Tier 1 – Business and Investment Visa

For those looking to come to the UK to start a business, there are various options which may be available:

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa:

Who can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?

You can apply for this type of visa if you wish to set up, join or take over an existing business in the UK.


To qualify for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you would need to meet the following requirements:

  • Access to £200,000 minimum (your own money, or in the financial accounts of a UK incorporated business of which you are a director or available from a third party named in your application).
  • The money should be held in one or more banks, must be freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted to pounds sterling.


  • Access to £50,000 in investment funds sourced from an approved organization (venture capital firm, UK government, or through a DIT endorsed seed competition – contact our offices for more information on this);


  • You must have a minimum of £3,310 personal savings (held for at least a consecutive 90-day period of time).
  • You must be able to support yourself for the entire duration of your stay in the UK without needing public funds.
  • You must pass the English language requirement i.e.
  1. You have passed a Home Office approved English Language test; or
  2. You are a national of a Home Office designated majority English speaking country; or
  3. You hold a degree accepted by the Home Office taught in English equivalent to UK Bachelor’s degree or above.


  • You can apply if you have already invested £50,000 in a UK business (less than 12 months before you apply).

The Immigration rules are different if you’re switching from another visa, or if you’ve already had a UK visa. For more information on switching to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa contact our offices today.

Our Immigration Solicitor will be able to provide you with detailed advice on investment requirements, offer guidance on how to apply for this visa and discuss with you whether you meet the relevant requirements. Furthermore, our Immigration Solicitor is able to advise you on investment and financial sourcing requirements if you are planning to start up a business with a partner.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

Who can apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa?

  • Graduate endorsed by UK Trade and Investment or from Home Office approved UK Higher Education Institution.
  • You hold a degree accepted by the Home Office taught in English equivalent to UK Bachelor’s degree or above.
  • Have access to readily available maintenance funds equivalent to £945 (held for 90 days).

Graduates who have remained in the UK under a Tier 4 Student Visa may apply for a Tier 1 Visa which will allow them to remain, for two further years to establish a business, in the UK. The initial period of leave granted is for 12 months however our Immigration Solicitor can advise you on the possibilities of extending this. It is important to note there is a limited number of Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur Visas available (2000 grants available annually).

Our Immigration Solicitors are able to guide you through the process of applying for this visa and to advise you on gaining endorsement to support your application.

Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

You do not need a job offer to apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa. This visa is for those who are wanting to make a substantial financial investment of at least £2,000,000 in the UK.


  • £2,000,000 Financial Investment
  • English Language Requirement not needed.
  • Maintenance Funds not needed.

Exceptional Talent and Investor applicants will not need to meet the separate English language requirement that applies to most other applicants under the points based system. Additionally, these applicants will not need to meet the separate requirement for maintenance funds because they will have met the main requirements for this category and shown their ability to support themselves in the United Kingdom without needing help from public funds.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa:

Who can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa?

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa if you have been endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in the field of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts.

Our immigration solicitor can provide you with advice and give you guidance through the application process in applying to the Home Office and getting endorsement prior to applying for this visa. It is important to note there is a limited number of Tier 1 Visas available (1000 grants available annually).

Tier 1 (General Visa):

You can no longer apply for or extend Tier 1 (General) visas. Family members can still apply to join you in the UK.

Our immigration solicitor may be able to guide you on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain if you have been in the UK for 5 years however, you can only apply to settle as a Tier 1 (General) worker until 6th April 2018.

Our immigration solicitors will take detailed instructions from you and advise you about the relevant immigration laws and procedures required by the Home Office in your application for this visa. Our Immigration Solicitors are also able to assist you in applying for a Tier 1 Visa, extending current leave granted by a Tier 1 Visa and if applicable, help you apply for settlement after.