Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa Guidance

If you are hoping to be granted a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you will need to familiarise yourself with the detailed requirements of this aspect of the UK’s Points Based System (PBS). The immigration lawyers at Latitude Law have expert knowledge and will be happy to provide expert legal advice and guidance.


What are the visa requirements?

In order to qualify for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you must be able to demonstrate you can invest at least £200,000 in a new or existing business in the UK, and that your involvement will create at least 2 full-time jobs in your first 3 years of involvement with the business. In order to be eligible for an entrepreneur visa, you must also meet an English language requirement and prove you can maintain yourself financially during your stay in the UK. UK Visas and Immigration will also assess your business plan, in deciding whether you are a genuine entrepreneur.  You must provide a criminal record check from your own country, and a valid TB test certificate if relocating from certain countries.

What happens after the visa is granted?

Entrepreneur visa applications can require lots of paperwork, and the same is true if you are extending your stay in this category or applying for settlement.  You must meet requirements in relation to registration of your interest in a new or existing business; job creation and genuine business activity.  We strongly recommend that you take advice throughout your time in the UK as an entrepreneur, to ensure you can meet all relevant requirements of the rules for your next application.

Update to the entrepreneur category

The UK government has announced plans to review this visa route in 2019, with a view to replacing it with a new innovator category.  The main change will be the requirement for endorsement by an industry or business organisation, rather than simple reliance on your own business planning.  This will make the route similar to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) category.

How we can help

Our expert solicitors can assist individuals with their Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications by providing in-depth guidance about the requirements, and we can also prepare the entire application which is accompanied by a detailed representations document explaining how the relevant Immigration Rules are met. Latitude Law can also assist in applications to extend an entrepreneur visa, switch to a different immigration category or provide guidance to existing entrepreneurs in the UK.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of immigration law, Home Office policy and case law. We have an excellent success rate for entrepreneur cases, combined with an exceptional reputation as one of the UK’s leading immigration solicitors. We work tirelessly to ensure we prepare your case, ensuring you have the correct documentation and knowledge to succeed in the complex application process.

Entrepreneur Visa Q&As

Am I eligible for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?

To be eligible for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you must:

  • Have at least £200,000 (£50,000 if supported by a venture capital company) to start up or invest in a UK business, plus maintenance funds for you and your family
  • Score at least 95 points for attributes, maintenance and language ability
  • Be over 16 years old

Can I extend my Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?

You must extend your visa up to 28 days before your current visa expires. In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Be able to prove you’re self-employed, working in a partnership or be an active director
  • Have invested at least £200,000 in new or existing UK business
  • Hold maintenance funds for you and your family
  • Have created at least 2 full-time jobs which have existed for a minimum of 12 months in your initial 3 years’ leave Once the application has been sent, you are eligible to remain in the UK until a decision has been granted, as long as the application was made prior to your previous leave expiring.

You can read more about extending your entrepreneur visa here.

Can I apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa?

If you have recently graduated, you may be eligible for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa. To be eligible you must:

  • Be officially endorsed as a graduate with a credible business idea
  • Be from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland
  • Have a UK-recognised degree which has been awarded before your date of endorsement
  • Be endorsed by an authorised higher education institution in the last 3 months
  • Have a minimum of £945 in maintenance funds for the past 3 months if you’re applying from inside the UK, or £1,890 if you’re applying from outside of the UK
  • Gain permission from your financial sponsor to remain in the UK if they’ve paid for educational or living costs in the last 12 months
  • Have a good understanding of the English language

You can read more about the category here.

What should I do if my application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is refused?

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas have one of the highest refusal rates of all UK visas, with over 1/3 of applicants being refused.

Due to the complex nature of applying as an entrepreneur, we suggest seeking the advice of an experienced immigration solicitor.

What can I do to minimise the risk of refusal?

To minimalise the risk of your application being refused, it is essential that you are thoroughly prepared for each part of the process, you have a detailed business plan and you are prepared for the interview.

If you require assistance, our team of experts can assist to ensure you’re fully prepared and guide you through the complex process.

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What our clients say…

Successful Sponsor Licence Application for Religious Charity

I cannot recommend Latitude Law highly enough. Their expertise in the area of immigration law has helped our charity navigate quite complex issues and at every point of the process their communication and advice was excellent. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Latitude Law and highly recommend their services. - Andy Taylor - UK Director of Ellel Ministries

February 2019
Successful family visa applications following two earlier refusals

[T]he moment I talked to you, you gave me great confidence in you and when I read the covering letter, I was extremely impressed by the way you presented my case. I only made three main phone calls to Latitude and the advice I received from you was quite clear and was without a shadow of doubt...

You’re a great team and I thank you all for your time and effort which helped me to join my family after 20 months of stress due to two visa refusals from May 2017 onwards, and a 7 months separation from my family since June 2018.

January 2019
Hard-won success in Adult Dependent Relative visa appeal

My family and I would like to thank you all for your help throughout the case and the successful outcome. I would certainly recommend your firm to friends and colleagues as I have received first class service from Latitude Law over the last couple of years.

December 2018

All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/02/2019