Funding Options For Tier 1 Visa

Funding Options For Tier 1 Visa


The Tier 1 Visa routes offer some of the best options for living and working in the UK. The only drawback to some of the Tier 1 Visa routes is the requirements for how much money you need to be able to use to be eligible to apply.

In this article we look at the funding options for two of the most popular Tier 1 Visa routes and how the eligibility criteria works for them. We look at practical options for funding and the wider eligibility criteria that is required to apply.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa was created to allow entrepreneurs to come to the UK to set up the proposed business for which they have funding. There are two funding levels for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and there is a differing set of eligibility criteria for each of them. You will need to ensure that you have a coherent business plan and that you have tested the idea thoroughly before applying.

£50,000 Seed Investment Route

You can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa if you have access to £50,000 in investment funds from one or more of the following:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
  • a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

You can also apply if you've already invested £50,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply. You will need to show proof that you have made these investments, for more information give us a call and we can guide you further.

£200,000 Seed Investment Route

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you have access to £200,000 in investment funds and you can prove that the money is either:

  • your own
  • made available to you by other people ('third parties'), such as a spouse, partner or investor
  • in a joint account with your spouse or partner but only if they aren't applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

The funds must be held in the UK if you're applying for leave to remain. Again you will be required to show documentary proof that you have this money held appropriately - if you have any queries on this then please get in touch.

What other eligibility criteria applies to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The money is one thing but you will still need to pass the rest of the eligibility criteria to satisfy the requirements of the application, the criteria are;

  • meet the English language requirement
  • be able to support yourself during your stay
  • score 95 points from the table as laid out by the Home Office
  • be at least 16 years old

Tier 1 Investor

The Tier 1 Investor Visa was created to encourage more inward investment from outside of the EEA. For individuals who have enough funds, the Tier 1 Investor Visa offers an excellent option for moving to the UK to live and work and you can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in a shorter period than almost any other visa route.

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if:

  • you want to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK
  • you're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

What can I do on a Tier 1 Investor Visa?

  • invest £2,000,000 or more in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies
  • work or study
  • apply to settle after 2 years if you invest £10 million
  • apply to settle after 3 years if you invest £5 million

What can't I do on a Tier 1 Investor Visa?

  • invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development
  • work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • get access to public funds

What are the other criteria of applying for a Tier 1 Investor Visa?

The remaining criteria of the Tier 1 Investor route is a lot more generous than most of the other visa routes that are available in the UK and this is with good reason, the investors who come to live in the UK can offer great options at creating wealth and this is not lost on the British Government.

You must have at least £2,000,000 investment funds to apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa.

You must also:

  • be 18 or over to apply for this visa
  • be able to prove that the money belongs to either you or your husband, wife, unmarried or same-sex partner
  • have opened a UK bank account

Your funds must be:

  • held in one or more regulated financial institutions
  • free to spend ('disposable') in the UK

Your money can be in the UK or overseas when you apply.

Can I switch to a Tier 1 Visa?

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you're already in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (Post-study work)

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you're in another category.

How we can help

If you need help with a Tier 1 Visa then please get in touch, our specialist immigration solicitors can help with your case and give you all the information and support that you need to make a successful application. So if you have any questions on the Tier 1 Visa or indeed any other immigration query, then please call today.

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