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Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)

You can no longer apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

If you want to set up or run a business in the UK you might be able to apply for an Innovator visa or a Start-up visa.

If you already have a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

You can still apply:

Extend your visa

You may be able to extend your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to extend your visa if you:

  • registered as a director or as self-employed no more than 6 months after the date you were given permission to stay in the UK under a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
  • can prove you’ve been self-employed, a member of a partnership or working as a director of a business 3 months before you apply
  • created at least 2 full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months
  • can continue to support yourself

You must have invested into 1 or more UK businesses either:

  • £200,000 in cash
  • £50,000 in cash

The amount depends on the level of funds your initial application was based on.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should read the full guidance on the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa before you apply.

Fees

It costs £1,277 to extend this visa.

You’ll also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll pay as part of your application.

How to extend your visa if you’re in the UK

You must apply online.

Providing biometric information and supporting documents

When you apply, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).

You’ll also need to submit your supporting documents. You can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

Get help to apply online

You can get help with completing the online form if you:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

You can only use this service if you’re applying to extend your visa in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer. This could be because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

How to extend your visa if you’re outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK, you must apply online to extend a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Switch to this visa

If you’re already in the UK you may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:

  • you’re on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • you switched to a Start-up visa from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year

You must meet the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. You must have:

  • £50,000 in funds to spend in the UK
  • a viable business plan

You must apply before your current visa expires.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 3 years if your application to switch is successful.

Fees

It costs £1,277 to switch to this visa.

You’ll also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll pay as part of your application.

How to apply to switch your visa

You should read the full guidance on the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa before you apply.

You must apply online.

Providing biometric information and supporting documents

When you apply, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).

You’ll also need to submit your supporting documents. You can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

Get help to apply online

You can get help with completing the online form if you:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

You can only use this service if you’re applying to switch to this visa in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer. This could be because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Switching to this visa if you’re outside the UK

You can apply to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you have:

  • a valid Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • a valid Start-up visa, and you switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year
  • a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa that expired less than 12 months ago
  • a Start-up visa that expired less than 12 months ago, and you switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year
Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can join you if you’re in the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Read the guidance on dependant applications before you apply.

Adult family members must provide a criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

Savings

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

Each dependant must have a certain amount of money available to them – this is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.

The amount depends on your circumstances. 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.

You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

ExampleYou must have £4,725 if you want to bring your partner and one child with you to the UK (£945 to support yourself plus £1,890 for your partner and £1,890 for your child).

Fees

It costs £1878 for each family member.

They’ll also need to pay £19.20 to have their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. They’ll pay as part of their application.

If your family member is applying from within the UK, they may be able to pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a faster decision.

Dependants applying outside the UK

Your family members must apply online.

They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of their application.

They’ll have to collect their biometric residence permit within 10 days of when they said they’d arrive in the UK (even if they actually arrive at a later date).

They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in – check with the visa application centre.

If your child is over 18 they cannot apply if they are outside the UK. They can apply from inside the UK if they are already here as your dependant.

North Korea

Your family members cannot apply online if they’re applying from North Korea.

Each family member will need to make their own application. They must:

Dependants applying in the UK on their own

Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. Dependants must either:

Family members cannot apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

Providing biometric information and supporting documents

When they apply, they’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide their biometric information (their fingerprints and a photo).

They’ll also need to submit their supporting documents. They can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at their UKVCAS appointment

They must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until they get a decision. Their application will be withdrawn if they do.

How long it takes to get a decision

A decision will be made within 8 weeks of your application date if you use the standard service.

If you use the super priority service a decision will be made:

  • by the end of the next working day after your UKVCAS appointment if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after your UKVCAS appointment if your appointment is at the weekend

Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

They’ll be contacted if their application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if their supporting documents need to be verified
  • if they need to attend an interview
  • because of their personal circumstances (for example if they have a criminal conviction)

Once they’ve applied they can stay in the UK until they’ve been given a decision, as long as they applied before their last visa expired.

Get help to apply online

Your family can get help with completing the online form if they:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

Your family can only use this service if they’re applying to extend or switch to your visa in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply online to add them to your visa as your dependant.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with them.

You’ll need to provide a full UK birth certificate for each child, showing the names of both parents.

Data Source: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-entrepreneur

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