1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:

  • you want to set up or run a business in the UK
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements
You must have access to at least £50,000  (Rs.49,10,272.40 ) investment funds to apply.

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Who you’re applying for Apply online or by post Apply in person outside the UK
You £1,180 (Rs.1,15,802.00) £944 (Rs.92,642.00)
You (if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia) £1,125 (Rs.1,10,463.00) £889 (Rs.87,244.00)
All dependents £1,180 each person £944 each person

 

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months.

You can apply to extend this visa for another 2 years if you’re already in this category and 3 years if you’re switching to it from another category.

You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • set up or take over the running of one business or more
  • work for your business, including being self-employed, but you should check your work meets the conditions of being self-employed
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • do any work outside your business, eg work where you’re employed by another business
  • get public funds

2. Eligibility

You must have access to at least £50,000 (Rs.49,10,272.40 )  investment funds to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Your funds must be:

  • held in one or more regulated financial institutions
  • free to spend (‘disposable’) on business in the UK

There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you have access to £50,000 (Rs.49,10,272.40 )or to £200,000 (Rs.1,96,95,066.75).

You must also:

  • meet the English language requirement
  • To be able to support yourself during your stay
  • score 95 points - check your points score
  • To be at least 16 years old

Read more about the points-based system in the full guidance on the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Sharing investment funds

You can form an ‘entrepreneurial team’ with one other Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant and share the same investment funds.

You and your team member must meet all the application requirements and:

  • not use the same funds on another application with a different entrepreneurial team
  • provide all the documents needed for evidence of the funds with your own applications

3. Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelors degree, masters degree or PhD
You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national 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
  • USA

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances.

4. Access to £50,000 investment funds

You can apply if you have access to £50,000 in investment funds from one or more of the following:

a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)
a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
If you’re from outside the UK you can also apply if your funds are from a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can also apply if you’ve already invested £50,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.

The funding rules are different if you’re changing (switching) from another visa.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

You can apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • you’re applying to change (switch) your visa (‘leave to remain’)
  • you have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • you have funding from any source

You can rely on investments from up to 24 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Post-study worker)

You can apply if you:

  • are applying to change (switch) your visa (‘leave to remain’)
  • have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Post-study worker)
  • have registered as a director of a business or as self-employed in the 3 months before you apply
  • are working in a job on the list of occupations at the National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above

You must also have been involved in running one or more UK businesses (eg you’re listed as a company director) since before 11 July 2014 if you want to apply:

  • using your own funds
  • using funds from a venture capital firm regulated by the FCA

Otherwise, you can only apply with funding from:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UK Trade and Investment
  • a UK government department funding the setting up or expansion of a UK business

You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (General)

You can apply if you:

  • are applying to change (switch) your visa (‘leave to remain’)
  • have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (General) worker

You can apply with funding from:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UK Trade and Investment
  • a UK government department funding the setting up or expansion of a UK business


You can apply using investment funds from a venture capital firm registered with the FCA if you:

  • have been involved in running one or more UK businesses (eg you’re listed as a company director) since before 6 April 2015
  • have been working in a job on the list of occupations at the National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above since before 6 April 2015

You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Your investment funds can’t include:

  • your own money 

  • money from any other third parties

Apply as a former student

You may be able to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you’re already in the UK and you’re:

  • a Tier 4 visa holder
  • a student nurse
  • studying, writing up a thesis or re-sitting an exam
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • an overseas qualified nurse or midwife
  • a student sabbatical officer

You must have access to £50,000 investment funds from one or more of the following:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UKTI
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business

You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Your investment funds can’t include:

  • your own money 

  • money from any other third parties
  • money from a UK venture capital firm

The funds must be held in the UK if you’re applying for leave to remain.

Students with financial sponsorship

If your course fees and living costs have been paid for by a government or international scholarship agency, you must get written consent from them to re-enter or remain in the UK without any conditions.

5. Access to £200,000 investment funds

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) if you have access to £200,000 in investment funds and you can prove that the money is either:

  • your own
  • made available to you by other people (‘third parties’), eg a husband, wife, partner or investor
  • in a joint account with your spouse or partner but only if they aren’t applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

The funds must be held in the UK if you’re applying for leave to remain.

Previous investment

You can also apply if you’ve invested £200,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.

