Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) points based system (PBS) applications


Being an entrepreneur usually involves taking some sort of risk, and that’s exactly what you might be doing in applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Why? Well the refusal rate for this category of visa application is second only to that of the asylum category; around 50%.

The basics of the Entrepreneur route:

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you want to set up or run a business within the UK. Applications can be made either from abroad, or from within the UK if the applicants have previously had leave to remain as entrepreneurs, or in certain other limited categories. Eligibility requirements differ in each case.

Here’s a great overview of the route and detailed guidance, both of which are on the Home Office website.

The main requirements for the entrepreneur route are:

  1. Sufficient funding for investment in a business,
  2. A clear plan on how the business is to be set up and run, and
  3. Job creation.

Each applicant is required to submit a detailed business plan which will be scrutinised by Home Office staff for it’s suitability and viability.

If access is granted under this route, the initial visa is valid for 3 years and 4 months. This is extendable for a further two years, after which applications for settlement can be made. Should a business be particularly successful or create a certain number of full-time jobs, an opportunity for ‘accelerated settlement’ may become available. For cases of this type the period after which settlement can be granted reduces to 3 years.

The amount required to be invested varies depending on the source of the funds. Access to £50,000 in investment funds from a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed the the Department for International Trade (DIT), or a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business, or funds from an appropriately regulated venture capital firm all open up the ability to apply.

Without access to this specified funding, applicants will need £200,000 to invest in their business. Applicants who are switching for another visa route have slightly different funding rules. It’s also possible to form whats known as an ‘entrepreneurial team’, which is essentially the teaming up with one other Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant and pooling the same investment funds.

Once the entrepreneur has this in place and the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is granted, the applicant is required to create the equivalent of 2 full-time, 30 hours per week paid jobs for at least 2 people who are settled in the UK. Each of these jobs must exist for a minimum of 12 months during the visa period. If the entrepreneur does not satisfy this requirement during their initial visa period then they will be unable to extend their stay in the same category.

Understanding the complexities of immigration law and legislation can be extremely baffling and difficult to do. That’s why we’re here to help you. Get in touch today to discuss your options.