United KingdomChina
TEL FOR UK +44 (0)207 499 4994

Wealth | Investment logo Immigration | Property

  • JFile: :read: Unable to open file:
  • JFile: :read: Unable to open file:

UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

If you are from a country outside of the European Union and see your future as an entrepreneur in the UK and you have access to suitable levels of finance you can gain entry to the UK on an Entrepreneur Visa.

Individuals who plan to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over a business, and being actively involved in running the business can come to the UK under the Entrepreneur sub-category of Tier 1. At least GBP two hundred thousand (£200,000.00) of disposable capital held in a regulated financial institution is required.


  • The GBP two hundred thousand (£200,000.00) investment that is made initially does not have to be kept where it is. The business can be sold. As long as the immigration authorities are content that the entrepreneur is still in some business, the Visa can be renewed. Therefore, the Visa is not conditional upon or attached to the original business or the investment made.
  • Candidates do not need to have previous business experience or produce any such or equivalent evidence to be eligible for this category of Visa.
  • Unlike Visitor Visas, the Entrepreneur Visa leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and eventually to a British Nationality.

The Visa Application Process

There are three requirements for this stage:

  • Access to GBP two hundred thousand (£200,000.00). The funds can be held across multiple bank accounts, in or outside the UK. They can be held by the applicant himself or third parties on behalf of the applicant. A letter from a bank confirming that the funds are in place at the time of the application is needed to present to the immigration authorities. The letter must be in a specified format which varies according to the nature of the case. Our advisors will be happy to help you with the requirements of this letter and other similar minor details.
  • In order to meet the criteria for the amount of money that you have, you will be assessed on a points based system, from which you must achieve 75 points. The points are calculated in the following manner;
    • Having access to GBP two hundred thousand (£200,000.00) = 25 points
    • The sum of GBP two hundred thousand (£200,000.00) is held in a regulated bank account = 25 points
    • The funds are disposable in the UK = 25 points
  • English Language Skills. The current requirement is IELTS level 7.0 or equivalent. Nationals of English speaking countries such as the USA and Australia are exempt from this requirement. A degree taught in English at either Bachelor’s or Masters Level in any subject should suffice.
  • Maintenance. You will also need to show that you have, in your personal account, a suitable amount for living expenses. This is deemed to be GBP two thousand eight hundred (£2,800.00) as a minimum balance over the last three months prior to the application. The sum is GBP eight hundred (£800.00) if the application is being made from within the UK

Separate points are given for English language ability (10 points) and the availability of funds for maintenance (10points).

Once the Visa is granted, certain tasks such as registering the business would need to be done within three months of the Visa being granted to the candidate entering the UK.

The investment would need to be made within three years of the Visa being granted.

The initial visa will give you 3 years in the UK and, if during that 3 years you can show that you met certain criteria, you can then apply for a further 2 year extension visa. After 3 years, in order to secure the 2 year extension visa, you will need to show:

  • You were appointed as a Director of a UK company within 6 months;
  • You have invested £200,000 in a UK business(es) via equity or unsecured loan;
  • Evidence that your investment has resulted in the creation of the equivalent of 2 full time jobs for 12 months;

Following the 5 years you will have the option of applying for Permanent Residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK.

If you intend to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain then they will need to show that you met the residency requirement of spending at least 180 days per year in the UK.

Please note that for very successful Entrepreneurs who create 10 jobs or a total turnover of £5 million you can accelerate your route to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Once you have your Entrepreneur visa, we can provide advice and support to help you start a new business, or invest in an existing UK business. Please see here for more information on how we can help you with your business and residency ambitions in the UK.