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If you are a foreign national wanting to work in the UK but you are subject to immigration control, you must first apply for a UK workers visa. The Home Office applies a points-based system in conjunction with other category-specific requirements under the Immigration Rules.

Those who are highly skilled and exceptionally talented workers, or investors and entrepreneurs, can apply to enter or remain in the UK without needing a job offer, although in most cases the points-based assessment still applies. Tier 1 of this system for high-value migrants contains 5 categories:

Tier 1 exceptional Talent Visa

you can apply under this category if you are internationally recognized as a world leader or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts. Every application for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa must be endorsed by a designated competent body, eg, arts council, and there is an annual limit (1,000 endorsements permitted for 2013-2014).

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The entrepreneur category is for those investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom.

A ‘business’ means an enterprise as:
(i) a sole trader,
(ii) a partnership, or
(iii) a company registered in the UK

You can apply under the entrepreneur category if you are:

  • in the United Kingdom and want to make an initial application as an entrepreneur;
  • already in the United Kingdom as an entrepreneur and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category;
  • already in the United Kingdom as a business person or innovator and want to extend your permission to stay in the entrepreneur category;
  • applying for permission to enter the UK (known as entry clearance) under the entrepreneur category.

Eligibility Criteria

For your application to be successful, you must score a total of 95 points and meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.

You must score:

  • 75 points for your attributes which are different depending on whether you make an initial or extension application; and
  • 10 points for English language; and
  • 10 points for available maintenance (funds)

The entrepreneur category is for those investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom.
A ‘business’ means an enterprise as:
(i) a sole trader,
(ii) a partnership, or
(iii) a company registered in the UK

You can apply under the entrepreneur category if you are:

  • in the United Kingdom and want to make an initial application as an entrepreneur;
  • already in the United Kingdom as an entrepreneur and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category;
  • already in the United Kingdom as a business person or innovator and want to extend your permission to stay in the entrepreneur category;
  • applying for permission to enter the UK (known as entry clearance) under the entrepreneur category.

Switching Into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

You can switch into Tier 1 Entrepreneur category from inside the UK if you have permission to stay in the UK under any one of the following categories:

a highly skilled migrant;
a Tier 1 (General) migrant;
a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant;
a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) 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 postgraduate doctor or dentist;
a self employed lawyer;
a writer, composer or artist;
an investor;
a participant in the International Graduates Scheme
(or its predecessor, the Science & Engineering
Graduate Scheme);
a participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland
Scheme;
a Tier 2 migrant;
a Tier 4 migrant; or
a Prospective Entrepreneur.

If instructed to represent you regarding your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application, we will do the following immigration casework for you on your behalf:

  • we will take detailed instructions from you and advise you about the relevant immigration laws and procedures.
  • we will discuss your case in detail with you and advise you about the weaknesses and strengths of your immigration case;
  • we will advise you about the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of your application;
  • we will consider contents of the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the application and discuss the same with you;
  • we will complete the relevant immigration form and discuss the same with you;
  • we will prepare a covering letter to introduce and support the application. In the covering letter, we will explain in detail how all the relevant legal requirements for the grant of the visa have been satisfied.
  • we will liaise with the Home Office, for an expeditious decision on the application;
  • we will protect your interests while your application is pending with the Home Office and keep you informed of the progress on your immigration matter;
  • we will do all the follow up work until decision is reached on your application;

Extension Of Stay As Tier 1 Entrepreneur

If you are already in the UK under Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can apply for extension of your stay in the UK if you meet the criteria for extension of your stay. An application for extension of stay can only be made by post as the Home Office do not provide any premium service (same day visa service) for extension applications under this category.If application for extension of stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur is successful, the leave to remain will be granted for two years.

Please also remember that If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your matter, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and rest of the fee can be paid after we get the decision on your case.

Tier 1 Investor Visa

you can apply under this category if you want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. This category is designed to permit high net-worth individuals to make substantial financial investment here. You do not need a job offer or sponsor to apply in this category. Your application will be based on your ability to invest a minimum of £1 million in the UK and a total score of 75 points. Unlike most other applicants under the points-based system you will not need to meet the English language requirement, nor show that you have maintenance funds to support yourself.

Tier 1 General Visa

This category is now closed to applicants outside the UK and to migrants who are already here in most other immigration categories. However, there are limited circumstances where you may still be able to extend your stay in the UK under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system as a highly skilled migrant, a self-employed lawyer, a writer, composer or artist, or if you are part of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).  From 5 April 2015 it will be closed to applicants who want to extend their visa.Your total point score must be 95 points (100 for any other eligible category) based on your age, qualifications, previous earnings, UK experience, English language ability and maintenance funds.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

this category allows non-European MBA and other graduates (and overseas graduates who have been identified by UK Trade Investment (UKTI) as elite global graduate entrepreneurs) to extend their stay after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. There is an annual limit (2,000 places for 2013-2014). To apply under this category you must score a total of 95 points, which in part must be achieved by a letter of endorsement from a UK higher education institution or UKTI.

If you currently have permission to stay in the UK under a different immigration category you may be able to switch to or from a Tier 1 category from inside the UK. An application for a high-value migrant Tier 1 visa can be complex and using the services of an immigration expert is highly recommended.