Overview of Tier 1 Visa
The UK encourages investors and entrepreneurs in particular to contribute to the British economy through business and development. Corporate and private businesses, international companies, investors and entrepreneurs are invited to live and work in the UK.
To meet the business requirements, companies and investors has to apply for the Tier 1 Visa
Who can apply for a Tier 1 Visa?
- If you have plans to set up or run a business in the UK
- You are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- You have other eligibilities required to obtain this Visa
- A minimum of £50,000 investment funds is a must to apply
How long it takes to get a visa
Three months is the earliest that you can apply before you plan to travel.
i.e, if you are travelling on June 15, then you can apply from March 16. And you will receive a decision on your Visa in 3 weeks’ time. However, you can check with the guidelines to find out the time period to obtain a Visa in your country.
Tier 1 Visa Categories
Tier 1 Visa has four categories as listed below:
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
- Tier 1 (Investor)
Tier 1 Investor Visa & Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
We will discuss only about the Tier 1 Visa for Investors and Entrepreneurs:
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa
Entrepreneur Visa is for the entrepreneurs with minimum £50,000 fund to invest in the UK either by taking over a business in already established in UK or setting up one’s own business there. From what has been found, it is difficult for many applicants to apply for this visa without a minimum investment fund of £200,000.
Eligibility & Requirements
In order to apply for Entrepreneur Visa, the minimum investment fund required is £50,000 investment fund.
Moreover, your funds must be kept in one or more regulated financial institutions. You must be free to use your fund on business in UK. The eligibility requirements differs on the basis of your access to your funds, whether your own £50,000 or to £200,000.
Ability to function in English language is one of the most important factors as an eligibility to start a business in UK. You must also have enough of fund to be able to support yourself financially during your stay. Applicants should not be below 16 years of age and score no less than 95 points in the eligibility test of points-based system for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
Documents You Need to Submit
- A valid passport or other travel identification
- Proof of the investment funds available to you
- A business plan
- Proof that you can support your during your stay
- Proof of knowledge of English language that you may require during your stay
- Tuberculosis test results just in case you come from a country where this test is a must
- Criminal record certificate from the country of your stay or where you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
- An empty page in your passport that is blank on both sides for your visa.
- Also, submit certified translation of any documents that isn’t in English or Welsh.
- You may need to submit more documents depending on circumstances and requirements.
How to Apply
Always read the guidelines of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) before you plan to apply.
Healthcare surcharge need to be paid by the applicant as part of their application. Read the guidelines carefully how much one has to pay.
For Applicants outside the UK
- To obtain a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa you must apply online as the first step after reading the guidelines carefully.
- Your fingerprints and photograph are a must that will be taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
- You are suggested to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of your expected arrival in the UK (even if you are expected at a later date).
- However, you may even obtain your Visa faster, depending on the country of stay and your Visa application centre.
For Applicants from North Korea
People living in North Korea cannot apply online.
You must download the application form and guidance and read the same carefully before filling the form. Learn from the guidelines where to submit the completed application form.
Already in UK and Wish to Apply for Entrepreneur Visa
Read the guidelines careful and find out if you can apply for the Entrepreneur Visa. Check if you can extend your existing Visa or switch to this Visa from any other Visa.
Tier 1 (Investor) Visa
The Investor Visa requires investors in UK to have a minimum of £2,000,000 to invest in an operational company of UK.
Eligibility & Requirements
To apply for Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, applicant must have a minimum of £2,000,000 investment funds
- Applicant must not be less than 18 years of age to apply for this visa
- Proof of money belonging to applicant or their husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner
- Opened a UK bank account
You must be free to spend your money in UK and your funds also must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions. The money that you intend to invest or spend can be the UK or overseas when you apply.
Students with financial sponsorship
You are eligible for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if you are already living in the UK and:
- You hold a Tier 4 (General) visa
- You are a student nurse
- You are studying in UK, and writing up a thesis or re-sitting an exam
- You are a postgraduate doctor or dentist
- You are an overseas qualified nurse or midwife
- You are a student sabbatical officer
You have to submit a proof of written unconditional agreement from your financial sponsor to re-enter or stay in the UK, if your course fees and living costs are paid by either the government or an international scholarship agency.
How to Apply
Read the guidance before you apply.
Applicant has to pay for the healthcare surcharge as part the guidelines. Check the instructions to know the amount you will need to pay before you apply.
Applicants from outside the UK
Applicants can apply online for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.
Get your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.
You must collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of your arrival in the UK (even if your actual arrival date is delayed).
You may get your visa or other services faster depending on the country you are in. Check with your visa application centre.
Applicants from North Korea
Applicants from North Korea cannot apply online
If you are a North Korean residents then download the application and read the guidelines and instructions carefully before sitting to fill the application for. The guidelines will tell you where to submit the completed application form.
Already in the UK and Want to Apply
First try to find out whether you can apply from inside the UK to extend your current Tier 1(Investor) Visa or switch to this Visa from any other Visa.
Immigration Rules for Family members (dependants)
You need to show a proof of sufficient fund to provide to your partner, family members and dependents in order to bring them with you during your stay in the UK. Check in the instructions in the family visa section to process the request.
Benefits of Tier 1 Visa
You get following benefits if you have the Tier 1 Visa:
- You are allowed to manage business along with studies in the UK if possess there Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa and the Tier 1(Investor) Visa
- Every year for up to 180 days you are allowed to stay away from the and yet permitted to apply for Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK after 5 years.
- You are eligible to run multiple businesses with the Tier 1 Visa. You can show, you either want to set up your own business or take control of an existing business.
- You are eligible to apply for ILR after 5 years.
- Applicants may also apply for ILR after 3 years in the UK if they have generated 10 jobs and successful in generating at least £5m in the 3 years of stay in the UK.