Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

1. Overview

2. Eligibility

3. Knowledge of English

4. Access to £50,000 investment funds

5. Access to £200,000 investment funds

6. Documents you must provide Apply

7. Extend your visa

8. Switch to this visa

9. Family members

1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:

* you want to set up or run a business in the UK

* you're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

* you meet the other eligibility requirements

You must have access to at least £50,000 investment funds to apply.
Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Who you're applying for Apply online or by post Apply in person outside the UK
You £1,204 £963
You (if you're from Turkey or Macedonia) £1,149 £908
All dependants £1,204 each person £963 each person

You'll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you'll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months.

You can apply to extend this visa for another 2 years if you're already in this category and 3 years if you're switching to it from another category.

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

What you can and can't do

You can:

1. set up or take over the running of one business or more

2. work for your business, including being self-employed, but you shouldcheck your work meets the conditions of being self-employed

3. bring family members with you

You can't:

1. do any work outside your business, eg work where you're employed by another business

2. get public funds

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2. Eligibility

1. You must have access to at least £50,000 investment funds to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Your funds must be:

Work to Residence -1. held in one or more regulated financial institutions

2. free to spend ('disposable') on business in the UK

There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you have access to £50,000 or to £200,000. You must also:

3. meet the English language requirement

4. be able to support yourself during your stay

5. score 95 points - check your points score

6. be at least 16 years old

Read more about the points-based system in the full guidance on the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Sharing investment funds

You can form an 'entrepreneurial team' with one other Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant and share the same investment funds.
You and your team member must meet all the application requirements and:

* not use the same funds on another application with a different entrepreneurial team

* provide all the documents needed for evidence of the funds with your own applications

4. Access to £50,000 investment funds

You can apply if you have access to £50,000 in investment funds from one or more of the following:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
  • a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

You can also apply if you've already invested £50,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.
The funding rules are different if you're changing (switching) from another visa.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

You can apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • you're applying to change (switch) your visa ('leave to remain')
  • you have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • you have funding from any source

You can rely on investments from up to 24 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Post-study worker)

You can apply if you:

  • are applying to change (switch) your visa ('leave to remain')
  • have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Post-study worker)
  • have registered as a director of a business or as self-employed in the 3 months before you apply
  • are working in a job on the list of occupations at the National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above

  • You must also have been involved in running one or more UK businesses (eg you’re listed as a company director) since before 11 July 2014 if you want to apply:
  • using your own funds
  • using funds from a venture capital firm regulated by the FCA
  • Otherwise, you can only apply with funding from:
  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UK Trade and Investment
  • a UK government department funding the setting up or expansion of a UK business
  • You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.
Apply as a former Tier 1 (General)

You can apply if you:

** are applying to change (switch) your visa ('leave to remain')

** have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (General) worker
You can apply with funding from:

** a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UK Trade and Investment

** a UK government department funding the setting up or expansion of a UK business
You can apply using investment funds from a venture capital firm registered with the FCA if you:

** have been involved in running one or more UK businesses (eg you're listed as a company director) since before 6 April 2015

** have been working in a job on the list of occupations at the National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above since before 6 April 2015
You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.
Your investment funds can't include:

** your own money

** money from any other third parties

Apply as a former student

You may be able to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you're already in the UK and you're:

** a Tier 4 visa holder

** a student nurse

** studying, writing up a thesis or re-sitting an exam

** a postgraduate doctor or dentist

** an overseas qualified nurse or midwife

** a student sabbatical officer
You must have access to £50,000 investment funds from one or more of the following:

** a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UKTI

** a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.
Your investment funds can't include:

** your own money

** money from any other third parties

** money from a UK venture capital firm

The funds must be held in the UK if you're applying for leave to remain.

Students with financial sponsorship

If your course fees and living costs have been paid for by a government or international scholarship agency, you must get written consent from them to re-enter or remain in the UK without any conditions.

5. Access to £200,000 investment funds

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) if you have access to £200,000 in investment funds and you can prove that the money is either:

** your own

** made available to you by other people ('third parties'), eg a husband, wife, partner or investor

** in a joint account with your spouse or partner but only if they aren't applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
The funds must be held in the UK if you're applying for leave to remain.

Previous investment

You can also apply if you've invested £200,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Post-study) worker

If you're in the UK on a Tier 1 (Post-study worker) visa or as a student, you must follow the rules for applying with £50,000 funding.

Apply if you're in the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa

If you're in the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa, you can only apply with £200,000 of your own funds if you:

** have been involved in running one or more UK businesses (eg you’re listed as a company director) since before 6 April 2015

** have been working in a job on the list of occupations at the National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above since before 6 April 2015

6. Documents you must provide

When you apply you'll need to provide:

** a current passport or other valid travel identification

** evidence of the investment funds available to you

** a business plan

** evidence that you can support yourself during your stay

** proof that you meet the English language requirement

** your tuberculosis test results if you're from a country where you have to take the test

** a criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years

You need a page in your passport that's blank on both sides for your visa.
You'll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren't in English or Welsh.
Read the guide for a list of documents you can provide.
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Evidence of investment funds

You must provide an official letter from each financial institution ?holding the funds and a recent:

  • personal bank or building society statement - for money from a UK financial institution
  • letter from an accountant or authorised official - for money from a UK government department
  • letter from an accountant - for money from a seed funding competition or venture capital firm

  • For money from a venture capital firm you must also provide:
  • an original letter from its director, partner or fund manager
  • a term sheet signed by all parties
  • proof that it has carried out checks and followed certain processes ('due diligence')
Funding from a third party

You must provide evidence of funding from any third parties other than a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UKTI or a UK government department.
You must also provide evidence if you've had the money for less than 90 days before you apply.
You must provide both:

  • ** confirmation they've made the money available for you to invest in a UK business
  • ** a letter from a legal representative (independent from those providing funds) confirming the signatures on the declaration are valid
Evidence that you can support yourself

You must prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you're in the UK.
How you prove this depends on where you're making your application from:

  • ** outside the UK - you'll need £3,310
  • ** in the UK - you' ll need £945

  • Your personal savings must have been in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
    You can't use either of the following to support yourself:
  • ** money from your investment funds
  • ** money earned while working in the UK illegally
7. Apply

Read the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) guidance before you apply.
You'll have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you'll have to pay before you apply.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
You'll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
You'll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you'd arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).
You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you're in - check with your visa application centre.

North Korea

You can't apply online if you're living North Korea.
To apply from North Korea you must:

  • ** download the form and appendix
  • ** read the instructions on how to apply
Apply in the UK
You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you're already in the UK.

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