Apply as a former Tier (Post-study) worker

If you’re in the UK on a Tier 1 (Post-study worker) visa or as a student, you must follow the rules for applying with £50,000 funding.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (General) worker

You can only apply with £200,000 of your own funds if you:

have or were last granted a visa or leave to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (General) worker
have been involved in running one or more UK businesses (eg you’re listed as a company director) since before 6 April 2015
have been working in a job on the list of occupations at the National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above since before 6 April 2015

6. Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport size colour photograph
  • evidence of the investment funds available to you
  • a business plan
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your stay
  • proof that you meet the English language requirement
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

Read the guide for a list of documents you can provide.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Evidence of investment funds

You must provide the following evidence to show you have access to the appropriate investment funds: 


  • an official letter from each financial institution 
holding the funds
  • for money held in the UK only, a recent personal bank or building society statement from the UK financial institution holding the funds, which confirms the amount of money available to you or your entrepreneurial team
  • for money provided by a venture capital firm or seed funding competition, a recent letter from an accountant confirming the amount of money made available to you or your business
  • for money provided by a UK government department, a recent letter from an accountant or authorised official confirming the amount of money made available to you or your business

Funding from a third party

You must provide evidence of funding from any third parties other than a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UKTI or a UK government department.

You must also provide evidence if you’ve had the money for less than 90 days before you apply.

You must provide both:

  • confirmation they’ve made the money available for you to invest in a UK business
  • a letter from a legal representative (independent from those providing funds) confirming the signatures on the declaration are valid

Evidence that you can support yourself

You must prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the UK.

How you prove this depends on where you’re making your application from:

  • outside the UK - you’ll need £3,310 (Rs.325610.00).
  • in the UK - you’ll need £945 (Rs.92960.56).

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:

  • money from your investment funds
  • money earned while working in the UK illegally

7. Apply

Read the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) guidance before you apply.

You’ll have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.

Apply in the UK

You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you’re already in the UK.

8. Extend your visa

You may be able to extend your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to extend your visa if you:

  • meet the eligibility requirements
  • registered as a director or as self-employed no more than 6 months after the date you were given permission to stay in the UK under a Tier 1
  • (Entrepreneur) visa
  • can prove you’ve been self-employed or working as a director of a business 3 months before you apply
  • created at least 2 full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months

You must have invested into 1 or more UK businesses either:

  • £200,000 in cash
  • £50,000 in cash if your initial application was based on having funds from an approved funding source

You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay. 

Biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20 (Rs.1887.36).

You can give your biometric information. at Our Office .

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

9. Switch to this visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Investor) 

  • Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) 

  • business person 

  • innovator 

  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme 

  • work permit holder 

  • self-employed lawyer 

  • writer, composer or artist 

  • investor 

  • International Graduate Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme) 

  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme 

  • Tier 2 

  • prospective entrepreneur 

  • a visitor who has been carrying out permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

You

can also switch from one of the following categories if you have specific types of funding: 


  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Post-study work) 

  • Tier 4 

  • student 

  • student re-sitting an examination 

  • student nurse 

  • student writing up a thesis 

  • postgraduate doctor or dentist

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.

You must meet the extension criteria, not the switching criteria, if you have had leave in this category in the 12 months before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay a maximum of 3 years after switching to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

How to apply to switch your visa

You should read the full information on the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa before you apply.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

Biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20.

You can give your biometric information at certain Our  Office.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

How long it takes
A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:

your supporting documents need to be verified
you need to attend an interview
of your personal circumstances, eg you have a criminal conviction
Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

10. Family members

Your family members (‘dependents’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent

From 1 September, adult family members must provide a criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

They’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application. Check how much they’ll have to pay before they apply.

They must complete their visa application by 5 July if they’ve already paid the immigration health surcharge or they might have to pay it twice. They’ll get a refund for their first payment.

You can use the premium service if you’re a dependant applying in the UK on your own or you’re applying for your UK-born child to stay.

Savings
You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

Each dependant must have a certain amount of money available to them - this is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.

The amount depends on your circumstances. You must have £1,890 for each dependant if you’re applying from outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months. If you’ve been in the UK for more than 12 months, you must have £630 for each dependant.

You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with them.

When you apply, send a full UK birth certificate for each child showing the names of both parents.

UK Study Visa

Short-term study visa

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  • fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme
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