If you currently hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, it is important to note that the deadline for extension applicants was 5th April 2023. If, however, you held a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa before switching to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you still have until 5th July 2025 to apply for an extension of your leave. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa closed to new applicants on 29th March 2019 and was replaced by the Innovator /Start-up routes, which were subsequently consolidated into the Innovator Founder visa, open from 13 April 2023. The Innovator Founder visa is open to overseas businesspeople with a plan to establish a new, innovative and viable business in the UK that has been endorsed by an approved endorsement body.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa was aimed at overseas business people who wanted to become a director in a company or be self-employed in the UK and had funds of at least £50,000 or £200,000 to invest into 1 or more UK businesses. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas were initially granted for up to 3 years, at which point holders were able to apply for an extension for an additional 2 years.
Yes, if you currently hold a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa and have done so for 3 or 5 continuous years, you have until 5th April 2025 to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you meet the eligibility criteria (see below). If you previously switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you have until 5th July 2027 to apply for settlement.
You can apply for accelerated ILR after 3 years if you have created at least 10 new jobs or generated a gross income of £5m or more over 3 years. Alternatively, you will be able to apply after 5 years if you’ve created the equivalent of 2 new full-time jobs, and these have existed for 12 months.
To gain ILR, you will also need to prove that you:
You can apply for ILR up to 28 days before you meet the 3 or 5 years continuous residence requirement. It is important to exercise caution as if you apply too early there is a risk that your application will be refused by the Home Office.
The application fee for ILR as an Entrepreneur visa holder is £2,404, and applications typically take up to 6 months to receive a decision. If you need a faster decision, it is possible to pay an additional fee of £800 to use the Super Priority Service for a decision within 1 working day.
Your partner and children will also be able to apply for settlement if they have been living in the UK on a dependant visa for 5 years, passed the Life in the UK test and meet the English language requirements. Your partner can also use any time spent in the UK on a different type of dependant visa towards gaining settlement.
If your Entrepreneur visa ILR application is approved, you will be able to live, study, work, access the NHS, access schooling for your family, and apply for benefits and public funds. In addition, you will qualify for UK citizenship after a further 12 months.
If you did not apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension by the deadline of 5th April 2023, it is important to speak to an immigration Solicitor who can explain your options based on your personal circumstances and those of your family members. This is especially important if your current visa has now expired, as you may now be classed as an overstayer. By taking prompt action (e.g. by switching to a different visa type or applying for ILR), you can secure your legal immigration status in the UK and that of your family members.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!