Following are the various frequently asked questions (FAQs) about UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa:

FAQs: Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

Leave is normally granted for:

  • 3 years and 4 months for entry clearance
  • 3 years for switching (leave to remain where the previous grant of leave was not as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant, businessperson or innovator)
  • 2 years for extensions or renewal of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

You can:

You can’t:

  • do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business
  • get public 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 the Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • 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).

If you are applying from outside the UK (entry clearance), you must apply online for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Unless you are national of a majority English speaking country, you can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening;
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelors degree, masters degree or PhD.

For the purpose of Tier 1 Entrepreneur application, 'business' means an enterprise such as a:

  • sole trader
  • partnership
  • company registered in the UK

Applicants must score 95 points, made up of:

  • 75 points for attributes
  • 10 points for meeting the English language requirement
  • 10 points for meeting the maintenance requirement

Most of the initial applications for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa fails because the Home Office UKVI do not believe that the applicant is a genuine Tier 1 Entrepreneur. The genuineness is usually decided by taking into consideration the following inter-alia:

  • The business plan submitted in support of the application;
  • The qualifications, experience and skills of the applicant relevant to the proposed business idea;
  • The answers given by the applicant in response to questions asked by the Home Office UKVI during the immigration interview;
  • The genuineness of availability of funds for investment;
  • Previous immigration history of the applicant, where relevant.

Applicants can switch from the following categories:

  • highly skilled migrant
  • Tier 1 (General) migrant
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant
  • Tier 1 (Investor) migrant
  • Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) migrant
  • Tier 2 migrant
  • a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

Yes, you can apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa as part of a team. Money for investment can be shared between a team with a maximum of 2 entrepreneurs. Each team member may apply to come to the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant using the same investment funds. Neither applicant must have used the same funds with any other applicant.

The Home Office UKVI can conduct genuine entrepreneur test for initial, extension and indefinite leave to remain applications.

If the Home Offie, UKVI have doubts over the credibility of an application, they can conduct a genuine entrepreneur test as follows:

  • where the Home Office, UKVI don’t require any further evidence from the applicant, they can undertake a paper genuineness consideration on the evidence provided with the application
  • if the Home Office UKVI need further information from the applicant in order to make the paper genuineness consideration, they must allow the applicant 28 calendar days from the date of request to submit thismfurther evidence to the UKVI
  • if the Home Office UKVI cannot determine the credibility of the applicant from a paper genuineness test, they may invite the applicant to interview either in person, by telephone or by video conference

It is very common in Tier 1 Entrepreur applications for an applicant to be interviewed for genuineness test before an application is decided by the Home Office, UKVI.

The Home Office UKVI should normally takes into consideration the following factors when conducting a genuine entrepreneur test:

  • Evidence submitted by the applicant in support of the application;
  • The viability and credibility of the migrant’s business plan and market research into their chosen business sector;
  • The viability and credibility of the source of money for investment in the UK;
  • Their previous educational and business/work experience (or lack thereof);
  • Their statements made during the immigration interview for genuine entrepreneur test;
  • Their previous immigration history and previous activity in the UK, where applicable;
  • If the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained;
  • Any other relevant information that can be considered within the context of the genuine entrepreneur test as set out in the Immigration Rules;
  • Any legal representations made by the applicant's legal representatives in support of the application.

Under the genuineness test, the Home Office, UKVI can refuse an application even if the Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant meets the required points total if the Home Office, UKVI are not satisfied that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant is a genuine entrepreneur.

 

Yes, an application for extension of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa can be made from outside the UK. An application for extension/renewal of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from outside the UK is normally decided in 4 to 6 weeks time under standard service and within 5 working days under the priority service.

Yes, the funds for investment can be from a third party who can provide the specified documents to be submitted in support of the application for the Home Office UKVI to be satisfied that the the funds for investment are genuinely available to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant.

The Immigration Rules require that the applicant for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during the qualifying period with leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant.

Sunrise Solicitors is the trading name of Sunrise Solicitors Ltd (company registration no. 6405492). Sunrise Solicitors Offices are regulated by SRA under SRA ID 490903 (London Office) and SRA ID 645256 (Manchester Office). Sunrise Solicitors are also members of Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA).

 

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