UK Business Visas untangled

DWFM Beckman has a specialist business immigration team that can assist non EEA nationals who want to acquire a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa or Tier 1 (Investor) Visa for the UK.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

What is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa allows individuals to enter the UK for the purposes of establishing a new business or investing in a running business. An individual or a joint application comprised of two individuals (entrepreneurial team) can be made under this category. The application is made from outside the UK and in certain circumstances can be made from within the UK. If the entrepreneur application is successful from outside the UK you will be granted a visa for three years and four months and if inside the UK the visa is valid for three years.

How to qualify for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?

The application is points based and you need to score 95 points in order to qualify for the visa. The individual or team (made up of a maximum of 2 individuals) must be able to fulfil the following criteria:

a) Have access to £200,000 (or £50,000 from an approved source), the funds must be held in a regulated financial institution and the funds must be disposable in the UK. These can be your own funds or from a third party such as a family member,

b) Genuinely seek to set up a viable business in the UK.

c) The ability to maintain themselves and any dependant(s) without recourse to public funds.

d) The ability to meet the English to a specific level.

What documents are required for the application?

The documents required to satisfy the above criteria are wide ranging and a failure to provide the necessary documents in the format set out by the Immigration Rules will result in your application being refused. At DWFM Beckman we will advise you on the extensive documentation required to satisfy the criteria.

Can I extend my Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?

On completion of three years you can apply for an extension for a further two years. Certain key factors must be met which include:

a) The £200,000 (or £50,000) has been invested in the business.

b) A directorship or self-employment status has been registered within 6 months of the specified date.

c) At the time of extending under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category the directorship or self-employment status was still registered.

d) The equivalent of 2 full time jobs have been created for at least 12 months

A substantial amount of documentary evidence is required to qualify for the two year extension. Our Business Immigration team can advise on this.

What are my options after five years?

Providing you meet the relevant criteria you can qualify for settlement (indefinite leave to remain in the UK). After a period of 12 months of holding ILR status you may qualify for British citizenship and a British passport.

Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

What is a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa and how do I apply for it?

DWFM Beckman’s immigration solicitors specialise in obtaining Tier 1 (Investor) Visas for individuals who wish to enter the UK to invest £2,000,000 or more. The visa route can lead to settlement in the UK and British citizenship.

UK Tier 1 (Investor) Visa – Who Should Apply?

The Tier 1 (Investor) Visa is based on a points based system. You need to score 75 points in order to qualify. If the Tier 1 (Investor) visa application was submitted outside of the UK and is successful, the applicant will be granted leave to enter the UK for 3 years 4 months. In some circumstances the application can be made from within the UK and if successful the visa is granted 3 years leave to remain.

How to qualify for the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa?

The main requirements to qualify for the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa are that the applicant must fulfil the following criteria:

a) Have at least £2,000,000 investment funds.

b) The investment funds must be held in 1 or more regulated financial institutions.

c) The funds must be disposable in the UK.

d) You must have opened an account with a UK regulated bank for the purposes of investing not less than £2million in the UK.

What documents are required for the application?

Extensive documentation is required in order to qualify under this category. Our specialist Business Immigration team can assist by offering guidance on what is required in order to satisfy the Immigration Rules.

Can I extend my Tier 1 (Investor) Visa?

Our Business Immigration team can assist in extending your investor visa. The requirements to extend depend on when the initial application was made. If the initial application was submitted before 6 November 2014, to succeed in extending the applicant’s leave under this category, the key factors include:

  1. To have invested not less than £750,000 of their capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies other than those principally engaged in property investment; and have invested the remaining balance of £1 million in the UK by the purchase of assets or by maintaining the money on deposit in a UK regulated financial institution; and
  2. To have made the investment within a specified time of entry into the UK under the Tier 1 (Investor) category.

If the applicant’s Tier 1 (Investor) application was submitted on/after 6 November 2014, to succeed in extending the applicant’s leave under the Tier 1 (Investor) category the key factors include:

  1. To have invested not less than £2 million in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies; and
  2. To have made the investment within a specified time of entry into the UK under the Tier 1 (Investor) category.

The above is only a summary of what is required to obtain further leave to remain under the Tier 1 (Investor) category. The type of documentation that would be required in support of the application is case dependent.

Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Once an individual under the Tier 1 (Investor) category has successfully remained in the UK for a continuous 5 year period they may be in a position to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The UK Government currently operates an accelerated route which allows for investors to obtain indefinite leave to remain in less than 5 years subject to meeting the accelerated route requirements.

Our specialist Business Immigration team will work closely with you in preparing your application. We can also assist with additional services required under the terms of the visa – which can potentially include working closely with financial institutions, private wealth management firms and accountancy firms to ensure the investments made are satisfactory for the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa.

For any enquiries please contact our Business Immigration team by email at Adeeb.Chowdhry@dwfmbeckman.com or call 0207 408 8845.