25
You have access to required maintenance funds10
Meeting the required English Language Proficiency Levels10


Genuine Entrepreneur Test

This is one of the most relevant part of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application. You are required to present a detailed and credible business plan, academic qualification, documents along with other required information to prove that the applicant has all the required skills and experience to retain a business. In addition to this, you are also required to explain the source of funds. 


English Language Proficiency Test

In case you do not hold an academic degree that is not being taught in English and you do not belong to a nation which can be included under the English-speaking countries, then the applicant would be mandated to take an English language proficiency test with a score equivalent to B1 or above than that. The score should be appropriate across all components, that are reading, writing, speaking and listening. The test could be either general skills training or academic skills training.

Criminal Records Certificate

You will be required to provide Criminal Records Certificate for any of those countries where you have lived for a minimum period of 12 months in the last ten years. This eligibility requirement is same for your partner or spouse and dependent children that are aged 18 years or above. The required certificate must be issued within a period of six months of applying for the UK Visa.

Maintenance Funds

When applying for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you should have the appropriate funds available in order to support yourself during your period of stay in UK. The total amount of maintenance funds needed also varies depending if you are required to make an initial visa application or if you are applying for an extension. The funds required for the initial applicants is equivalent to a minimum sum of 3,310 Pounds while the funds that are required for those who are applying for visa extension should be equivalent to a minimum sum of 945 Pounds.

In either case, you should hold the required amount for a consistent period of 90 days or more.

Length of Stay 

You will be granted to stay for a maximum period of 3 years and 4 months for an initial period of time. However, after extension the total period of stay would be equivalent to 6 years and 4 months.

The length of the visa that is allowed to be extended would also depend on your visa status. If you are switching to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from some other category then you can extend the visa for a maximum period of 3 years. All other applicants are however required to extend the visa for a maximum period of 2 years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

The Indefinite Leave to Remain is also known as the settled status and is has been accepted as a form of permanent residence visa to UK. Usually, you can apply for this visa 28-days before your 5-years stay ends in UK on Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. However, it is necessary for you to check if you have not spent a period longer than 180 days outside UK during your five year stay. However, there also exists certain exceptions in the total period of stay in UK under Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa under some limited circumstances.

The requirement can be of as low as of 3 years only to apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain (excluding 28 days), in case you have created ten jobs or if you have established a business that is generating a gross income equal to 5 million pounds over the last three years or if you have acquired an existing business and that has made an increase in total gross income equivalent to 5 million Pounds over the last three days. In addition to this, you are also required to meet the stay requirements described above.

Documents required for the application 

You would be required to submit various documents along with their application. This includes:

  • Current passport or some other relevant travel documents for identification purpose
  • An extra passport-sized photograph
  • Proof that you have access to funds with a sum that ranges between 50,000 Pounds and 200,000 Pounds for investment 
  • A detailed and implementable business plan
  • Proof that you have the required funds for supporting yourself financially during the period of your stay. This mainly includes bank statements.
  • Proof that you hold the required English Language Proficiency levels. This includes coming from an English language country or holding a degree that is being taught in English or achieving B1 level (score) in the English Language Proficiency Test.
  • A report that shows Tuberculosis Test Results, if you come from a country listed on the Home Office’s tuberculosis testing list. 
  • A criminal record certificate from one of those countries where you have lived for a period of more than one year in last ten years.

Other activities and related restrictions 

When you hold this visa then you are eligible to work for a business in UK that is operated in a salaried manner or as self employed but you won’t be allowed to take another job outside that business.

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