FAQ’s: UK Entrepreneur Visa

What is the UK Entrepreneur Visa?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a direct way for individuals to live in the UK, by investing in and running a business there. For entrepreneurs able to invest £200,000, this visa is an opportunity for a non-EU national to move to the UK with their immediate family and become a permanent resident after five years.

Who is this visa for?

This visa is for an individual able to invest £200,000, or a team of two entrepreneurial partners investing £100,000 each into a UK business.

What are the benefits of this visa?

  • A visa can be granted in a matter of weeks
  • This is a route to permanent residence after five years and citizenship after six years if you continue to meet the criteria
  • There is an early route to permanent residence if you create ten or more full time jobs for settled workers or if the business is generating at least total turnover of £5 million.

What steps are involved in the process?

  1. We check your eligibility for the UK Entrepreneur visa through an initial consultation
  2. Prepare all documents to be submitted (we will provide a checklist)
  3. Submit application for UK Entrepreneur visa
  4. Residency is granted for an initial period of up to three years and four months
  5. After three years, apply for extension – at which point investment and employment requirements are checked
  6. Visa extension granted for two years
  7. Apply for permanent residency after five years of legally residing in the UK.

What are the initial requirements for this visa?

  • You will have to demonstrate to the authorities that you have £200,000 available to invest in a UK business as well as sufficient funds to support yourself and dependents
  • The main applicant must demonstrate a proficiency in English, either through proof of a degree taught in English or have obtained at least Level B1 in a Certificate of Intermediate level of English as per the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference)
  • The applicant must be able to meet the maintenance requirements.

What are the requirements for extending this visa?

  • You must invest £200,000 directly into a company in the UK
  •  During your first three years must employ two full time staff for at least 12 months each
  • Another important requirement is that you must be actively involved in the business and registered as a Director, or as Self-Employed
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they meet the maintenance requirements, i.e. the applicant must have sufficient money to support him/her and any other dependants without use of public funds.

What funds must I have to qualify for this visa?

You must have £200,000 available and will be required to provide a letter from each financial institution holding funds to confirm the amount of money available to you. If some or all of the funding is being provided by a third party, or if gifted, its availability to you must also be proven, through an irrevocable memorandum of gift or otherwise.

Can I apply with a business partner?

One entrepreneur with £200,000 or a team of two with £100,000 each can apply under this program.

How many new jobs must I create?

During your first three years in the UK you must create the equivalent of two new full-time paid jobs for at least two people that are settled in the UK and those jobs must have existed for 12 months each.

Can the spouse of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holder legally work in the UK?

Yes. The spouse of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur may legally undertake employment in the UK.

Will my school age children be able to attend a UK state school?

Yes – from age 5 to 18 your children will be able to attend state schools free of charge.

Can my children attend university and may the same fees as UK nationals?

You must be a UK permanent resident in order to pay the same rate as UK nationals. Typically, you must reside in the UK for five years to become a permanent resident.

Can I use the NHS without being charged?

You and your family will be able to access the NHS on the same basis as UK nationals as soon as the Tier 1 visa holder is employed in the UK.

What is the processing time of the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

This will vary depending on the individual circumstances and on the location where the application is submitted.

When my visa has been issued how long much time will I have to move to the UK?

You must move to the UK as soon as possible, although no deadline has been specified. (This visa is a serious commitment; therefore any delay can work against the applicant upon renewal or review).

You have six months from the date the visa is issued in which to move to the UK and be registered as self-employed or as a Director of a new or existing company.

Can I invest in any business?

This program excludes an investment in property development and property maintenance.

Must I pass an English test in order to qualify for this program?

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country or possess a degree taught in English you will need to provide proof that you have achieved CEFR level B1 in English.

Must my spouse or children pass CEFR to level B1?

Your spouse and children do not have to take the test to move to the UK as your dependants.

Do I have to prove that I have funds to live on?

Yes. You must have at least £ 3,100 of personal savings if you applying from outside of the UK.

You must have at least £900 of personal savings if you are applying from inside the UK. This specified funds £900/3100 must have been held for a consecutive 90 day period prior to the date of your application.

If you are applying with your dependants, you will have to show additional funds.

You are not allowed to use any money which is included in your £200,000 investment for your maintenance.

How should I invest the £200,000?

The investment must be fully used in the business to encourage growth or expansion and not just held in the business bank account.

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