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Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Extension – Top Three Tips

May 23, 2018
Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa approval gives a feeling of a big relief, imagining that the hard work of getting entry into the UK has been achieved. Now you can concentrate on launching your start-up or making your mark as a director of an established business – depending on the entrepreneurial route you have chosen.

However, as with all aspects of business, to rest on your success is a mistake. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa only lasts for three years and four months. This is barely enough time to make a dent in even the most talented peoples’ commercial ambitions. Most people coming to the UK via the entrepreneur route ultimately wish to settle in Britain. And to do this, they must be able to extend their visa for a further two years once the original time limit runs out.

To ensure you have the best chance of getting an extension on your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, it is suggested you work with an immigration lawyer from the beginning of the application process through to applying for settlement. There are several criteria which must be met to gain an extension, and failure to do so could result in you having to leave Britain after a mere three years, having lost a vast amount of money and time.

There are three key things you need to achieve to obtain an extension of your Tier 1  Entrepreneur Visa and these are:

  • ensure you have invested your money correctly
  • create at least two full-time positions for settled persons
  • show you are a genuine entrepreneur

Invest your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Funds Correctly to be Granted a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension Visa

To be granted an extension, you must show you have invested £50,000 or £200,000 directly into your start-up or the organisation you have become a director of. This can be done via cash investment, share capital, or directors loan.

None of the investment funds should have been used to support your lifestyle during your three years in the UK. It is also against the Home Office rules to use the investment funds to buy a pre-existing business, as this is not investing the funds directly into the enterprise. You should also take care not to invest in or create a business that is involved in property development, as this is not an approved venture for the purposes of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.

If you invest funds in the business in the form of a director’s loan, you must take care to retain the following:

  • original of the legal agreement which shows the terms of the loan between the company and yourself, interest payable, and how long the loan will exist for; and
  • evidence that the loan is unsecured (if the loan is secured against any assets of the company it will not qualify)

If your investment funds were made available to you by third parties, such as a seed fund, the funds must be invested in the UK “on behalf” of you, the visa holder. It is crucial you have documentary evidence (such as wording to this effect inserted in the accounts) to show you have followed this requirement.

The business’ accounts, which form part of the required documentary evidence when applying for an extension, should clearly identify how the required investment funds have been spent.

Creating at Least Two Full-Time Positions for UK Settled Persons to Succeed in a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension Visa

Part of the government’s objectives in making the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route available to those outside the EEA is that they will create jobs for people who settled in the country.

To qualify for an extension, you must show you have created two jobs which involve at least 30 hours a week of paid work within the 12 months of the most recent grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant.

The positions created do not have to have existed for 12 consecutive months. For example, you may have created a position which has existed for eight months in one year and four months in the next. It does not matter, as long as it is the same job. In addition, the job does not need to be in existence at the time you apply for an extension of your entrepreneur visa, so long as it did exist for 12 months at some point during your most recent grant of leave. Many applicants are failing to understand the creation of jobs and have their application refused.

Finally, it is crucial to ensure that the jobs comply with all relevant UK legislation; for example, the Minimum Wage Act and the Working Time Directive.

Show you are a Genuine Entrepreneur to be Granted a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension Visa

When applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension visa, you will need to demonstrate you are a genuine entrepreneur. The Home Office needs to be satisfied you have established, taken over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK and you have genuinely operated that business. You will also need to prove to the Home Office that your investment funds have genuinely been invested in one or more businesses and have been spent on those businesses.

The Home Office will also want to see evidence you intend to continue operating one or more businesses in the UK and do not plan to take any other employment except for working in your businesses. In a similar approach to the genuineness test in an initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application, the Immigration Rules set out the criteria to determine whether the requirements are met, including:

  • the viability and credibility of the source of the money
  • the credibility of the financial accounts of the business or businesses
  • the credibility of the applicant’s business activity in the UK
  • the credibility of the jobs created
  • whether any mandatory accreditation, registration, or insurance has been obtained, and
  • any other relevant information

At A Y & J Solicitors we have successfully assisted numerous clients’ in getting their Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension application.

In Conclusion

As you can see, the path to extension and eventual settlement via the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route is complex. It is therefore essential that you and your financial advisors work with experienced immigration solicitors such as A Y & J Solicitors, who have achieved an exemplary five-star rating on Trustpilot and whose team have the commercial acumen to ensure the actions you take over the initial three years of your visa lead to a smooth extension process.

Client says,There is no other word then excellent regarding Service

I found them to be very professional and well informed to the latest development of immigration rules

I thank the entire team for handling my Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension application. From day one their advise and guidance enabled me to meet the requirements exactly as asked UKBA. I found them to be very professional and well informed to the latest development of immigration rules. Special thanks to Ms. Diana and Mr. Yash for their commendable approach which resulted in Extension Granted within a week. I look forward for their services in future as and when I will need.”

A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.

Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.

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A Y & J Solicitors

A Y & J Solicitors is a multi-award winning, 14+ years experienced, recommended by Legal 500, boutique UK immigration law firm based in Central London. Having assisted 5000+ clients, we are well equipped to help you with our ‘In It To Win It’ approach. For your assurance and confidence, we are pleased to share our trust rating of 4.9/5 based on 1000+ reviews on Trustpilot & Google.

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