Tier 1 Innovative
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
It is possible to seek an Entrepreneur Visa if:
- The applicant wants to start or run a business in the UK and has obtained the endorsement of such a business or business idea through an approved body
- Each of the applicants whether applying for Entry Clearance, Leave to Remain or ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain), must obtain an endorsement in the specific category by an endorsing body, which is listed on the gov.uk website.
- The applicant should attach such an endorsement letter, which must include the following information:
- Endorsing body’s name
- Reference number of the endorsement
- Issuance date (Endorsement should have been issued no more than 3 months prior to the date of filing of an application)
- The endorsement letter must have the applicant’s name, nationality, date of birth, and passport number
- A short description of the business venture of the applicant and what products or services applicant offers to its consumers
- A confirmation showing that the business venture of applicant fulfils the endorsement criteria
- The contact information including name, email, phone number, and workplace address of a person at the endorsing body who will verify the contents of the such an endorsement letter to the Home Office—if required
- In case the issued endorsement is fallen under the criteria of new business, the applicant is not bound to give the evidence mentioned regarding the investment funds if the endorsement letter reveals and confirms that:
- The funds will be provided by the endorsing body
- The endorsing body has confirmed and verified that the investment funds are available with the applicant or other sources
- The endorsing body has confirmed and verified that the applicant’s business has already received the investment funds
- The applicant may be a partner or member of an entrepreneurial team; hence, an applicant can apply even if he/she is not the sole founder of such a business.
- If the applicant has previously obtained a leave to enter in the Start-up, Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Entrepreneur category, it is not necessary to obtain an endorsement by the same endorsing body, which resulted in the grant of such leave.
- The endorsing body shouldn’t have withdrawn such an endorsement until the decision maker considers it.
- If an endorsement letter obtained by the applicant falls under the new business criteria, it should verify both of these aspects.
- The business venture of applicant fulfils all of the requirements mentioned in the table given below:
Genuine and original business plan of the applicant, which fulfils existing or new market needs and/or is capable of creating a competitive advantage.
The applicant possesses necessary skills, market awareness, experience and knowledge to run the business successfully.
There is potential evidence of job creation and growth into national and international markets.
- The endorsing body has a reason to believe that the person applying for the visa will spend his/her entire working time in the UK with a view to develop business ventures.
- If the endorsement was obtained by the applicant under the endorsement criteria of new business mentioned, a minimum of £50,000 investment funds should be available to the applicant. This may also include those investment funds, which the business has already received.
- If the endorsement letter verifies that a minimum of £50,000 funds are available or have already been invested in the business, there is no need to provide further evidence regarding investment funds.
- If the endorsement letter fails to verify that a minimum of £50,000 investment funds have been invested or are available, the applicant should provide the documents mentioned. These documents will serve as the evidence showing how much amount is left in the £50,000 investment funds.
- If one or more applicants are applying through a business venture or have been obtained leave in the entrepreneur category, it is not possible for them to share similar investment funds. Each member of an Entrepreneur team must have a minimum of £50,000 investment funds available with him/her. In case the team members who have obtained leave under any other category of the Immigration rules or those who are resident workers, the additional funds to engage them in the business are not required.
If an applicant submits a settlement application, the endorsement letter should verify both of these aspects.
- The applicant fulfils the business endorsement criteria
- The business venture of the applicant should fulfil at least two of these requirements:
- The applicant has invested a minimum of £50,000 investment fund into the business and actively spent the funds for the furtherance of such business plan that was assessed in the previous endorsement.
- The number of customers of such a business has at least doubled within the 3 years time (most recent). Moreover, the number is larger than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses, which are offering identical or comparable products or services.
- The business has done significant development and research activity and has filed an application to seek intellectual property protection in the UK.
- The business has been successfully generated annual gross revenue of £1 million (at least) for the previous full year.
- The business has been successfully generating annual gross revenue of £500,000 (at least) for the previous full year, with revenue of at least £100,000 from overseas exports.
- The business has provided a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for UK resident workers.
- The business has provided a minimum of 5 full-time jobs for UK resident workers, offering an average salary of £25,000 per year (at least).
- If the applicant is applying through job creation criteria:
- The jobs should have a duration period of at least 12 months and must show compliance with all the relevant UK legislation, such as the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations in effect at the time.
- Each of the jobs should offer at least 30 hours of paid work per week. In addition, Two or more-part time jobs, which when combined offer 30 hours of paid work per week. Each of such jobs must have lasted for 12 months. Nevertheless, a single full-time job offering 30 hours of work per week won’t be counted as more than one full-time job.
- The applicant could qualify under any two of the combination of above-mentioned criteria, no matter whether they are similar or not. For instance, an applicant can meet two of these criteria if the annual revenue of their business amounts to £1 million, with the revenue of overseas exports no less than £100,000.
- An applicant can’t take advantage of similar criteria twice. For instance, an applicant investing £100,000 in their business venture will only meet one criterion, but not two.
- If one or more team members are applying through a single business venture, or have obtained, settlement in the Entrepreneur category, they can’t share the similar means to meet these criteria. For instance, if both the two applicants are relying on the criteria of 10 creating jobs, they need to create 20 jobs in total.
- Must have passed an approved English language test with a minimum CEFR level B2 in reading, speaking, listening, and writing
- The applicant has an academic qualification, taught in English and the UK NARIC recognises such a qualification as equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
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