Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

Maximise your chances of a successful Entrepreneur Visa application with our Application Package

If you are a national from outside of the EEA or Switzerland and you want to set up or take over a business in the UK, you will need a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.

Those seeking to pursue this route must be actively involved in the running of the business (or businesses) in the UK. It offers opportunities for those seeking to set up a ‘business’ as a sole trader, partnership or a UK-registered company. For your application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to be successful, you must score a total of 95 points and meet all the other requirements under the Immigration Rules. You can score points by having access to not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if switching from a Post-Study Work visa). The application process for an Entrepreneur Visa can be complex but we can guide you through the process.

If you would like more information about the eligibility requirements and whether or not you qualify for this visa category contact one of our immigration experts who can advise on your individual circumstances. Our immigration lawyers have amassed a huge amount of experience in advising entrepreneurs with their visa applications. As a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has one of the highest refusal rates, it is advisable that you seek the help of an immigration lawyer before or during your application. One of our lawyers can prepare you for your Entrepreneur Visa interview and ensure your business plan is suitable. He/she will also prepare a Letter of Representation to accompany your Entrepreneur Visa application and will discuss the value of your case with respect to British immigration regulations. If you have any questions about your eligibility for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, or any of our other visa and immigration services, contact us now to speak directly to a qualified immigration lawyer. If you are unsure as to whether a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is the correct visa type to suit your circumstances, you can find out using our interactive Visa Wizard.

FAQs

Am I eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

For your application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to be successful, you must score a total of 95 points in accordance with the points-based system and meet all the other requirements under the Immigration Rules.

To be eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa you must either be actively involved in the running of a business (or businesses) in the UK or intend to set up a business as a sole trader, partnership or a UK-registered company.

You must also prove that you have access to a minimum of £200,000 in funds, which you can use for your business costs. You can also 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); or
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business or venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can also apply if you have 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 are changing (switching) from another visa, or if you have already had a UK visa.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, or any of our other visa and immigration services, contact us now to speak directly to a qualified immigration lawyer. If you’re unsure as to whether a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is the correct visa type to suit your circumstances, you can find out using our interactive Visa Wizard.

Can I still apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if I am a recent graduate?

Yes – if you are an international student who has recently graduated and are hoping to set up a business in the UK, you can apply for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. This visa allows someone who has a Bachelor’s Degree or above to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months. It also allows for the possibility of an extension for another year provided the business has proven successful during the length of the initial Entrepreneur Visa.

A Graduate Entrepreneur Visa must be endorsed by the DIT (Department for International Trade) as part of the elite global graduate entrepreneur programme (Sirius) or from a Higher Education body in the UK.

The Higher Education body must be able to endorse post-graduate visas in the UK. There are many universities in the UK that do endorse this visa, but, it is important to note that the amount of Graduate Entrepreneur Visas issued each year is usually under 2,000 and this may decrease further after Brexit.

More information on Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas

What should I expect in my Entrepreneur Visa interview?

The Entrepreneur Visa interview is one of the most vital parts of the Entrepreneur Visa process. As one of the most competitive visa routes, the interview requires a great deal of preparation.

At the Entrepreneur Visa interview, you should prepare for your business to be scrutinised. Before attending your Entrepreneur interview, it is crucial that you have an extensive understanding of your business plan. You will need to demonstrate that you know what your forecasts and margins are and that your business is both feasible and lucrative.

Contact IAS for advice on the Entrepreneur interview.

How can IAS help?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is one of the most commonly refused visa applications. As an applicant, your business plan will be scrutinised, both on paper and during your Entrepreneur Visa interview.

At IAS, our team of highly-trained immigration specialists will be able to advise you on the correct procedures, preparation and backing documents that you need when applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. They will:

  • ensure that your business plan is as detailed and comprehensive as it needs to be;
  • ensure that you are properly prepared for your Entrepreneur Visa interview;
  • liaise with the Home Office during your application;
  • prepare a Letter of Representation. This letter references your case and its merits as well as referencing any relevant UK immigration laws in support of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application;
  • perform an extensive document check to ensure that they are sufficient for your application; and
  • complete your application form to the highest standard.

Our Entrepreneur Visa Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals

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Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible

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Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline

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Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals

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A few of

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Case studies

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