TIER 1 ENTREPRENEUR VISA
Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa has closed to new applications and has been replaced by the Innovator route. If you currently hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension until 5 April 2023.
Your Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension visa will be granted for 2 years, after which you be able to settle in the UK until 5 April 2025.
In order to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:
Genuine Entrepreneur Test
To meet the genuine entrepreneur test, you must be able to show that you have established, taken over or become a director of a genuine UK business; you genuinely operated that business; and that you genuinely intend to continue operating the business. Additionally, you should be able to prove that you do not intend to take employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established, joined or taken over.
You must also prove that you have invested or have caused to be invested by one or more third parties, at least £200,000 or £50,000 (depending on the amount your initial application was based on) in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK.
You must prove that you registered as a business director or a member of a UK partnership, or as a self-employed person within 6 months of receiving your first Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, and you remain registered as a business director or as a self-employed person within the 3 months before the date of application for extension.
You must have created at least two full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK since you were last granted Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, and these jobs must have existed for at least 12 months. A single job does not need to last for 12 consecutive months (for example it could exist for 6 months in one year and 6 months the following year), providing it is the same job with the same title.
If you created the jobs during your initial period of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can rely on them in your extension application if the jobs are maintained for at least another 12 months during the most recent extension.
If jobs relied on in a previous period of leave no longer exist, then 2 new jobs will need to be created and exist for at least 12 months during the most recent extension.
The jobs must comply with all relevant UK regulations, including the national minimum wage and the working time directive.
If your business has been disrupted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, then you do not have to prove that you have employed at least 2 people for the period of 12 consecutive months. Instead, the 12-month period you are required to employ someone for can be made up of multiple jobs across different months, providing that when combined this is equivalent to 2 full-time jobs.
If your employees were furloughed under the UK Government furlough scheme during any period of time, the jobs can still count towards the 12-month period provided the employees were paid at least 80% of their normal salary throughout furlough.
If you are not able to employ staff for 12 months by the time your visa expires, you may still be granted further leave for a period of 2 years if you have created at least 2 jobs for settled workers and you have been unable to meet the normal requirements due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with most visa categories, you must be at least 18 years old to apply and meet the English Language requirement.
You must have sufficient funds of at least £945 for your maintenance in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you can apply. If you apply with your dependent family members, you will need to show additional funds for their maintenance. You must have £1,890 for each dependant if you’ve been in the UK for less than 12 months. If you’ve been in the UK for more than 12 months, you must have £630 for each dependant.
Once you receive your Innovator visa, you should note that the following conditions will apply to your stay in the UK in this category.
You will be permitted the following activities on your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa:
- Bring your dependent family members
- Study in the UK
You will not be able to do the following in the UK on your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa:
- Claim public funds (most benefits)
- Work or take up any other employment, other than working for business or businesses you established, joined or took over
- Work as a professional sportsperson
Fairmont Lawyers can help you navigate the job creation requirements and provide you with professional legal assistance every step of the way to obtain Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension visa.
The current visa application fee for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extension visa (from October 2021) is £1,277 if you apply from inside the UK (plus £19.20 for biometric enrolment if you are in the UK). The Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) is £624 per each year of the visa unless you are exempt. The fees for your dependents depend on where they make their applications. If they apply from outside the UK, the fee will be £1,021 per person. The Home Office regularly reviews its fees and these may be subject to increase in the future.
It takes around:
- 3 weeks if you apply from outside the UK
- 8 weeks if you apply from inside the UK
However, some delays may occur depending on your individual circumstances or the Home Office/UKVI.
You may be able to choose Priority Service, subject to availability. You will need to pay an additional fee to use this service, and the cost depends on the visa center.
With my initial application, I had to satisfy 'genuine entrepreneur' requirement. Will I need to do this again in my extension application?
Yes. You will need to show that you have established, taken over or become a director of one or more genuine businesses in the UK since your first Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, and that you have genuinely operated that business. You must also be able to show that you invested your specified funds into one or more genuine businesses in the UK and you intend to continue operating one or more businesses in the UK. The documents you will need to provide include your company accounts and business bank statements, as well as any evidence of your genuine operations in the UK including invoices, receipts, marketing materials, brochures, screenshots of your website and lease for business premises.
You will also need to satisfy this requirement when you apply to settle in the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).