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Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking for an easier way to become a successful entrepreneur in the UK? With relatively low barriers to entry and access to top British markets, a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa could be your perfect opportunity. 

In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know about the visa requirements and how they work so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you. 

What is a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa? 

A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is designed to encourage people with business skills and money to set up new businesses in the UK that will create jobs and economic growth.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is a visa route for non-EEA entrepreneurs looking to establish, take over, or become directors of an existing business in the UK. 

This Visa allows eligible applicants to stay in the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months. To be eligible for this Visa, applicants must meet certain criteria, including having access to at least £50,000 of investment funds and a genuine intention to establish a business in the UK. 

They must also demonstrate that they have a good command of English and can show evidence of their business experience and the feasibility of their proposed venture.  

Start-up Visa and Innovator Visa

Tier 1 entrepreneur visa is replaced by a Start-up Visa and Innovator Visa. The Start-up Visa and the Innovator Visa are both attractive options for entrepreneurs who wish to set up a business in the UK. However, there are key differences between the two visas that should be taken into consideration when deciding which one is the best choice. 

The Start-up Visa is designed for those with less experience and less money to invest in a business. This Visa requires that applicants have access to £50,000 or less in funding.

The Innovator Visa aims at those with more experience and money to invest in their business. This Visa requires applicants to have access to £2,000,000 or more in funding.

Who is Eligible for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa? 

To be eligible for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, applicants must meet certain criteria. The applicant must be a citizen of the non-EEA. They must have access to a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds and demonstrate that they have sufficient English language skills. 

Furthermore, applicants must show evidence of their business experience and provide evidence that their proposed venture is feasible. 

What are the Requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

To apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, applicants must meet the following general UK Visa requirements. 

  • A comprehensive business plan outlining their investment strategy, costs, and expected returns
  • Must have 75 points in attributes to be eligible
  • Must have £945 in your bank account
  • Documents that confirm past investments and business activities 
  • Unconditional written consent of a sponsor before submitting their application 
  • Letters from parents/legal guardians
  • Criminal record certificate 
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  • Evidence of having at least 10 points for financial requirements
  • Applicants must be 18 years old
  • Must not take public funds
  • Register with the police before submission
  • Must have 10 points for showing their understanding of English language proficiency
  • Avoid taking up any UK jobs during their business involvement

Candidates who have already been involved in UK business activities will need to provide documents confirming past investments and business activities. 

Once all the necessary documents are collected and submitted, the application will proceed with increased chances of a successful outcome. 

How to Apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

To apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you must do so from outside the UK. You will need to submit an online application on the official website of GOV.UK. You must provide essential information about yourself and your reason for travelling to the UK. In addition, you must upload copies of your original documents.

If this is your first time visiting the UK, you must make an appointment at a local application centre, embassy, or consulate in your home country. During this session, you will have to provide biometric data and a photograph of yourself. It is important to start the process at least 3 months before your intended travel date.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Application Fees  

 Work – Applications made outside the UK Fee

Work – Applications made in the UK Fee

How Long Does It Take to Get Visa Application Approved?

The entire process can take up to eight weeks. If you apply from outside the UK, it will take 3 weeks. If you apply from within the UK, it will take 8 weeks.

How Long will Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa UK be Valid?

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs Visa UK is valid for 3 years and 4 months. You can apply for an extension. The extension will be for 2 years.

Can I Switch to Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa If I have another UK Visa?

If you have a valid visa from the UK, such as the following, you can apply for switching to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur.

  • Tier 1 Investor 
  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur 
  • Tier 2, a tourist visa allowing for activities related to potential entrepreneurship 
  • Tier 1 Post-Study Work
  • Tier 4/Student categories 

Can I Apply for an ILR and Citizenship If I have Tier 1 entrepreneur/Innovator Visa?

Suppose you are already living in the UK and have been granted an Innovator Visa/tier 1 entrepreneur visa. In that case, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and then British Citizenship after being a resident for five years. 

Applying for ILR involves filling out a detailed application form, submitting relevant documents, and attending an interview. It is important to note that you must have a valid Innovator Visa for the full five years before applying for ILR.

Once your application has been approved and granted ILR, you can live in the UK without restrictions. You can even apply for British citizenship after one year of living under ILR status. 

To apply for British citizenship, you must complete an application form and provide the necessary evidence of your residence in the UK.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Application Points Table

When applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, the candidate must demonstrate that they have the necessary funds to support their business venture in the UK. 

Points are allocated based on how and where these funds are held. For an applicant to score 75 points, they will need to provide proof of any one of the following: 


Q. What is a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

A. A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is a UK visa category that allows individuals to establish and run a business in the United Kingdom. It is designed for those with access to at least £200,000 in capital to invest in their venture.

Q. What is the eligibility criteria for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

A. To be eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you must have access to at least £200,000 in capital, and have an existing business or plan for one you intend to set up in the UK. You must also demonstrate an understanding of the English language and have a valid passport.

Q. How long is a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa valid?

A. The initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is valid for three years and four months, with the possibility of an extension. If the visa holder meets the required criteria after this period, they may be able to apply for an extension for another two years.

Q. What happens if I don’t meet the criteria after my Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has expired?

A. If you do not meet the criteria after your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa has expired, you may be required to leave the UK. However, if you have been living and working in the UK for at least 5 years before your visa expires, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.


The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is a great opportunity for those looking to start or expand their business in the UK. It allows successful applicants to live and work in the UK and provides access to various benefits such as UK services, banking and healthcare. However, it is important to consider all the requirements and potential challenges before applying for a visa.

It is essential to carefully research the application process and ensure you have all the necessary documentation ready. It is also important to consider the cost of the visa and other related fees.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is an attractive option for entrepreneurs who meet the criteria and have a clear business plan. With careful preparation and guidance, it can be a great way for successful applicants to make the most of their opportunities in the UK.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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