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Despite the ever increasing intricacy of the requirements, applications under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category remain appealing to overseas entrepreneurs

The Home Office continues to tighten its checks in assessment of credibility of applicants.

Having introduced the requirement for a criminal record certificate from the country where any applicant in a Tier 1 category has lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, the Home Office continues a rigid approach to the ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test.

In making a decision whether the applicant is applying to set up a genuine business, or where the applicant is joining already existing business, there is a genuine need within that business, for the investment and the applicant’s expertise.

The decision is made following a detailed scrutiny of the factors set out below:

  • the evidence the applicant has submitted
  • the viability and credibility of the source of the money intended for the investment
  • the viability and credibility of the applicant’s business plans and market research into their chosen business sector
  • the applicant’s previous educational and business experience (or lack thereof)
  • where the applicant has already registered in the UK as self-employed or as the director of a business, and the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained
  • the applicant’s immigration history and previous activity in the UK, and
  • any other relevant information.

Entrepreneurs on Tier 1 – Extending leave to remain

If an entrepreneur who is in possession of Tier 1 visa is not eligible for accelerated settlement upon completion of three years’ residence, he or she will need to submit an application to have their leave extended for further two years to enable him/her to complete five years’ residence in the UK after which they will become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

It is crucial that entrepreneurs use services of accountancy firms, and most crucial is assistance of a qualified accountant during the time leading up to the application for extension of leave to remain.

Evidence which are required for the extension applications and which inevitably require professional accountant’s assistance include:

  • Documents proving that the applicant has invested, not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if the initial application was made on this basis) directly into one or more businesses in the UK
  • Proof of registration with HM Revenue & Customs as a self-employed person or registration of a new business in which he/she is a director or registered as a director of an existing business.
  • Proof that the applicant is engaged in business activity at the time of this application for leave to remain
  • Proof that the business has created two full-time positions for persons settled in the UK

For more information, please contact:

Sejal Raja
Partner and Head of Employment
T. 020 7227 7410


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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