The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is an option for a businessperson looking to establish, take over, join or be actively involved in a business in the UK. This entitles an individual to relocate to the UK without a sponsor. In order to be eligible, the applicant must have access to at least £200,000 to invest in a new or existing UK company (note that under certain circumstances this can be £50,000). This route enables individuals to bring family members as their dependants, giving them the right to work and study in the UK.
There are various requirements that must be met. However, the key requirement is that the applicant must have access to the above amount of funds to invest in a new or existing UK company. The applicant is required to prove that they have the skills and intention to work for or set up the business stated in the application. The applicant must also intend to create and fill two new full-time positions in the business.
The funds do not have to be in the UK at the time of application nor do they need to be in sterling, provided the foreign currency funds held amount to the sterling equivalent.
Applicants who can show that they satisfy the requirements are granted three years entry clearance. This can be extended by two years, assuming that the applicant satisfies the requirements, including evidence showing that the funds have been invested in the business and that two new full-time positions have been created and filled.
After five years of continuous residence in the UK under the entrepreneur visa, the applicant and their dependants should qualify for indefinite leave to remain (“settled status”), assuming that the applicant satisfies all the requirements. The applicant could gain citizenship after a further year.
There is a fast-track route to settled status available. Applicants who have created a business that has an income of a minimum of £5 million over three years or created and filled 10 new full-time jobs over three years could be eligible to apply for settled status after three years.
In order to achieve settlement, the applicant must not be absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period. It is important to note that the rules for obtaining citizenship are slightly different. Currently, there is no absence requirement to be met by dependent family members, and provided they meet the additional requirements they should be able to achieve settled status after 5 years, regardless of their absences.
Usually, an application will need to be made from overseas, either in a country in which the applicant holds legal residence or the country of their nationality. However, there are some circumstances in which an applicant is able to make the application from within the UK. Criminal record checks covering the last 10 years are required for both the main applicant and any adult dependants.
Gherson has an experienced team that specialise in assisting with entrepreneur visas. We are widely regarded as one of the leading firms in this field and have received a number of awards for our services.
Should you require any clarification in respect of the above based on your personal circumstances or require additional information about the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.