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  • Writer's pictureMikhail Adam

End of the road for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route has now closed for new applicants.

The Home Office has introduced 2 new routes (‘Start-up’ and ‘Innovator’ visas) which seek to replace the Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur categories.

Innovator route – This route is aimed at experienced business people who wish to establish a new business in the UK. Applicants are required to have a minimum funding of £50,000 available to them which they can invest in their proposed business. The funding can come from any source.

Applicants must obtain an endorsement from a designated endorsing body. Such an endorsement confirms the credibility and viability of the proposed business.

If successful, applicants will obtain an initial 3 year visa which can subsequently be extended. Settlement can be achieved after 5 years.

Start-up route - This route is designed for entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time. It will replace the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route which will close to new applications from 5 July 2019.

Applicants under this route do not need any funds to invest in their business but they will require an endorsement from an authorised body.

Successful applicants will obtain a 2-year visa. This cannot be extended. At the end of 2 years, they can switch into the Innovator category to extend their stay and develop their businesses in the UK.

For migrants who currently hold a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, please note that they can still apply to:

*extend their Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

*switch from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

*settle in the UK (indefinite leave to remain)

*be joined by their family members

Extension applications for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will remain open until 5 April 2023, and settlement applications until 5 April 2025.

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