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Investors and Entrepreneurs

The UK invites overseas investors and entrepreneurs to set up business here under Tier 1 of the Points-Based System. Dutton Gregory can explain the requirements in clear, concise language. We help applicants to fit their visa requirements into their overall business plan so that transitions to the UK proceed as smoothly as possible.

The principal routes for Tier 1 applicants are set out below:

Tier 1 Investor 

The Tier 1 Investor provides a route to UK residence for high-level investors with access to at least £2m (new applicants) or £1m (existing Investor visa-holders)

Broadly, applicants must show that they have access to the required level of funds and that they have invested them in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies.

Depending on the level of funds invested, Tier 1 Investors can qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after between 2 and 5 years' residence.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs can set up or take over a business in the UK. The main requirement is to show access to funds which are then invested in the business, so that it can grow and create jobs.

Depending on the source of funds, applicants may need either £50,000 or £200,000.

Applicants can join forces to form entrepreneurial "teams" and share the financial burden. 

Different conditions apply for those switching into this route, depending on current immigration status, and it is important to factor this into any assessment of eligibility.

The route to indefinite leave to remain depends on the growth of the business and the number of jobs created.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

Sponsor institutions in the UK can support applications for Graduate Entrepreneurs. With a business idea endorsed by a registered Higher Education Institution or UK Trade and Industry, you can apply for up to 2 years in the UK to grow your business.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route has been underused to date. It is aimed at leaders in fields including the arts, engineering and science. In order to apply you must be endorsed by a registered body such as the Arts Council, British Academy, and TechCity UK.

500 endorsements are available in April and 500 in October each year.

Exceptional Talent visas are issued initially for 5 years, with eligibility for indefinite leave to remain coming after 5 years in the UK, Dutton Gregory can advise and represent you in finding the right visa.