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Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Guidance

Depending on the amount of money your business has generated and the number of jobs you have created, if you currently hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you may be able to apply for ILR if you have lived in the UK for 3 or 5 continuous years. When you hold ILR, you can settle permanently in the UK and gain British citizenship after a further 12 months.

It is important to note that the Entrepreneur visa is now closed to new applications1, however, overseas business people can still apply for other routes, such as the Innovator visa.

The earliest you can apply for ILR in the UK with a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is 28 days before the date that you meet the 3 or 5-year continuous residence requirement.

You can also include any time you have spent living in the UK on any of the following visas:

  • Any Tier 1 visa (with the exception of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa)
  • Tier 2 (General) or Skilled Worker visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) or T2 Minister of Religion visas
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) or T2 Sportsperson visas
  • Innovator visa
  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa

Entrepreneur visa to ILR requirements

To make a successful application for ILR as an Entrepreneur visa holder, you will need to demonstrate to the Home Office that you meet the following requirements:

  • Have spent 5 continuous* years living in the UK on an Entrepreneur visa and/or any combination of any of the above qualifying visas.
  • Have created the equivalent of 2 new full-time jobs that lasted for at least 12 months.
  • Pass the Life in the UK test
  • Meet the English language requirements – this means you must have passed an approved English language test at CEFR level B1, B2, C1, or C2, or you have a degree or higher taught or researched in English (you will not need to meet this requirement if you come from a qualifying English-speaking country or if you are over the age of 65)

*The continuous residence requirement means that you must not have spent more than 180 days in any of the 5 years outside the UK.

Accelerated ILR route for entrepreneur visa holders

As an entrepreneur visa holder, you may qualify for accelerated ILR after just 3 years in the UK, if you have either:

  • created the equivalent of 10 full-time jobs that lasted for 12 months, or
  • generated a business income of £5 million in 3 years

Tier 1 Entrepreneur to ILR documents checklist

Key to securing a positive decision on your ILR application based on your entrepreneur visa is providing all of the documents required to support your case. Specifically, you will need to provide evidence that you:

  • Have created the required number of jobs and that these have lasted for at least 12 months (e.g., employment contracts and wages slip)
  • Have generated the required amount of income within the time period (e.g., financial accounts)
  • Invested the required amount of money and where it came from (bank statement showing the transfer of funds and a document showing these were received and invested)
  • Registered as a director, partner, or self-employed within the time required
  • Have passed the Life in the UK (e.g., your test certificate)
  • Meet the English language requirements (e.g., test pass certificate, degree certificate showing you have a degree taught in English with an Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from Ecctis

How to apply for ILR from an Entrepreneur visa

To apply for ILR based on your time in the UK on an entrepreneur or other qualifying visa/s, you will need to:

  1. Complete and submit the online application form for ILR as an entrepreneur visa holder (your partner and children can be included on the same application form)
  2. Pay the application fee of £2,404
  3. Book and attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to have your biometrics processed (your fingerprints and a photo).
  4. Upload any documents requested by the Home Office or have these scanned when you attend your UKVCAS appointment.

ILR applications for Entrepreneur visa holders can take up to 6 months to process. If you need a faster decision, you can pay an extra fee to use the priority or super-priority processing services, as follows:

  • Priority service: £500 for a decision within 5 working days after you have provided your biometrics
  • Super priority service: £800 for a decision within 1 working day after you have provided your biometrics

How can Reiss Edwards help?

As a leading immigration law firm based in Central London, Reiss Edwards specialises in all aspects of UK immigration. Our friendly expert family immigration solicitors can:

  • Check your eligibility for an entrepreneur visa to ILR application
  • Check the eligibility of your partner and children for ILR
  • Handle your Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application
  • Apply for ILR for you and your family members
  • Deal with the Home Office regarding any queries raised regarding your entrepreneur visa ILR application
  • Handle the refusal of an ILR application.


1 GOV.UK: Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)

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