Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visas offer the opportunity for successful entrepreneurs to develop a startup businesses in the UK whilst enjoying the various opportunities Britain has to offer as a professionally qualified and highly experienced Direct Access barrister in London I thought I’d give a brief overview of the requirements for these types of applications prior to proposed changes due to come in force.
The Requirements for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa
95 points under the points-based system are required.
You must be from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
You must have £50,000 to invest in starting a business in the UK. Alternatively, you can invest in and become a director of an existing business. This is what distinguishes the visa from a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, which is for more general investment.
If you are already in the UK, it is sufficient to show you have made such investment within the last 12 months.
The funds must be held by a regulated financial institutions and be in a disposable form.
You must you have English language knowledge. Citizens of certain countries do not need to prove this, but if you are from an excluded country you need to take an approved English language test and attain at least CEFR Level B1 in writing, reading, listening and speaking. Having a bachelor’s degree or higher which was taught in English will be sufficient.
You must be able to support financially both yourself and your family upon arrival.
You and one other applicant for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa can form a team and use the same investment funds, provided you both meet all of the eligibility requirements. The same funds cannot be used on a separate application for a different team. You will both need to provide evidence of where the funds came from.
Certain fees must be paid – there is an application fee for you and each of your dependents. This fee varies depending on where you currently live. The NHS healthcare surcharge will also have to be paid for you and your dependents.
You and your dependents will all need to get biometric residence permits within ten days of the planned date of arrival in the UK. This 10-day stipulated period will not change if you arrive later.
If you have more than £200,000 to invest, the same requirements apply as above.
You must be able to prove the money is either your own, has been made available to you by a third party, or is in a joint bank account (provided that the other bank account holder is not applying for the same visa independently).
If you have invested £200,000 in a UK business in the past 12 months, you can apply for this visa.
There are further benefits where you are granted a visa
You can bring your partner and children (who are younger than 18) with you to the UK when granted this visa.
If your application is successful, you and your family can stay in the UK for up to three years and four months.
Remaining in the UK
If you meet certain requirements, you can apply to extend the Visa for up to two more years. You will need evidence that the minimum investment was indeed made, evidence of being self-employed or a director of a new or existing business, evidence of being engaged in business activity at the time of application and evidence of creating at least two full-time jobs for residents which have lasted at least 12 months. A total of at least 75 points must be accumulated.
If you have switched to this Visa from another, you can apply to for an extension for up to three years.
After five years in the UK, you will become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
An application can be made after three years if your investment has created at least ten full-time jobs for residents for at least 12 months or generate £5 million in turnover over the three years.
If you or a family member or a friend are affected by any of the issues raised above please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and my dedicated team in Gray’s Inn London and we will do our utmost to help you with you any immigration advice / problem you may or may not have.
The main problem with this type of case is that by the time it comes to me its been messed up. These applications require a lot of paperwork and detailed representations. The guidance and the rules say exactly what documents are required. There is a little lee way but not much. I have had success in challenging a few refusals recently, indeed in one case the SSHD has allowed me to submit a completely new application, in effect without paying the fee, and are likely to grant, I hope the visa. This was in part due to the extensive work done in respect of the pre action letter.
Having said this I have more often than not found cases where there are missing documents to be frustrating and challenging to win. The first thing that I would advise, particularly after the Supreme Case of Mandalia is go get advice. I have commented that I am going to offer late night appointments -I have seen people up to 2100 – I know people have to work and support their families. I am also happy to those who cannot do the week to come in Saturday morning. Indeed we had a case gently where there was