Do you have an innovative idea for a UK-based business? Are you interested in investing in an existing UK business with a view to contributing to its success? The UK offers a variety of visas that enable highly skilled people to come and work in Britain. If you think that you could establish or contribute to a successful commercial venture here, then Ash Norton’s expert immigration lawyers can provide you with commercially minded guidance throughout the entrepreneur visa application process.
What is the Entrepreneur Visa?
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is made available to highly skilled people who are interested in setting up or running a business in the UK. It allows successful applicants to come to the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months in order to pursue their commercial interests. There may even be scope to extend the length of the visa, depending on whether you are already a holder of an entrepreneur visa or if you are switching to it from another kind of visa.
If you are able to secure an entrepreneur visa, you will be allowed to:
- Set up or take over the management of one or more businesses in the UK;
- Work for your business; and,
- Bring your family members to the UK with you.
You should, however, be aware that there is a limitation on which members of your family you are allowed to bring to the UK. Immigration rules only allow ‘dependant’ family members to accompany you under the entrepreneur visa. This means that you can bring your partner, your child if they are under 18, or your child who is over 18 but considered as a dependant.
What Is Needed to Get an Entrepreneur Visa?
Entrepreneur visas are restricted to those individuals who can provide tangible evidence that they have the means to pursue their commercial venture without financial assistance in the UK. Eligibility for the entrepreneur visa will depend on your access to investment funds. The visa is available to those that have access to either £50,000 or £200,000 of investment funds. These funds must be held in a UK regulated financial institution, i.e. a bank. Alternatively, funds may be spread out across several banks, but these must still be UK regulated. Furthermore, these funds must be available to spend on your business in the UK.
A significant part of the conditions that must be met to secure the entrepreneur visa are financial in nature. However, you should be aware that, regardless of the amount of money that you have access to, you must prove – through your application – that you will be able to survive in the UK. This will involve:
Demonstrating your command of the English language. This can be done by either:
- Passing an approved English language test; or
- Having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by the UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC), e.g. bachelor’s degree or otherwise.
Being able to show that you will be able to support yourself while you stay in the UK. This will depend on where you ultimately make your application for the visa from:
- Outside the UK, you must have £3,310 in your bank account; or
- Within the UK, you will need £945 in personal savings
- Score 95 points on the UK points-based immigration system – this will reflect your access to funds, your intentions if granted the visa and what steps you have taken to realise your ambitions, e.g. provision of a business plan as part of your application; and,
- Being at least 18 years old.
What Needs to Be Included in an Entrepreneur Visa Application?
As with most visa applications, you will need to provide identification, e.g. photographic ID etc. However, as mentioned above, entrepreneur visas are designed for those who have the means available to set up or invest in a business in the UK. Your application must, therefore, give evidence of the funds that you have available and where they are located. This can be through:
- A letter from the bank or bank(s) that hold your funds;
- If the money has been made available to you by a governmental department, a letter from your accountant or relevant official detailing information about the funds; or
- Where the money is coming from elsewhere, i.e. not a governmental department or venture capital firm, clear documentation of the source of these funds.
Specialist Entrepreneur Visa Application Lawyers
The rules governing the entrepreneur visa are complex, and there is a significant amount of preparation that needs to be done to increase the chances of a successful application. You should speak to an experienced immigration lawyer who is familiar with the process involved in applying for the Entrepreneur visa, and who will be to handle all of the paperwork required.
Contact our Tier 1 Visa Application Lawyers Mayfair, London
At Ash Norton, we regularly work with clients who have great hopes to come to the UK and develop a successful business. Our team of specialist immigration lawyers will work with you to ensure that you meet all of the conditions necessary for the entrepreneur visa. We take pride in working in partnership with leading practitioners in the field to secure a successful visa application for our clients. To find out more about how we could help you, speak to our team today.