The Tier 1 visa category allows high net worth individuals from outside the EEA to come to the UK for business purposes. This could be solely for investment purposes under the Tier 1 Investor visa. There is also a route available for Applicants who aim to set up or take over an existing business under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route. Lastly, there is an option for students to apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route. A key attraction for all three of these Tier 1 visa routes is the possibility of bringing family members to the UK as dependants.
The Tier 1 Investor Visa Route under the Immigration Rules
The Tier 1 Investor visa allows high net worth business people from outside the EEA to invest in the UK and reside freely with their dependents. The Tier 1 Investor visa allows high net worth individuals from outside the UK to make a significant investment in the UK. Applicants apply for the Tier 1 Investor visa if they want to invest a minimum of £2 million. The benefit of applying for a Tier 1 Investor visa is that there is no English language requirement and Applicants can apply for their family members to join them as their dependents.
Applicants who are granted a Tier 1 Investor visa will be granted leave for 3 years and 4 months. An application to extend leave under this category can be made for another 2 years. However, what is more noteworthy is that applications for settlement can be made after 2 years if Applicants can demonstrate that they have invested a minimum of £10 million. Alternatively, an application for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) can be made after 3 years if Applicants can demonstrate that they have invested a minimum of £5 million. Otherwise, under the £2 million route Applicants can apply for settlement after 5 years.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Route under the Immigration Rules
The purpose of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route is to allow overseas business people to come to the UK to do one of two things:
- Take over an existing business in the UK by making an investment of £200,000; or
- Set up a new business in the UK using a minimum of £200,000.
To submit a successful application to the UK Visas and Immigration Department of the Home Office Applicant must acquire 95 points in their application. Applicants will be awarded points for the following:
- The Applicant must have a minimum of 75 points for Attributes under paragraphs 35 to 53 of Appendix A.
- The Applicant must have a minimum of 10 points for the English language requirement under paragraph 1 to 15 of Appendix B.
- The Applicant must have a minimum of 10 points for Maintenance under paragraph 1 to 2 of Appendix C.
The main obstacle for Applicants under the Tier 1 is satisfying the Genuine Entrepreneur Test. The Home Office introduced this subjective test to prevent applications of convenience being made. The Home Office has made it clear that it will only grant credible applications who acquire 95 points.
The Home Office usually invite Applicants for a Home Office Genuine Entrepreneur Interview where an application is lacking credibility. Therefore it is crucial a well-prepared application is submitted with the assistance of specialist immigration solicitors. Our solicitors can assist with the preparation of a Home Office Genuine Entrepreneur Interview.
In addition to the Home Office interview, a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application will also be put through a Credibility and Viability assessment.
The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Route under the Immigration Rules
University graduates can apply for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa if they can show that they have been endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea. The endorsement must be by the Department for International Trade (DIT) or a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI). It is important to note that the institution must be authorised as an endorsing body. Successful Applicants will be granted leave for a period of one year but an application to extend the leave can be made for an additional year. Similar to the Tier 1 Investor visa and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, Applicants can apply to bring their family members with them. Applicants can also apply to switch into another visa category under the Immigration Rules.
However, Applicants cannot have access to public funds and cannot settle in the UK under this route. Therefore, Applicants who wish to settle in the UK are advised to explore the option of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa or consider switching into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category at the end of their extension period.
Using Legal Representation to submit a Tier 1 Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 1 application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 1 application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Tier 1 application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Tier 1 Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Tier 1 application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your Tier 1 application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful Tier 1 application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.