Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa is designed for people from outwith the EEA and Switzerland who wish to set up, take over or run a business in the UK. The Entrepreneur Visa is different to other visas in that you must have a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds in order to qualify, as well as meeting various other eligibility criteria.

Five Star International is a family-run company of immigration advisers and lawyers based in Glasgow's West End, and we are experts in both the legal and practical aspects of immigration. We are very experienced in handling all types of visa applications, have a very high success rate - even with difficult cases where other immigration firms have previously failed - and have many satisfied clients throughout Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and across the whole of Scotland.

To speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable immigration solicitors about your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application, please either call us on +44 (0) 141 339 7373, or send us an email at enquiries@fivestarvisas.com.

Entrepreneur Visa Requirements

The Entrepreneur Visa is designed for people aged 16 or over from outwith the EEA and Switzerland who wish to move to the UK in order to set up or run a business. It is also possible to switch to this type of visa from many, but not all, other types of UK visa. For instance you cannot apply for this visa if you are a former Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). For more information about switching from another visa category please give us a call and we will explain your options.

This visa allows you to set up or run one or more businesses, including being self-employed, but it does not allow you to do any other work outwith these specific businesses. For example, you are not allowed to be employed by another company while staying in the United Kingdom under this visa.

The Entrepreneur Visa gives you certain rights, such as the right to bring family members with you into the UK. But you also have restrictions, for example you will not have recourse to public funds - such as benefits - during your time in the UK.

Eligibility for this visa is governed by a points-based system, with the entry requirement set at 95 points - where 75 points come from your standard attributes, and 10 points come from each of your English Language score and your available maintenance funds.

The maximum length of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa is set at 3 years and 4 months (40 months). However it is possible to apply to get an extension of 2 years to your Entrepreneur Visa, and an extension of 3 years if you are changing from another type of visa.

In order to qualify for an Entrepreneur Visa, you must demonstrate that you have access to at least £50,000 that you can invest in business in the UK. This money must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions - more information about these institutions can be provided on request. And this money needs to be freely available to spend on your UK business - so it can't be tied up in any way, such as being invested in property. However you can make a joint application as an 'entrepreneurial team', where two people pool their resources in order to meet this substantial financial requirement.

Applicants to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa must additionally meet the standard English language requirements.

And you must also be able to demonstrate that you can support yourself during your time in the UK - this means that you will need to prove that you have around £3000 (if applying from outwith the UK), or around £1000 (if applying from inside the UK). This money needs to be separate from your investment funds, and must have been present in your bank account for 90 days before you apply.

Another criteria that has been added recently is the requirement to provide a business plan. This is slightly different to a normal business plan designed to secure funding from a bank, since the immigration officers will be particularly interested in seeing proof that you are genuinely interested in starting a business in the UK. This may include understanding what your overall business idea is, what you intend to spend your investment funds on, what jobs your business will create, what professional services you have engaged (lawyer, accountant, insurance), etc - and it is possible for immigration officers to ask you in detail about your business plan at interview.

Finally, the financial eligibility criteria are slightly different depending on whether you have access to minimum investment funds of £50,000 or £200,000.

If you have investment funds of at least £50,000, then the funds have to come from either a UK Government Department, a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UKTI. So your investment funds can not come from your own personal money, or from any other source.

If you have investment funds of at least £200,000, then some restrictions are lifted - the funds can include either your own money, or money made available by third parties including friends, family, partners, investors, etc.

It is sometimes possible to apply for an Entrepreneur Visa in the 12 months after you have invested £50,000 or £200,000 in a UK business - contact us for more details.

And in many cases it is possible to switch to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa from another Visa, providing you meet the eligibility requirements.

Expert Legal Advice for Entrepreneur Visa Application

Five Star International is a specialist immigration firm based on Argyle Street in the West End of Glasgow, and our highly trained and experienced lawyers have a very high success rate with all types of visa applications, including the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa. We provide a full range of immigration services, and have helped migrant entrepreneurs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and throughout Scotland. We pride ourselves on offering a more friendly and personal level of service than most other law firms - and at a lower cost.

We can help you with every stage of your application, from friendly and knowledgeable legal advice, through to form and document preparation and checking, right up to application submission and assistance with business plans and interviews. Visa applications can be expensive and time-consuming, and without expert advice and guidance you risk your application being delayed or even rejected unnecessarily.

So call us now on +44 (0) 141 339 7373, or drop us an email at enquiries@fivestarvisas.com - we are always happy to help.