WORKING IN THE UK
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is for entrepreneurs who want to come to the UK – or in some cases switch their leave in the UK from a different visa category – and set up, take over or join a business and run it. They must invest funds into the business and create jobs. If they can achieve this they may ultimately be able to acquire indefinite leave to remain (settlement) on this basis.
Entrepreneurs may include their close family members (spouse/partner, children under the age of 18) as dependants in their application, and such dependants may also be able to acquire indefinite leave to remain along with the entrepreneur.
To apply successfully for the visa the entrepreneur has to show that they have a good and credible business plan. They also have to show that they have sufficient funds to invest in the business. In many cases the required amount is £200,000 but in some situations it can be less. There is also an English language requirement for the main applicant.
The initial visa is granted for a period of three years and four months (if granted outside the UK) or for three years (if granted in the UK).
If the entrepreneur ultimately wants to acquire indefinite leave to remain they must in all cases invest all the funds appropriately into the business and they must create at least two full-time jobs.
If the business is very successful (ie if it earns £5 million in a three-year period or it creates ten full-time jobs) the entrepreneur may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain along with any dependants after three years.
If the business has not been as successful as this, but if it has created at least two full-time jobs, then the entrepreneur may be able to apply for extend his Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave. If the extension is granted it will be extended for a period of two years.
In this situation, after five years in total the entrepreneur and any family members may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain, if all the requirements have been met, including (for applicants aged 18 or over) an English language and a Life in the UK test requirement.