The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category closed to new applicants in March 2019.
With a view to phase out the scheme entirely, the Immigration Rules now contain hard deadlines by which Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders must apply for an extension of leave or settlement in the UK.
When is the deadline to extend my Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?
Those individuals granted a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa before the scheme closed have until 5 April 2023 to apply to extend their visa. Applications for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) under this route will be accepted until 5 April 2025.
Applicants must also ensure that any application to extend or for settlement is submitted before the expiry of their existing visa.
Why is this important?
To be eligible to extend their visa or settle in the UK, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders must meet a number of time-sensitive requirements.
The first is that the applicant must demonstrate that they have made an investment of no less than £200,000 (or £50,000 in certain circumstances) into their business by way of share capital or an unsecured and subordinated director’s loan. This investment must have been made in full before any extension application is submitted, and must be properly evidenced.
Second, the applicant must show that they continue to be directly involved in running a qualifying UK business as at the date of applying. Again, this must be properly evidenced.
Finally, the applicant must satisfy the job creation requirements. This means that the applicant will need to show that they have established a new business that has created the equivalent of at least two new full-time jobs for settled workers. Alternatively, they must show that they have joined or taken over an existing business and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase in the employment provided by the business for settled workers by creating the equivalent of at least two new full time jobs.
In either case, these jobs must have existed for at least a period of twelve months during the applicant’s most recent grant of leave or, where that leave was granted less than twelve months ago, for at least the twelve months immediately before the date of the current application.
It is crucial, therefore, that applicants take steps well in advance of the extension or settlement application to ensure that these requirements can be met.
Are there any exemptions to the above?
Given the unprecedented impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on businesses, the Home Office have introduced a number of concessions aimed at Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders whose businesses have been affected.
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