UK Immigration via Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Category
The UK is extremely keen to welcome Entrepreneurs to the UK, to start new businesses, or to invest in existing businesses. The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Scheme leads to permanent residence rights in the UK and ultimately to the potential to apply for British citizenship.
- Under the main scheme, an Entrepreneur is required to prove that he or she has £200,000 available to bring to the UK to invest in a new or existing business.
NB The £200,000 does not necessarily need to belong to the applicant. If it is in the name of a third party, proof has to be provided that the applicant has access to the funds to bring to the UK.
- As from 6th April 2011, the £200,000 investment can be shared between two individuals, providing they have equal access to the funds and are investing in the same business or businesses.
- There is an additional scheme for an Entrepreneur to come to the UK on the basis of £50,000, provided that this is funded by either:-
a) A registered venture capital firm regulated by the FSA;
b) Through one or more entrepreneurial UK seed funding competitions endorsed by UKTI;
c) By a UK Government Department for the purpose of establishing or expanding a UK business.
- The applicant must pass the Tier 1 English language test, or be a national of an English speaking country, or have an accepted English language Degree qualification.
- The applicant must provide evidence that he has held a minimum balance of £2,800 in his Bank Account, plus £1,600 for each dependent accompanying him to the UK.
- The initial visa is granted for a period of three years. Within six months of the applicants arriving in the UK he must have registered as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs, or be appointed a Director of a Limited Company.
- The full sum of £200,000 must be invested in a UK business or businesses over the three year period of the initial visa. The investment can go into more than one business, and can be switched between businesses.
- The Entrepreneur is entitled to work in any business or businesses in which he has invested money, but is not entitled to take employment outside these businesses.
Extension of Stay and Indefinite Leave to Remain
- At the end of the three year initial visa, the Entrepreneur will need to prove that he has invested the full sum of £200,000 in the UK and has created the equivalent of two full time jobs for British citizens which will have existed for twelve months at the end of the visa. He will also need to meet the minimum maintenance requirements for his own Bank Account.
If he can do the above he will be granted a further two years to remain in the UK and will be entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain at the end of five years of residence.
- An Entrepreneur will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain at the end of the first three years of residence if he can prove one of the following:-
a) That he has created the equivalent of ten full time jobs for British citizens or permanent residents which have existed for twelve months at the end of the period OR that the business into which the entrepreneur has invested has had a business income of at least £5million during his period of investment or a net increase in income from business activity of £5million during the three year period compared with the immediately preceding two year period.
To download a PDF brochure summarising our Immigration Services, please click here.