The Entrepreneur Visa UK route is a UK Tier 1 Visa used for non-UK nationals to enter the country and start or take over a business. If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a UK business, you will need a UK Entrepreneur Visa. To apply for this route, the applicant will need to be actively in involved in the running of the business (or businesses) in the UK.

The UK Entrepreneur Visa is for those who wish to set up as a sole trader, partnership or as a registered company. This is a points-based UK Business Visa, meaning you will need to score a total of 95 points for your application to be considered. You will score most of the points by having access to not less than £200,000 (£50,000 for graduates on a Tier 4 Visa). The UK Entrepreneur Visa can also be extended until you meet the residence requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

How can IAS help?

The immigration lawyers at IAS have a vast knowledge of UK Tier 1 and UK Business Visas and can advise on all visa applications. The UK Entrepreneur Visa has a high refusal rate, so it is advisable to receive expert Tier 1 Entrepreneur guidance. Our immigration lawyers will review your business plan to ensure it is suitable. They will also prepare you for your interview with the Home Office.

He/she will also prepare a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This document details your case and the relevant case law to support your application when it is submitted. If you would like to know more about the UK Tier 1 Visa route and whether you qualify, get in touch now using our online contact form or call +1844 290 6312 for quality Tier 1 Entrepreneur guidance from an immigration lawyer.


Can I apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

To be eligible for this route, you must meet the 95-point requirement under the points-based system. You will also need to meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.

You must be, or intend to be, actively involved in running the UK business. This can be as a sole trader, in a partnership or as a UK-registered company.

You will also need access to £200,000 in funds, which you can use for your business costs. You can also apply with £50,000 in investment funds from one of the following:

  • A UK seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT), or
  • A UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business/venture capital firm. This firm must be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can also apply if you have invested £50,000 in a UK business as long as it was invested in the last 12 months before you apply.

The funding rules are also different if you are switching from a different UK visa or if you have already held a UK visa.

A new form of visa for entrepreneurs has been proposed for 2019 called the UK Startup Visa. The requirements for this visa type have still not been released in full. However, the visa is catered for international entrepreneurs who want to start a brand new business in the UK.

Why was my Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa UK refused?

An Entrepreneur Visa has a particularly high refusal rate and can be reused for a number of reasons. Usually, a Tier 1 Entrepreneur refusal happens when the applicant fails the main key areas. These are the business plan, interview or ‘genuine entrepreneur test’ elements of the application.

All three of these sections are complex and important and any issues with them can lead to having a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa refused.

What is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa business plan?

Submitting a business plan is an essential piece of the Entrepreneur Visa application process. This plan needs to be in-depth and should discuss all elements of your proposed business.

These include:

  • A summary of your business plan
  • Financial projections
  • Marketing strategy
  • Sales strategy
  • Set-up plans
  • Competitor analysis
  • Targets and aims
  • Recruitment strategy

Is there a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for students?

If you are a recent international graduate and are hoping to set up a business in the UK, you can apply for the Graduate UK Entrepreneur Visa. This route allows an applicant with a Bachelor’s Degree or above to stay in the UK for a further 12 months. Once this has passed, you are able to extend your visa if the business has been successful during its initial 12 months.

A Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa must be endorsed by the DIT (Department for International Trade). It can also be endorsed by a Higher Education body in the UK.

The Higher Education body must also be able to endorse post-graduate visas in the UK. While many universities in the UK do endorse this type of visa, there is a limit of 2,000 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas are available each year. This may also decrease after Brexit.

What are the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa questions?

The Entrepreneur Visa interview is an important part of the UK Tier 1 application process. This visa route is very competitive, so extensive preparation is necessary.

At the interview, your business and your business plan will be heavily scrutinized. You must have an in-depth knowledge of your business plan. This includes information on your forecasts and margins and how your business is feasible and lucrative.

Contact a lawyer for extensive Tier 1 Entrepreneur guidance on the interview.

Can I apply for a Tier 1 Visa extension?

Yes, you can extend your Tier 1 Visa. You can do this for two years, which is added on to your maximum stay of three years and four months. Because this is over five years, a Tier 1 Visa extension allows you to apply for ILR.

Can I go from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR?

Yes, you can move from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain). You can do this after five years of continuous time spent in the UK on an Entrepreneur Visa.

To be able to apply, you will need to extend your visa, from the maximum of three years and four months to five years and four months. After the five years is up, provided you haven’t left the UK for more than the maximum amount of days (180) you can apply for ILR.

What services does IAS offer?

This visa route is one of the most commonly refused. Your business will be assessed according to the ‘genuine business test’. This test aims to catch out false business applications.

At IAS, our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the UK Business Visa routes and will put you in the best position to receive a positive result.

Your lawyer will:

  • Ensure your business plan is of the correct standard expected by the Home Office;
  • Assist you in preparing for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa interview;
  • Prepare a Letter of Representation. This document references your application, supporting documents and laws in support of your case;
  • Complete all application forms
  • Perform a detailed document check and organize your evidence into an accessible bundle
  • Liaise with the Home Office until a decision is reached

Call us on +1844 290 6312 to discuss your options straightaway or make an online inquiry for a callback.

Our Entrepreneur Visa Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to you, with written confirmation


Application Package

Full assistance throughout your entire application process


Fast Track Package

A premium service which allows your application to take priority position in your lawyer's workload


Appeal Package

Full representation through your appeal, including physical representation if your case is heard by a tribunal


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