Tier 1 Entrepreneur

Through the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa the UK is actively supporting non-EEA nationals to consider entrepreneurial opportunities within the UK.

If you are looking to start a business in the UK, with so much at stake, it is important to seek legal advice to understand the migration options open to you, to ensure your case is effectively represented to the authorities and to avoid any delays with your application.

A Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa will allow you to set up or take over the running of one business or more. You can work for your own business as a self-employed individual, provided the work meets the criteria for being self-employed. You can also bring family members and dependants with you.

Making a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application

At DavidsonMorris we help both individuals and a wide range of commercial employers meet their global mobility needs, including Tier 1 visa applications.

We have the experience to advise you on the most appropriate category of visa for your circumstances and have the insight to make the process as smooth as possible.

As a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, we have an established reputation for effective and efficient management and processing of visa applications, and for providing expert visa-related advice. We also understand the stresses involved with moving across the world, and take great pride in playing a supportive role to ease the pressure.

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Tier 1 entrepreneur frequently asked questions

Am I eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

You are eligible to apply if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You want to run or set up a business in the UK.
  • You are from outside the EEA and Switzerland.
  • You are at least 16 years old.

What will I need to show to apply? 

As part of your application you will need to demonstrate:

  • You have access to at least £200,000 investment funds to apply.
  • Your have the skills, qualifications and experience necessary to establish a viable business in the UK.
  • You have an acceptable command of the English language.
  • You have sufficient funds to cover your initial costs after relocating to the UK.

If you are switching into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category from the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category, or if your investment funds come from an FCA-registered venture capital firm investment or UK government department, the investment threshold is reduced to £50,000.

What you need to know  

Under a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa you can come to the UK for a maximum of three years and four months.

During this initial three year period, you will be required to establish a business (or multiple businesses) in the UK, invest the full £200,000 (or £50,000), and create at least 2 full time jobs for resident workers that exist for at least 12 months.

You can apply to extend this visa for another two years if you are already in this category and three years if you are switching from another category.

You may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years in the UK. In the event that you create 10 new full time jobs for resident workers, or if your business achieves a turnover of £5 million, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years.

As a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holder, you are not allowed to carry out any work outside your business, or be employed by another business. Also, you cannot claim UK public funds.

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