Tier 1 entrepreneur visa uk

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Tier 1 entrepreneur visa uk

The tier 1 UK entrepreneur visa requirements are precise. Mistakes are easy to make. We support entrepreneurs at every stage.  We support your initial application, maintain your eligibility, and enable you to settle in the UK.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa enables non-EEA entrepreneurs to:

  • Set up a UK business;
  • Move their existing business to the UK;
  • Acquire an existing UK business.

We offer a fixed fee initial assessment of your eligibility for  £500 excluding VAT.  Besides ensuring your visa applications stand the best chance of success, we protect and support your business. Our tight-knit office delivers UK company law and business tax expertise.

Our clients include technology, film and media, sports, celebrities, fintech, and mobile telecommunication businesses.

Tier 1 entrepreneur visa eligibility assessment

The Home Office uses a points based system to assess entrepreneurs’ Tier 1 visa applications.  Eligibility requirements are strict.  A major requirement is access to investment funds that exceed £50,000. Alternatively, you qualify if you have £200,000 of personal wealth.

Genuine entrepreneur test

The ‘genuine entrepreneur test’  must be satisfied at every stages of the application, including your initial application, extension and finally the settlement, i.e. to stay long-term in the UK. This test has become more challenging, and has increased refusal rates.

Entrepreneurs must demonstrate they are genuine, and possess sound commercial acumen.  A viable business proposition is a good start.  Hence the Home Office requires a business plan that details your proposals in their required format.  Our commercial expertise enables us to assess whether your business plan will satisfy the Home Office’s requirements.

Tier 1 entrepreneur visa application process

If you satisfy the eligibility criteria we can complete the process for your Tier 1 UK entrepreneur visa application. The application comprises:

  • Application form;
  • Representations to the UK Border Authority (UKBA) or its overseas offices:
    • These set out why you qualify with reference to the legislative provisions;
  • Schedule of documents:
    • The evidence. We tell you what to provide, in what format.

The application form is lengthy and complex. For clients,  we often manage the entire process, and maintain contact with the relevant authority. Usually representations from a UK lawyer carry weight.

Family members

If you obtain a Tier 1 UK entrepreneur visa, then in the UK:

  • You can bring your spouse/partner and children under the age of 18 as dependants;
  • Your family members gain full rights to work;
  • Your children can study, for free, in “state” schools;
  • The National Health Service will treat you and your family.

Switching to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa if your last visa was in a qualifying category.

Extension application

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is usually granted for an initial period of 3 years and four months. The entrepreneur should then submit an extension application to extend the visa for a further 2 years.

However, the Home Office does not automatically grant an extension of leave to remain in the UK.  Throughout the initial 40 month period the entrepreneur must conform to the qualification rules.

We always advise clients to prepare well in advance of their extension application.  Clients who have not prepared in advance risk the Home Office not granting them further leave to remain.

Remain in UK upon visa expiry

A Tier 1 UK entrepreneur visa allows you to apply to permanently stay in the UK after 5 years. However, you must meet the Home Office’s qualifying criteria to obtain indefinite leave to remain. You must comply with the criteria throughout the 5 year period.

Fast-track to stay in UK

It is possible to reduce the qualifying period for settlement from 5 to 3 years if you meet certain conditions. We tell you if you are eligible.

Appeal against visa application refusal

If the Home Office refuses your Tier 1 UK entrepreneur visa application, you have the right of appeal.  You must exercise this right within 28 days of the date of service of the decision.  Note, you cannot submit new documents to support your application.

We know which arguments succeed. We also tell you your chances of success. We believe that if you have legal representation, the Home Office more carefully reviews your case.

Appeals from within UK

If the Home Office refuses your settlement application, then you may have a right to appeal. To appeal, you cannot have any leave to remain in the UK when Home Office made the refusal decision.

You must lodge your appeal within 10 working days of the date of service of the decision. Again, you cannot submit new documents to support your appeal.

Continuous business support

We are more than immigration specialists. We provide the legal support your company requires, e.g.:

  • UK company formation;
  • Bespoke corporate documents that protect your interests, e.g.:
    • Articles of Association,
    • Shareholder’s agreements;
    • Directors’ service agreements;
  • UK tax advice for existing immigration clients, i.e.:
    • Tax reliefs on R&D, e.g. patent box;
    • Entrepreneurs relief;
  • Tier 2 visas to employ specialists from outside the EEA.