Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas

The UK remains one of the most favoured destinations for inward immigration worldwide. It continues to offer high-quality education with internationally recognised schools and universities providing qualifications which are recognised and respected worldwide.

The UK is also highly regarded as economically buoyant, and as having a tolerant, stable society with a diverse range of cultures where there is a general respect for the rule of law. Becoming a British citizen means you can seek employment freely among 31 Eurpoean Economic Area (EEA) countries and enjoy visa free travel to over 170 countries worldwide. The UK is also highly regarded for its state-funded National Health Service.

The UK Government is keen to attract entrepreneurs to the UK, therefore, if you are keen to set up a business in the UK or wish to invest in an existing business, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa may be the appropriate visa choice for you.

How to apply

An applicant for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have access to a minimum of £200,000 in investment funds under your control.
  • Intend to invest your money into a viable UK business and be actively involved in the business.
  • Have an English Language qualification, such as Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) level 4 across all the components.
  • Prove that you are a genuine entrepreneur. This is conducted by assessing all the facts of the case and the applicant would go through an interview process by the Entry Clearance Officer, (if application was made overseas), or by a Home Office caseworker, (if application was made in the UK).

The advantages of this visa:

The sum required to be invested in a business is still only £200,000 which compared to the Tier 1 Investor visa which requires an investment of £2million, is still a relatively small amount. If the visa is approved, you and your dependents (wife/husband, unmarried partner and children under 18) would initially be granted leave to enter and remain in the UK (for 3 years 4 months).

You can apply for permanent residence/indefinite leave to remain after 5 years.

You can apply for British Citizenship on completion of the 6th year in the UK after having secured the indefinite leave to remain visa provided you have resided in the UK for the requisite period, are able to pass the Knowledge and Life in the UK test and satisfy the good character conduct requirements.

Accelerated Indefinite Leave to Remain for Tier 1 Entrepreneur

You are entitled to apply for Indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur in 3 years:

  • If the number of new full time jobs you have created is at least 10 new jobs; or
  • If you have established a new UK business that has had an income from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3 year period in which you had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant; or
  • If you have taken over or invested in an existing UK business and your services or investment have resulted in a net increase in income of £5 million during a 3 year period in which you had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, when compared to the immediately preceding 3 year period.

Why use us

Our unique selling point is that your case will be looked after by Dhruti Thakrar, a senior solicitor with over 20 years’ experience in the immigration field. Dhruti has dealt with a significant number of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas which have been successful.

You will have the benefit of their commercial knowledge and experience in reviewing business plans to ensure that they will pass scrutiny by Embassy officials, and they will also be able to advise you in reasonable depth as to the type of questions you will be faced with at any interview at the Embassy.

You will have direct access to Dhruti who will respond to any of your queries as promptly as possible and who will deal with your case as expeditiously as possible within the timelines agreed with you at the outset of your case. We will guide you through your application ensuring that you comply with all the requirements and that your application is prepared in the fullest possible way to ensure you receive a positive decision on your visa and those of your family members. We will advise you as to the best strategy to obtain indefinite leave to remain.

Business Matchmaking Service

For those applicants who have yet to decide on the type of business to set up in the UK, Edwin Coe offers a business matchmaking service.

We will also ascertain if there are wider tax issues you should be aware of which might arise as a result of any move to the UK. We have a highly experienced in-house Tax Services team who will be able to provide you with the necessary advice.

Next steps

We will provide you with a fee estimate as to what we would charge for your case based on our initial discussion. We do not have a standard fee for this type of work, as we believe that each case is different. Some of the businesses that entrepreneurs might wish to invest in are more complex than others and therefore more time may be needed to consider the business plan.

Alternatively, some clients may have a more complex immigration history than others or may have more dependants than others. Different factors will govern the fee estimate we will give you but most importantly the fee will reflect the time we envisage we will spend on your matter. Our aim is to provide you with the best possible advice tailored to your particular needs, offer attention to detail which is second to none to ensure that you have every chance of a successful outcome.

The fee you pay Edwin Coe will cover:

  • Taking the appropriate information from you in a meeting with our experienced immigration advisers to discuss your needs and investment opportunities that might be suitable for you.
  • If you are outside the UK, we will assist you with a visitor visa for you to come into the UK to enable us to meet you.
  • Advising you as to the documentation/ information we will need to support the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application.
  • If you do not know what type of business you can invest in we have a business matchmaking service which will help you identify the right business for you.
  • Preparing a tailored business plan for you or review one that you have already prepared.
  • Preparing the application including our letter of representation which will highlight the strengths of your business plan as well as confirm that you meet the point’s criteria, and refer to the supporting documents.
  • Providing you with an application pack containing the documents and our letter of representation and the relevant application form in readiness of filing by you at the nearest visa application centre.
  • Preparing and advise you with regard to any interview you might have with the Embassy.


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