Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visas

Many people aspire to bring their business ideas and expertise to the UK. The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is designed for individuals who seek to set up or take over an existing business in the UK.

Successful applicants can be granted up to 3 years and 4 month’s stay in the UK. This can be extended and after 5 years the visa holder can apply for settlement in the UK. The visa allows the individual to work for their company and bring family members into the country with them.

Normally, an applicant for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is required to have access to at least £200,000 of investment funds. However under certain circumstances, this can be the lower sum of £50,000. There are different eligibility requirements depending on the applicant’s funds.

Due to the complexity of the issues, we highly recommend instructing an expert immigration lawyer to ensure that your application is successful.

At Kings Cross Barristers, we have a wealth of experience in making Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa applications. We can help you navigate the complicated procedure with a tailor-made application to give you the best chance of success.

 

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Relevant Immigration Rules for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

The rules relevant to those making an application for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa can be found under Immigration Rules part 6A, paragraphs 245D to 245DF and Immigration Rules appendix A. Some of the rules which we think might be helpful are as follows:

245D. Purpose of this route and meaning of business

(a) This route is for migrants who wish to establish, join or take over one or more businesses in the UK.

(b) For the purpose of paragraphs 245D to 245DF and paragraphs 35 to 53 of Appendix A ‘business’ means an enterprise as:

(i) a sole trader,

(ii) a partnership, or

(iii) a company registered in the UK.

(c) Where paragraphs 245D to 245DF and paragraphs 35 to 53 of Appendix A, refer to money remaining available to the applicant until such time as it is spent for the purposes of his business or businesses:

(i) ‘Available’ means that the funds are:

(1) in the applicant’s own possession,

(2) in the financial accounts of the UK business(es) which they are relying on to claim points, or

(3) available from the third party or parties named in the application under the terms of the declaration(s) referred to in paragraph 41(a)(vi) of Appendix A.

(ii) ‘Invested’ means that the funds have been invested into a business or businesses which the applicant is running as self-employed or as a director or member of a partnership. ‘Invested’ or ‘spent’ excludes spending on:

(1) the applicant’s own remuneration,

(2) buying any business from a previous owner, where the money ultimately goes to that previous owner (irrespective of whether it is received or held directly or indirectly by that previous owner) rather than into the business being purchased (This applies regardless of whether the money is channelled through the business en route to the previous owner, for example by means of the applicant or business purchasing ‘goodwill’ or other assets which were previously part of the business.),

245DA. Entry to the UK

All migrants arriving in the UK and wishing to enter as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant must have a valid entry clearance for entry under this route. If they do not have a valid entry clearance, entry will be refused. 

245DB. Requirements for entry clearance

To qualify for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, an applicant must meet the requirements listed below. If the applicant meets those requirements, entry clearance will be granted. If the applicant does not meet these requirements, the application will be refused.

Requirements:

(a)The applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

(b)The applicant must have a minimum of 75 points under paragraphs 35 to 53 of Appendix A.

(c)The applicant must have a minimum of 10 points under paragraph 1 to 15 of Appendix B.

(d)The applicant must have a minimum of 10 points under paragraph 1 to 2 ofAppendix C.

(e) An applicant who has, or was last granted, leave as a Tier 4 Migrant and:

(i) is currently being sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency, or

(ii) was being sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency, and that sponsorship came to an end 12 months ago or less, must provide the unconditional written consent of the sponsoring Government or agency to the application and must provide the specified documents as set out in paragraph 245A above, to show that this requirement has been met.

(f) Where the applicant is being assessed under Table 4 of Appendix A, the Entry Clearance Officer must be satisfied that:

(i) the applicant genuinely intends and is able to establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within the next six months;

(ii) the applicant genuinely intends to invest the money referred to in Table 4 of Appendix A in the business or businesses referred to in (i);

(iii) that the money referred to in Table 4 of Appendix A is genuinely available to the applicant, and will remain available to him until such time as it is spent for the purposes of his business or businesses;

(iv) if the applicant is relying on one or more previous investments to score points, they have genuinely invested all or part of the investment funds required in Table 4 of Appendix A into one or more genuine businesses in the UK;

(v) that the applicant does not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom other than under the terms of paragraph 245DC.

(g) The applicant must provide a business plan, setting out his proposed business activities in the UK and how he expects to make his business succeed.

(h) In making the assessment in (f), the Entry Clearance Officer will assess the balance of probabilities. The Entry Clearance Officer may take into account the following factors:

(i)the evidence the applicant has submitted;

(ii)the viability and credibility of the source of the money referred to in Table 4 of Appendix A;

(iii)the viability and credibility of the applicant’s business plans and market research into their chosen business sector;

(iv)the applicant’s previous educational and business experience (or lack thereof);

(v) the applicant’s immigration history and previous activity in the UK; and

(vi)any other relevant information.

(i) Where the applicant has entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, or has had such leave in the 12 months immediately before the date of application, and is being assessed under Table 5 of Appendix A, the Entry Clearance Officer must be satisfied that:

(i) the applicant has established, taken over or become a director of one or more genuine businesses in the UK, and has genuinely operated that business or businesses while he had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant; and

(ii) the applicant has genuinely invested the money referred to in Table 5 of Appendix A into one or more genuine businesses in the UK to be spent for the purpose of that business or businesses; and

(iii) the applicant genuinely intends to continue operating one or more businesses in the UK; and

(iv) the applicant does not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom other than under the terms of paragraph 245DE.

(j) In making the assessment in (i), the Entry Clearance Officer will assess the balance of probabilities. The Entry Clearance Officer may take into account the following factors:

(i) the evidence the applicant has submitted;

(ii) the viability and credibility of the source of the money referred to in Table 5 of Appendix A;

(iii) the credibility of the financial accounts of the business or businesses;

(iv) the credibility of the applicant’s business activity in the UK, including when he had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant;

(v) the credibility of the job creation for which the applicant is claiming points in Table 5 of Appendix A;

(vii) if the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained; and

(viii) any other relevant information.

(k) The Entry Clearance Officer reserves the right to request additional information and evidence to support the assessment in (f) or (i), and to refuse the application if the information or evidence is not provided. Any requested documents must be received by the Entry Clearance Officer at the address specified in the request within 28 calendar days of the date of the request.

(l) If the Entry Clearance Officer is not satisfied with the genuineness of the application in relation to a points-scoring requirement in Appendix A, those points will not be awarded.

(m) The Entry Clearance Officer may decide not to carry out the assessment in (f) or (i) if the application already falls for refusal on other grounds, but reserves the right to carry out this assessment in any reconsideration of the decision.

(n) The applicant must, unless he provides a reasonable explanation, comply with any request made by the Entry Clearance Officer to attend for interview.

(o) The applicant must be at least 16 years old.

(p) Where the applicant is under 18 years of age, the application must be supported by the applicant’s parents or legal guardian or by one parent if that parent has sole legal responsibility for the child.

(q) Where the applicant is under 18 years of age, the applicant’s parents or legal guardian, or one parent if that parent has sole legal responsibility for the child, must confirm that they consent to the arrangements for the applicant’s care in the UK.

(r) Where the applicant is 18 years of age or older, the applicant must provide either an original or scanned copy of a criminal record certificate from the relevant authority in any country in which they have been present for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the past 10 years, while aged 18 or over. This requirement does not need to be met where the Secretary of State is satisfied, by way of an explanation provided in or with the application, that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to obtain a certificate from the relevant authority.

(s) If the applicant has failed to provide a criminal record certificate or an explanation in accordance with sub-paragraph (r), the decision maker may contact the applicant or his representative in writing, and request the certificate(s) or explanation. The requested certificate(s) or explanation must be received at the address specified in the request within 28 calendar days of the date of the request.

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