Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Set-up Visa, and Innovators Visa

Tier 1 Entrepreneur are those who have already invested into 1 or more businesses in the UK.

Entrepreneurs extension is where the applicant/s will need to show the followings;

  • Registered as a director or as self-employed no more than 6 months after the date you were granted the entrepreneur visa.
  • The applicants can prove that he/she has been self-employed, a member of a partnership or working as a director of a business 3 months before the application
  • The business has create at least two new full-time jobs or its equivalent for resident workers in the UK, which will exist for an equivalent of at least 12 months.
  • The applicant can continue to support himself/herself in the UK.
  • The sum of least £200,000 has been invested into the business.

You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you have been in the UK for 5 years.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Accelerated Route

Under the current rules, an applicant who has been granted Tier 1 Entrepreneur status can apply for Indefinite leave to Remain (ILR) after 3 years, if they can show they have created 10 new job roles within their business, each having lasted at least 12 months.

 

Start-Up Visa

This is a category for applicants who wishes to set up a business in the UK, and who are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, and meet the other eligibility requirements.

An applicant needs to be over 18 and pass an English language test at upper intermediate (B2) level. This is up from intermediate (B1) for its predecessor.

An applicant will also need to meet a maintenance requirement by showing they have held £945 in savings over a 90-day period before they apply. They do not need to provide evidence of maintenance funds if the letter from their endorsing body confirms they have been awarded funding of at least £945. There is also a requirement of £630 funds for each dependant in savings over 90-day period before the application date.

Part W5 talks about the need to be endorsed by an organisation that will assess the applicant’s business idea. This forms the main hurdle for potential applicants.

The start-up business idea will be endorsed by an authorised body that is either:

  • a UK higher education institution
  • a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

There is a list of endorsing bodies dominated by universities and other institutions.

The Home Office has set out three key criteria for the endorsement bodies. The key criteria have been fleshed out in Part W5.2 of the Immigration Rules are Innovation, Viability  and Scalability.

The visa once granted will be granted for a set period of two years, or the remaining balance of two years if the applicant has previously held leave in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or start-up categories. At the end of the two years the person can switch into the innovator category based on the same business idea, provided they can still obtain an endorsement.

This visa does not allow you to do the following;

  • get public funds
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
  • settle in the UK on this visa

 

 

Innovators visa

This category is for applicants who wishes to set up or run a business in the UK, and who are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

An applicant needs to be over 18 and pass an English language test, and show that they have enough money to support themselves in the UK.

An applicant will also need to meet a maintenance requirement by showing they have held £945 in savings over a 90-day period before they apply. They do not need to provide evidence of maintenance funds if the letter from their endorsing body confirms they have been awarded funding of at least £945. There is also a requirement of £630 funds for each dependant in savings over 90-day period before the application date.

Prior to an application being made, the applicant will have to have their business or business idea assessed by an approved body to provide an endorsement letter to confirm if the business is viable. You can read the specific requirements for the Innovator visa before you apply.

 

The eligibility requirements, is that the applicant must have at least £50,000 in investment funds to set up a new business. No further funds is required to be shown if the business is already established, and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

 

This visa allows you to set up a business or several businesses, where you may be employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership. You are also able to bring family members with you.

 

This visa does not allow you to do any work outside your business, or work as a doctor or dentist in training, or a professional sportsperson. You are not entitled to public funds.

The visa once granted is for 3 years. It can extended for a further 3 years when the visa is due to expire, provided the rules are met. There is no limit on the number of extensions.

An application for settlement can be made once the applicant has been in the UK for 5 years, provided the rules are met.