The entrepreneur category is geared toward business people who want to set up or run businesses in the UK, and have access to at least £200,000 (or in some cases £50,000) in disposable investment funds that are held in one or more regulated financial institutions in the UK.
With the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you are allowed to reside in the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months. Once this time has elapsed, you can apply to extend the visa for an additional 2 years.
You can apply for British citizenship after 6 years (5 years of residency and 1 year after an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
More detailed qualifications for this program and UK citizenship by investment are described below.
In addition to the investment requirements, there are other qualifications and conditions that applicants must meet in order to apply to the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Program.
To qualify as an applicant, you must:
Be 16 or older
Meet the English proficiency language requirement (detailed below)
Be able to fully support yourself while in the UK
Score 95 points (see the breakdown here)
Have access to at least £200,000 or £50,000 in investment funds (details below)
Demonstrate the source of funds
Provide a business plan
Prove to the Home Office via evidence and an interview that you have the intention and means to establish and participate in a business in the UK per the conditions of the Tier 1 Visa
There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you have access to £200,000 or £50,000 in investment funds.
You must be able to prove that the funds are:
You can also apply if you’ve previously invested £200,000 in a UK business within 12 months of applying.
The funds must be from:
You can also apply if you’ve already invested the £50,000 in a UK business within 12 months of applying.
Regardless of which funding amount is available to you, the funds must be:
Joint Applications for Entrepreneurial Teams
You can form an entrepreneurial team with one other Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant and share investment funds.
You and your partner must meet all the application requirements, and you cannot use the same investment funds on another application with a different entrepreneurial team.
English Language Requirement
Valid methods of proving your English skills include:
There are other ways to meet the English language requirement. Please see the full visa guidance for detailed information.
You won’t need to demonstrate knowledge of English if you’re a citizen of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and USA.
Switching from other types of UK Visas
You can switch to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if you are currently on certain types of UK Visas. We’ve provided a list of eligible visa types below. The funding rules vary with each one, so please contact us for specific details if this scenario applies to you.
General Tier 1
Graduate Entrepreneur - Tier 1
Post-study worker – Tier 1
Former student - Tier 4
The application process for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa program is thorough, yet efficient.
Key Application Information:
Apply in person outside the UK: £982/ From Turkey or Macedonia £927
Apply online or by mail: £1,228 / From Turkey or Macedonia £1,173
Documents you’ll need to provide :
You’ll need a certified translation for any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances
Proof of investment funds :
Since the Tier 1 Entrepreneurial Visa has many different funding options, the required evidence depends on the source and location of the funds. Please see required proof based on each situation below:
From each institution holding the funds, provide either a personal bank or building society statement, or an official letter.
You must provide an official letter from an accountant or authorized official from either the UK government department or Department for International Trade endorsed seed funding competition that is awarding the funds.
If you’re using money from a third party (not a UK government department or seed funding competition), you must provide:
If your funding is from a venture capital firm, you must also provide:
You must prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while residing in the UK.
How you prove this depends on where you’re applying from:
Your personal savings must have been in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
You can’t use either of the following to support yourself: