Entrepreneurs with the intention of expanding their business have started moving beyond their geographical boundaries. Many choose the United Kingdom because this is one European nation that encourages and supports migrants to come and set up in the English nation. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa scheme was introduced to ease the process. As per the Home Office records, the number of applications received under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa scheme has increased significantly over the past few years.
If you are a foreign national considering emigration to UK on employment basis, either to start up a new business or to take over an existing one, here’s how to apply for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme gives you legal permission to set up and a run a business in the UK. You can also work on a business you have invested in, but you cannot take up any other form of employment on the basis of this visa. When you apply for a visa, your dependants, spouse and children under 18 years can apply as well.
Eligibility and Prerequisites
In order to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you must fulfill the following requirements.
- You must be at least 16 years of age.
- You must be a citizen of any country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
- The applicant must have access to £200K. However, there is a provision for £50,000 investment funds. There is also a provision for sharing investment funds. As per this provision, 2 Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applicants can come together to form an entrepreneurial team and share the same investment funds for the £200K level.
- The applicant must also meet the English language requirement. You are required to pass a certified English language test with at least a B1 level reading, writing, speaking and listening in English. Citizens of 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 Grenadine, Trinidad and Tobago and USA are exempted from the English language proficiency criteria.
- You should have sufficient funds to support your stay in the United Kingdom. This is exclusive of the £50,000 investment funds. The amount depends on whether you are in the UK or outside UK.
The Duration of Permitted Stay
An entrepreneur visa allows a migrant to stay in the UK legally for a total period of 3 years and 4 months. You can request for the visa to be extended by another 2 years. If you are switching to the Entrepreneur visa from another category say the investor visa, you can extend it for an additional 3 years. Following 5 years of continued stay in the United Kingdom, you can apply for permanent settlement.
How much do you pay?
The amount you pay to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is not fixed. It varies based on the following factors.
- The applicant. The person could be the applicant himself or a dependent.
- The method of application. You can apply online or by post.
- The place from where you apply. People from Croatia, Turkey and Macedonia are entitled to a lower application charge.
After you have submitted your application for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, it might take a couple of weeks for it to get accepted. The procedure might take longer if your application is complex and the supporting documents need to be verified.