You’re looking to start a company in Europe. After a bit of research you’ve decided on the UK. Only problem is, you need a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. So are you eligible?
It’s important to note that there are three types of entrepreneur visa:
1. Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
2. Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa (for graduates)
3. Tier 1 Investor Visa (investments exceeding £2,000,000)
First of all, if you’re an EU citizen or Swiss, you don’t need a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to enter the UK (as of August 2017).
Barring these countries, you’re eligible for this visa if you meet these requirements:
1. You must have access to at least £50,000 to spend on business related activities, held in a bank/financial institution.
2. You meet the English language requirement.
3. You can support yourself during your stay.
4. You must be at least 16 years old.
Great, so you’ve met the criteria, what next?
Well, it gets a bit complicated at this point. If you hold one of these four UK visas:
1. Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
2. Tier 1 Post Study Worker Visa
3. Tier 1 General Visa
4. Tier 4 Student Visa
Then you can apply to change to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if your funding is from either:
- A UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
- A UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
- A venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The exception is the Tier 1 Graduate Visa where funding can be from any source.
If you don’t have any of these visas, the requirement rises to £200,000 in access to investment funds. This can be from any source.
You’re also eligible if you have invested £200,000 in a UK business within the last 12 months.
The application process of the tier 1 entrepreneur visa
- The visa will allow you to stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months.
- Applications will take at least 3 weeks to process.
- The cost of the visa will be between £982-£1228 depending on circumstance.
So now you want to apply, right?
Well, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
Make sure you can provide these as part of the process:
- A current passport/travel identification
- A business plan
- Proof you meet the English language requirement
- Tuberculosis test results
- A criminal record certificate for any country you lived in for 12 months or more
- A certified translation of any documents not in English/Welsh
You’ll also need a page that’s blank on both sides of your passport.
Other main requirements are:
Evidence of investment funds – you must provide an official letter from the financial institution holding the funds.
Evidence you can support yourself:
- If you’re from outside the UK, you need £3,310
- If from within the UK, you need £945
- These funds must have been in your account for 90 consecutive days prior to applying.
There is an additional cost of paying the health care surcharge of £200 as well as providing your biometric information at a cost of £19.20.
What does the visa allow you to do?
- Set up or take over the running of one business or more
- Work for your business
- Bring family members over
- Do any work outside of your business
- Get public funds
If you’re unsure about any aspects of the process from drafting the business plan to application, Linkilaw is here to help. We’ll handle all the documentation for you and guide you through the process!