The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a premium business immigration programme designed to attract top entrepreneurial talent from outside the European Economic Area.

With requirements based around an investment of £200,000 and creation of employment opportunities for EEA nationals, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a perfect fit for applicants from outside the EEA with a passion for entrepreneurship and a competitive business idea.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur route is closed to new applicants as of 29 March 2019.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Eligibility

The Entrepreneur visa is open to applicants from outside the European Economic Area who would like to set up a new business or take over the running of an existing business in the UK.

To obtain your initial visa officially called ‘entry clearance’ you will need to provide evidence that you are able to invest £200,000 into your business, that you are able to speak English to at least an intermediate level (commonly known as B1), and that you have prepared a well researched business plan and a clear understanding of how you are going to launch your venture.

If you are a Tier 4 Student or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, you can apply to switch to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa inside the UK. Tier 4 Students can apply on the basis of a £50,000 investment.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Interview

Each Tier 1 Entrepreneur application will be assessed through a ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’ which aims to determine whether the applicant’s intentions to engage in business activity in the UK is genuine. This assessment often includes a personal interview with the applicant either in English or the applicant’s preferred language. In certain cases the interview will not be necessary.

We provide assistance to all our clients preparing for their Tier 1 Entrepreneur interview based on 10 years’ experience working in UK business immigration.

Frequently asked questions

Can you study in the UK on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

You are allowed to study depending on the type of programme you are planning to undertake. There are certain restrictions and your circumstances will need to be reviewed by an immigration expert.

Can you work under a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

You can only work for the business on the basis of which you applied for your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.

How do you extend a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Your initial visa will be valid for 3 years and 4 months. To extend your visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have created at least 2 full-time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months. There is an accelerated route that offers permanent residence after 3 years from the date of entry and is available to Tier 1 Entrepreneurs who create 10 full-time jobs for their business or demonstrate at least £5 million in gross income.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Health Check

Please keep in mind that the application for extension of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa will require that all internal documentation, including accounts, payslips, and agreements with employees, will need to be in order. Together with our Corporate and Employment teams, we offer our Tier 1 clients a health check of their business for immigration purposes. Please speak to your adviser to learn more.

What if my Tier 1 Entrepreneur application is refused?

We will always inform you of the merits and weaknesses of your case before you apply. If your application is refused but we do not agree with the decision, we will appeal the decision on your behalf. Initial refusals are often overturned following an appeal.