ONELAW CHAMBERS IMMIGRATION NEWS: How to apply for UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa – Start Up Visa and Innovator Business Visa Routes

16/02/2020 | Immigration News | Aejaz Mussa

ONELAW CHAMBERS IMMIGRATION NEWS: How to apply for UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa – Start Up Visa and Innovator Business Visa Routes

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is for non-EEA nationals who are either new entrepreneurs wanting to establish a new business in the UK for the first time under UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Start Up Visa or an experienced business person take over an established business in the UK looking to establish a business in the UK under UK Tier Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa. In all UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applications, you will need to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which has been approved by an endorsing body.

What is the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up and Innovator Visa? 

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category on 29 March 2019 split into the Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa categories for individuals who intend to set up a business in the UK as new entrepreneurs or as experienced business persons. UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa holders are permitted to work in certain circumstances and engage in developing their business.  They can also be accompanied or joined by their dependants.  The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa typically leads to settlement in the UK after a period of 5 years providing certain conditions are met. 

What is the difference between UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa?

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Start Up Visa category is for new entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in the UK for the first time. Under the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Start Up Visa, you can also work whilst developing your business and you will be granted leave to remain in the UK for 2 years. You are not permitted to extend your visa under the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Start Up Visa category and will have to consider switching into the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa category or other UK immigration visa categories before the end of the 2 years grant of your UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Start Up Visa.

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa category is for experienced business person who are looking to set up a new business or run an existing business in the UK. UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa holders are not permitted to take employment in the UK and must work solely in developing their business in the UK and will be granted leave to enter in the UK for 3 years. You will have to apply from outside the UK to be granted the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa. You can extend your visa at the end of the 3 years grant of your UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa and be granted settlement in the UK after completing 5 continuous years under the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur - Innovator Visa. 

Requirements for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa application

In order to qualify for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that:

  • You are 18 years old or over;
  • You meet the English language requirement with at least CEFR Level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening from a UKVI approved English language test provider;
  • You have savings of at least £945.00 held in your account for a consecutive 90 days period; and
  • You have obtained an endorsement letter (dated no more than 3 months before the date of your application) from an approved body confirming that your business is viable.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.

Requirements for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Innovator Visa application

In order to qualify for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that:

  • You are 18 years old or over;
  • You meet the English language requirement with at least CEFR Level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening from a UKVI approved English language test provider;
  • You have savings of at least £945.00 held in your account for a consecutive 90 days period;
  • You have obtained an endorsement letter (dated no more than 3 months before the date of your application) from an approved body confirming that your business is viable; and
  • You must have access to at least £50,000.00 in investment funds to set up a new business in the UK.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.

Meeting the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa requirements

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa applicants do not need to have any investment funds to invest in their business in order to apply. However, some endorsing bodies may require certain level of funding as a condition of endorsement to meet the requirements that your business is viable and scalable.

The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Innovator Visa application will usually need to have at least £50,000 available to invest in your UK business or have already invested £50,000 in your UK business.  You may rely on money of your own or funding provided by your endorsing body. However, some endorsing bodies may require certain level of funding as a condition of endorsement to meet the requirements that your business is viable and scalable.

The investment funds requirement for an Innovator visa is waived for applicants switching from either the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur -Start Up Visa category to pursue the same business venture or extending as an existing UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Innovator Visa holder to pursue the same business venture.  In both cases, applicants need to have demonstrated significant achievements and turnover in their business plan.

Under the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa or the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Innovator application, in order for your business proposal or idea to be endorsed by an approved endorsing body, you will need to show that your business proposal or idea meets all of the following criteria:

  • Innovation: You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
  • Viability: You have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business;
  • Scalability: Your business plan has potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

The endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you will spend the majority of your working time in the UK on developing business ventures, although you are permitted to work in the UK on this visa.

If you have any doubts about applying for the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa or Innovator Visa, please contact our immigration lawyers for expert advice.

Making UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa applications with OneLaw Chambers

At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa applications in order for applicants to remain and settle in the UK.  We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world.

Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Start Up Visa and Innovator Visa immigration application, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.

We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.

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