TIER 1 Entrepreneur

TIER 1 Entrepreneur

The TIER 1 (Point Based System) has already been launched and is currently active. This has affected a large number of applicants who wish to apply for Highly skilled migrant programme (Tier 1 General), Business person visa (Tier 1 Entrepreneur), Investor visa (Tier 1 Investor) and Post study work visa.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

The applicants are required to score at least 95 points in total to successfully apply for the required visa and he can claim following points under the various heads:

A. Scoring Sections

I Attributes

Initial Application

The applicant has to score 75 points under this section that can be claimed in the following manner:

  • By providing evidence that the applicant has got access to at least £200,000 :25 points (max.)
  • By providing evidence that the money is being held in one or more regulated financial institutions: 25 points (max.)
  • By providing evidence that the money is disposable in the UK: 25 points (max.)

The applicant must claim 75 points in total using the points earned in all of the above mentioned subsections.

Extension Application

The applicant has to score 75 points under this section that can be claimed in the following manner:

  • By providing evidences that the applicant has invested or had invested on his behalf, not less than £200,000 in cash directly into one or more business in the UK. (Max. 20 Points).
  • By providing evidences that the applicant has either registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a self employed person or registered a new business in which he is a director or registered as a director of an existing business. (Max. 20 Points). This requirement must be met within three months of grant of visa if the applicant got his last leave to remain / entry clearance under TIER 1 (Entrepreneur) and wishes to seek extension of his leave to remain.
  • By providing evidences that the applicant is engaged in business activity at the time of this application for leave to remain. (Max. 15 points)
  • By providing evidences that his business has created two full time positions for persons settled in the UK. (Max. 20 points). If the applicant`s last grant of leave is Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) then these two jobs must have existed for at least 12 months.
  • The applicant can only claim 75 points if he can provide the relevant documentary evidences and claim points under all the sub sections mentioned above.

II English Language

For Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), applicants are required to provide evidence that they speak, communicate and understand English language to a certain level. This requirement can be met in one of the following three ways:

  • By being a national of one of the English speaking countries i.e. USA, Australia, Canada etc.
  • By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
  • By having passed an English language Test (IELTS: 6.5)

This will give 10 points to the applicant.

Exemptions. Following persons however will automatically be given 10 points under this section:

  • The one who has got leave to remain / entry clearance under Tier 1 (General) or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and is seeking extension of leave to remain.
  • The one who has got leave to remain / entry clearance under HSMP after 05th of December 2006 and is seeking to switch to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).

III Maintenance

The applicant need to score 10 points under this section by providing evidences confirming that he has got sufficient amount of money for the maintenance and accommodation of himself and any of his dependants. He has to provide evidences that he has maintained a specific amount of money for at least 3 months prior to making the application (initial or extension).

The applicant must provide evidences that he has got access to following amounts of money to make the visa application for himself and / or for his family members:

  • £2800, if the applicant is making an entry clearance application from outside the UK
  • £800 if the applicant is making an in-country application either to extend his existing visa or an initial application while remaining in the UK
  • £1600 for each family member, in addition to the £2800 for his own, if he is being accompanied by his family members and all of them are making entry clearance applications from the relevant British Diplomatic posts
  • £533 for each family member, in addition to the £800 for his own, if the applicant and the family members are residing in the UK.

Please note that the applicant must have the above mentioned funds in addition to the £200,000 that he intends to invest in the business.

B. Source of Funding

It is no longer necessary for the applicant to show £200,000 of his own to seek entry clearance or further leave to remain under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). He can rely on third party funding to make up £200,000 and apply under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). The third parties may be one of the following:

  • Family members (within the UK or overseas)
  • Any other investor (within the UK or overseas)
  • Any corporate body (within the UK or overseas)

There is no restriction for the main applicant to have any money of his own to apply for this visa. He can borrow the full amount of £200,000 from third parties and apply for this visa.

Please note that third party funding is only allowed to make up £200,000 to invest in the business, the applicant must have money of his own to score points under the maintenance section for him. While for family members` maintenance, his spouse / partner can show his / her savings to claim points under maintenance section for the family members.

C. Duration of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

The first time applicants will be given 3 years visa whether they apply for entry clearance or switch from another immigration category.

Those who are on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) will get extension for 2 years to enable them complete five years residence in the UK and apply for ILR.

D. Work Allowed

Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) will be allowed to work only for their business where they have invested money. They will not be allowed to take supplementary employment. However the dependants will be allowed to seek work or engage in self employment activities till the duration of their visas. The only restricted for them is that they cannot work as trainee doctors in the UK.

E. Switching Rules

Into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur):

Following persons will be able to switch into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur):

  • A highly skilled migrant
  • A Tier 1 (General) migrant
  • A Tier 1 (Investor) migrant
  • A Tier 1 (Post – Study) migrant
  • A Business Person
  • An Innovator
  • A student
  • A student nurse
  • A student re-sitting an examination
  • A student writing up a thesis
  • A work permit holder
  • A post graduate doctor or dentist
  • A self employed Lawyer
  • A writer, composer or Artist
  • An Investor
  • A participant of IGS
  • A participant of FT:WISS

Please note that the rules of switching are very strict and no one else is allowed to switch to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) while remaining in the UK, unless there are truly compassionate circumstances.

F. Settlement Prospects

Although the persons on above mentioned visas are allowed to switch to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, only following will be able to use time spent on their visas towards 5 years residence criteria for ILR.

  • Person having their previous stay as a Business person
  • Persons having their previous stay as an Innovator

It means that if a work permit holder having already spent 3 years on work permit, switches to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, will lose that 3 years time for settlement purposes and have to complete 5 years on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) to become eligible for permanent settlement.

Those who have completed a total of five years in a combination of Business Person visa or Innovator visa or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) will be able to apply for Indefinite leave to remain one month before completing their five years.

G. Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only)

If the entry clearance application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of making a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information / documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide / submit any fresh documentary evidences with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

H. Appeals (In country Applications only)

The applicants whose Tier 1 applications are refused will be given full rights of appeal, provided they are not left with any leave to remain in the UK at the time of the decision. In these appeals, the applicant will however be allowed to make use of fresh documentary evidences / information in support of his appeal against the decision of the UKBA. The applicant will have 10 working days from the date of service of decision to lodge an appeal against that decision.

It is strongly advised to take independent professional assistance to lodge an appeal against the decision of the UKBA.

I. What services we can offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure, requirements and merits of making an application to the home office / British Diplomatic post.
  • We can provide assistance in completing the application forms and advise on the list of required documents.
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making representations in support of their immigration matters.
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependant to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can lodge an appeal (in-country only) or make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s entry clearance application is turned down for some reason.
  • We can advise in making permanent residence (ILR) applications for those who have already completed their five years period in the UK.

Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of the immigration matters of the sponsored persons.

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