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Top 5 things to consider when applying for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa:

To supplement our previous article on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visas, which can be found here, we have highlighted the 5 most important things that you will need to consider before making this application. A successful application is all about good preparation before submission. Therefore, we have broken the complex considerations down as follows:

  1. Investment funds:

Under the current Immigration Rules, you must have access to the investment funds of not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 in certain limited circumstances- Read More). These funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and available for you to use.  Many people often overlook the other financial requirements of this application:


You need to be able to show that you will be able to maintain yourself and your dependents whilst in the UK. As it currently stands, if your applying from outside the UK, you should be able to show £3, 310 of personal savings per applicant. You need to be able to show that this amount has been in your bank account for 90 consecutives days before you make your application.

Application fee:

The current fee (July 2018) starts from £966 (if applying in person outside of the UK and you’re from Turkey or Macedonia), £1,021 – if you are from other countries.

If you have dependants applying with you, the fee is £1,277 per person.

The Immigration Health Surcharge [‘IHS’]:

This is the charge that an applicant is required to pay that goes towards their use of the National Health Services [‘NHS’] in the UK. 

This is generally £200 per year per person- so each dependant will be required to pay this also. As entrepreneur visas are 3 years and 4 months, this is £700 per person.

  1. Genuine Entrepreneur Test and The business Plan:

Applicants of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa making an initial application are subject to a Genuine Entrepreneur Test. To assess whether you satisfy this, the Home Office will be considering:

  • the evidence that you submit with your application
  • viability and credibility of the source of the money.
  • the viability and credibility of your business plan and market researchof your chosen business sector;
  • your previous educational and business experience (or lack thereof);
  • your immigration history and previous activity in the UK;
  • where you have already registered in the UK as self-employed or as the director of a business, and the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained;
  • any other relevant information.

Ironically, the Home of Guidance only very briefly mentions the business plan by simply stating that:“If the applicant is making an initial application, they must provide a business plan, setting out their proposed business activities in the UK and how they expect to make their business succeed”. In practice, it is far from this simple- and the business plan should definitely be as detailed and comprehensive as possible as it is the core of the application.

In assessing that you are genuine, the Home Office may wish to interview you. This is something that has become a common practice. The interviewer will ask questions about your background, your expertise, finance, why you have chosen the UK to do your business and the business plan. It is vital that you know all aspects of your proposed business as the interview can be quite thorough and rigorous.

If the Home Office does invite you for an interview, it is mandatory for you to attend. The Home Office also have the right to request further documents from you, which must be provided to them within 28 calendar days of the of their request- So preparation is essential!

  1. Timing:

The earliest you can apply for the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is three months before you intend to travel. Remember that, with regards to the maintenance requirement side of things, you should show your savings have been in your account for  90 consecutives days before you make your application.

  • Generally speaking, you should get a decision on your application within three weeks of submitting it.
  • You can come to the UK with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for a maximum of three years and four months.
  • You can extend your status for another two years if you’re already in the same visa category, subject to eligibility. If you are switching from another visa category to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you can extend your status for three years.
  • You could also apply for settlements- or ‘indefinite leave to remain’ once you’ve been in the UK for five years.
  1. Knowledge of English Language

You will need to prove your knowledge of English language by either passing a Home Office approved English Language Test; or by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelors degree, masters degree or PhD.

If you are from a majority English speaking country, you are exempt from this requirement. You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA
  1. Conditions of the Visa- The Do’s & Don’ts:

What you can do:

  • Set up or take over the running of one business or more
  • Work for the business you specified in your application, including being self-employed.
  • Bring your family members with you as dependants

What you can’t do:

  • You will not be permitted to work outside your business, i.e. be employed by another business
  • You are not permitted to access public funds

Please note that this visa category other complex  considerations. For tailored  assistance from an Immigration Expert, get in touch with Master Legal Services:

E: a.s@master-legal-services.com

T: 020 8935 5205, 07710987064


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Master Legal Services is a company Registered in England & Wales No.10309474. We are authorised to provide immigration advice and services by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).


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