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Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur | Tier 1

Are you interested in opening a business in the United Kingdom? Or would you like to join and invest in an existing UK business? If so IMI Solutions has partners that can assist and guide you through the process of gaining a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa!

Tier 1 Entrepreneur is to attract people to invest in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, one or more businesses. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas are ideal for entrepreneurs with some money to invest in the UK. If you have at least £50,000 to invest, you may be able to apply for this visa. In practice most people who apply will need to have £200,000 of available funds held in a regulated financial institution.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur sub-category is perfect for those individuals wishing to start a business in the UK who can meet the criteria. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) is for non-European migrants who want to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of a business.

Unlike Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) requires funds that you must invest in a business in the UK. However, you do not need a sponsor or an endorsing body.

The main requirements of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) for a person who does not already have immigration permission (leave) under this category are:

  • you can demonstrate that you intend and are able to establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within six months of your application under this scheme
  • you must register with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as self-employed, and/or must register your new business or as director of an existing business within six months of arriving in the UK or having been granted leave under this category in the UK
  • you will not take employment except for your own business or businesses
  • your English language is at a required level; a UK degree is evidence that you meet this requirement
  • you meet a requirement to hold a certain level of funds to support yourself
  • you intend to invest a required sum of money in your business or businesses

The sum of money you are required to invest in your business depends on your current immigration permission or where you apply. You can meet this requirement if you have invested the required level of funds in your business before you apply under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), as long as the investment was made no more than 12 months before you apply. If you apply on or after 6 April 2014, this period is extended to 24 months if your current or most recent grant of leave was under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).

Investment sums for entry clearance from outside the UK

If you apply outside the UK, you must have at least £200,000.

Investment sums for applying in the UK if you have Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) leave

You must have at least £50,000.

Investment sums for applying in the UK if you have Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4 student leave

You must have at least £50,000 and your funds must be from one or more of the following sources only:

  • one or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions which is listed as endorsed on the UK Trade & Investment website
  • one or more UK Government Departments, or Devolved Government Departments in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and made available by the Department(s) for the specific purpose of establishing or expanding a UK business

Investment sums for applying in the UK if you have Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) leave

You must have at least £50,000 from the same sources listed above for applicants with Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4 student leave. This is your only option unless you are already in self-employment and meet all of the requirements described below before 11 July 2014.

Alternatively, you must have at least £50,000 and you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You have, up to the date of your application and before 11 July 2014 been continuously engaged in business activity which is not activity under a contract of service with a business other than your own and, during this period, you have been continuously
    1. 1. registered with HM Revenue and Customs as self-employed, or
    2. 2. Registered with Companies House as a director of a new or an existing business, and you must not be on the Companies House list of disqualified directors.
  • You have, up to the date of your application and before 11 July 2014 been continuously working in an occupation which appears on the list of occupations skilled to National Qualifications Framework level 4 or above, as stated in the Codes of Practice in Appendix J [^], and provide the specified evidence in paragraph 41-SD of Appendix A [^]. “Working” in this context means that the core service your business provides to its customers or clients involves the business delivering a service in an occupation at this level. It excludes any work involved in administration, marketing or website functions for the business.

Investment sums for applying in the UK with any other type of immigration permission

You must have at least £200,000 to invest in your business.