Obtaining a Tier One or Entrepreneur Visa is a straightforward process that is designed for those who want to enter the UK under the following qualifications:
- You want to create or run a business
- You have at least £50,000 in investment funds ready to go
- You are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) or from Switzerland
- You have met all other eligibility requirements
You can start your application about three months before your planned trip to the UK. You will need roughly £960 to pay the required fees.
The length of an entrepreneur tier one visa is for a maximum of 40 months. You can apply for a 24 months extension if you plan on staying in this category or if you are switching to another apply for an additional 36 months. When you have been in the UK for five year (60 months), you can apply for settlement.
Dos and Don’ts
The Tier One Visa has parameters that you must abide which includes the following:
- Setup or take over a business
- Being self-employed, assuming you qualify
- Bring in family members
However, there are some things that you cannot do:
- Work outside of your business
- Get public funding
You need £50,000 of investment funds available. They must be held in one or more UK regulated financial institutions and must be free to spend on your business. You should also consider the different eligibility requirements between having £50,000 and £200,000 which is important. In addition, you must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be at least 16-years old
- Support yourself
- English language requirement
- Minimum 95-point score
You can provide proof of your knowledge of English through the following methods:
- Academic qualification recognised by UK NARIC, the equivalent of a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD
- Passing approved test with CEFR of at least Level B1 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
You will not need to prove your ability to speak English if you are from one of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados
- Belize, Canada, Dominica- Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica
- New Zealand, St. Kitts and Nevis- St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines- Trinidad and Tobago
Check your Visa guidance to see about other methods you can use to prove your command of the English language.
To Share Investment Funds
You may form an ‘entrepreneurial team” with another Tier One applicant. Both of you should meet all application requirements and the following:
- Provide all appropriate documents with your applications
- Avoid using same funds with another applicant from another entrepreneurial team
£50,000 Fund Requirement
You can also apply if you have the £50,000 in funds from one or more of the following sources:
- UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
- Venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- UK government department with funds available for setting up or expanding a business in the UK
Keep in mind that investing at least £50,000 within 12 months prior to your application may quality you as well. However, the funding rules change if you are switching from another visa or if you have a UK visa.
£200,000 Fund Requirement
If you have access to £200,000 in investment funds, you can apply for your Tier One or Entrepreneur Visa if you can prove the following:
- It’s your money
- It is money made available by third parties, i.e. a spouse, investor, or partner
- Part of a joint account with your spouse or partner who is not applying for a Tier One visa
You will need to have the funds held in the UK if you are applying for leave to remain. Keep in mind that you can also apply if you have invested £200,000 in a UK business no more than 12 months before you send in your application. There are other ways to apply for a Tier One visa as well;
Former Tier One or Post-Study Worker:
If you are in the UK as a student on or as a post-study worker, you can follow the same rules with the £50,000 application
You can apply under the £200,000 rules with your own funds if you have accomplished the following;
- Running one or more UK businesses since April 6th, 2015
- Working as one of the jobs listed in the National Qualifications Framework Level 4 since before April 6th, 2015
Providing Evidence of Investment Funds
You must provide proof of your fund through one of the following methods; UK Financial Institution: You will need a personal bank or building society statement or an official letter which demonstrates that the funds are present within the institution.
UK Department or Seeding Fund:
Here, you will need an official letter from an accountant or recognised individual from the UK government department that you have been awarded the funds. Also, if the Department for International Trade has endorsed the seed funding competition, a letter from the accountant or recognised individual will be needed.
If you received your money from a third party which is not from the UK government or seed fund competition, then you must provide the following proof:
- An official letter from the financial institution or an accountant that is part of the institution which is holding the money
- A letter from the third party which indicates that the money is available for your use
- A letter from a legal representative who is independent of the institution providing the funds that certifies the signatures on the confirmation itself. This will prove validity of the source of the funds
Keep in mind that if your funding comes from a venture capital firm, there will be some additional requirements:
- Original letter from director, panel, or the fund manager
- Term sheet signed by everyone involved
- Due Diligence: The proof that the firm has followed the right processes and carried out the checks
By following all the requirements, you can successfully apply for a Tier One or Entrepreneur Visa in the UK.
Reload Internet – Passport Photo and Printing service for local entrepreneurs based in WeWork, Paddington
A great place to take your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Photo is to find it in this directory of Visa Photo. Reload Internet in Paddington, London specialises in taking visa photos for any Country in the World. Please follow the Link to find out more.
They have been featured extensively and have over 300 youtube videos on every passport photo in the world. Reload Internet is located on the high street on Praed Street in Paddington, opposite Paddington station.
Reload Internet also prints documents for local entrepreneurs from WeWork in Paddington in standard A4 and A3 and also supports London poster printing facilities in A0, A1, A2.
NRIs can invest in India via an OCI Card
India has now opened it doors to outside angel investment. The OCI investment options in India are very favourable for Indians that are NRIS – Non resident indians. These are Indians that are now a new Nationality, but can prove that they have a link back to India, via their Father, grand father, or even Indian spouse. These individuals, once they have an OICI card, they can apply for a National Pension System (NPS) administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) of India.
PFRDA has allowed Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to enrol in NPS at par with Non-Resident Indians and open Tier I account.
Ultimately this means that if you hold an OCI card, you now have an opportunity to invest in India.
Only 5 years ago, OCI card holders were not allowed to open NPS accounts, however the rules have now changed as of October 2019.
“This is a welcome move for OCIs as there are many individuals of Indian origin who have taken up foreign citizenship while working overseas and may prefer to continue investing in India from their local income sources,”
Alok Agrawal, Partner, Deloitte India was quoted saying in the Financial Express.
Though the application process has been an issue for many NRIs worldwide, Reload Internet was the first to simplify the process of obtaining an OCI card via their OCI help service. It was fast and simple and meant dealing with the VFS very quickly. We highly recommend them as their prices for OCI help are only £79.99 for the whole OCI application in 2020.