Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa UK

Prospective Entrepreneurs, from non-EEA countries or Switzerland, wishing to enter the UK to start a business should use the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. This option is for those who plan to take over a company that is already trading. Applicants will need to be actively involved in the running of the business or businesses in the UK and have the option to set up the business as a sole trader, partnership or UK registered company. 

In order for your application to be successful you are required to meet the eligibility requirements and score a total of 95 points under the points-based system. The points are granted for eligibility requirements.

The option to extend (Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Extension) for up to two years is available, however, the application for the visa or extension is very complex so we recommend getting advice from an immigration expert as you are required to demonstrate that your business plan has been successful. You also have the option to settle in the UK on this category. Call us on 020 7887 1916, complete the online contact form or drop us a line on Social media.


What are the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

To be eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa:

  • You must have access to at least £50,000 investment funds, which need to be:
  • Held in one or more regulated financial institutions
  • Free to spend (disposable) on the business in the UK
  • You must meet the English Language requirement 
  • You must be able to support yourself during your stay
  • Be over the age of 16
  • You must score a total of 95 points from the above conditions of the points-based system.
  • You must also pay the NHS surcharge

There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you have access to funds of £50,000 or £200,000.

If you have access to £50,000 in investment funds from one or more of the following:

  • A UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
  • A UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • A Venture capital firm registered with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

If you have access to £200,000 in investment funds, you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa so long as you can demonstrate, that the money is held in the UK and is either:

  • Your own
  • In a joint account with your partner or spouse (so long as the partner is not making an application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
  • Made available to you by a third party such as a partner, spouse or investor.

You can also apply if you have already invested £50,000 or £200,000 into a UK business within the 12 months before you make your application.

The funding rules are different if you are changing (switching) from another visa, or if you have already had a UK visa.

How can I switch to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Tier 2
  • a visitor who has been carrying out permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

You can also switch from one of the following categories if you have specific types of funding:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 4

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.

What can I or cannot do on this visa?

You can:

  • set up or take over the running of one business or more
  • work for your business, including being self-employed, but you should check your work meets the conditions of being self-employed
  • bring family members with you

You cannot:

  • do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business
  • get public funds

Can my family members join me?

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Contact Alexandra & Spencer on 020 7887 1916 for advice on the Entrepreneur interview.

How can Alexandra & Spencer 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 Alexandra & Spencer, 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.

We can also help you if you have received a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa refusal and would like to know about your right of appeal.

Get a free consultation call from immigration specialist

Our highly professional, dedicated and knowledgeable specialists will do all the hard work to make the immigration process easy and understandable so you will be confident about successful outcome.