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Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and Innovator Visa

Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and Innovator Visa

20 May 2019
Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and Innovator Visa

In March this year, the Home Office confirmed the end of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route.  The route has been replaced by the Tier 1 Start-up Visa (in place of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa) and Tier 1 Innovator Visa (in place of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa).  

 
The Tier 1 Start-up Visa is available to anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who is going to start a business in the UK for the first time.  
Before you apply, you must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either the higher educational institution you seek to attend, or your business idea must be assessed by a business organisation that has a proven track record of supporting entrepreneurs and be approved by the Home Office. If deemed viable, the organisation will provide you with an endorsement letter. 
 
To apply, you will have to also meet the following criteria :
  • You must be at least 18 years old;
  • You must meet the English language requirement; and
  • You must be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself whilst you are in UK (at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply).
Your family members (dependants) can come with you to the UK on this visa and each dependant must have £630 in addition to the £945 you need to support yourself. 
Once the application is approved, you will be granted a visa for two years.  Upon completion of the 2 years, you will be able to switch to the Tier 1 Innovator Visa.
The Tier 1 Innovator visa is for entrepreneurs and anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland looking to set up and establish a business in UK.
 
To apply, you will have to meet the following criteria:
  • You must have at least £50,000 in cash as investment funds for your  proposed business idea;
  • You must meet the English language requirement;
  • You must be able to prove sufficiently that you can support yourself, and your family (if any), while in the UK (the bank balance requirements are the same as for a start-up visa);
  • You must receive a suitable endorsement from an appropriate body which is expected to include some higher education institutions that meet the requirements. The endorsement bodies must have a proven track record of supporting entrepreneurs and be approved by the Home Office;  and 
  • You must have a credible business plan when applying for the endorsement. 
 
Upon a successful application, you will be granted leave for 3 years at a time and you can also bring your family members to the UK. The earliest you can apply for either of the above is 3 months before you intend to travel.
   
Please note that the above are guidelines and to book a consultation to seek specific advice, please contact Dee Popat at dee@jamesberrylaw.ae or visit our UK immigration service

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