Keeping Your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
The worry for many Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa holders is how they are maintaining their eligibility criteria. The thought of coming to the UK to live and work and then not being able to remain in the country at the end of their initial visa period is a big concern. This is understandable as many people will start a completely brand new life when they come to another country and leave behind a totally different one. With this in mind, it is important that you are able to maintain your ability to remain in the country. In this article we are going to look at ways of maintaining your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and what to do if things aren't going quite to plan.
Can I extend a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?
If you are coming to the end of your original visa period (usually 3 years and 4 months), you may be wondering about the option of extending your entrepreneur visa. As long as you have maintained the original criteria and are still running the business that you intended to start when you originally applied then extending your visa should be relatively straightforward. Once you apply, you should be able to extend your visa by 2 years effectively taking you up to the point of being able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which is 5 years.
The ability to extend the visa is one of its biggest plus points and the reason that it has remained so popular for those who come to the UK from outside of the European Union. The ability to come to the UK to setup and run a business with seed funding means that the UK is ahead of the game when it comes to bringing entrepreneurs into the country. As time goes on, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route will become ever more popular as more and more would-be entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of the opportunity that comes with moving to the UK.
What do I do if my business is failing?
This is another big worry for business people. Unfortunately the truth is that not all businesses work out. As long as your business is still going, you will still be able to apply for an extension to your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or indeed Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you have been in the country long enough. If the business has already failed then you will need to get in touch with our immigration solicitors. There may be options for you, but you will need to act fast. Often we can offer you solutions to your situation.
With so much business acumen in the UK, failures are rare. If you are concerned then you should seek out a mentor to help turn your business around. For many people this idea is horrible, but if you employ staff, you should try your hardest to stop the business failing. It will benefit everyone in your organisation if you can keep it running and this specifically applies to you as it will be easier for you to extend your visa. If you need help or advice with this then please get in touch and our lawyers will be more than happy to help. Don't wait until it is too late to get help, by contacting us at the earliest opportunity, you may help to stave off the end of your business or turn it around completely.
Can I switch to an alternative visa route?
Yes you can. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria for that visa and it is one that is able to be switched to then you will be able to move over. Depending on the visa that you choose, you may be able to keep your length of stay in the UK in order to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after the 5 year wait period. There are several reasons that you may choose to move to an alternative visa route: perhaps your business is not working out, or you have been offered an excellent opportunity with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. Whatever the circumstances, there are options for those who wish to switch to an alternative visa route.
Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
If you have reached 5 continuous years of stay in the UK then you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). You will need to ensure that you have met the following eligibility criteria:
- Not been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any of the eligible 5 years
- Passed the Life in the UK test
- Lived and worked as per your visa in the UK for 5 years
- Have strong English language skills
As long as you meet this eligibility criteria, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. If granted, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) allows you to live in the UK without the need for a visa for the long-term. If you choose, you can also apply for British citizenship after having Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for 12 months and have kept to the appropriate conditions. If this is of interest or you would like to discuss your immigration situation with a specialist, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.
Where can I get more help?
If you would like help with a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa query or indeed any other immigration query then please get in touch. Our highly experienced team of immigration solicitors are experts in helping people just like you to settle in the UK and to fix their immigration concerns. So for more information or to get started using our service, get in touch today and a member of our team will be more than happy to help you get started.
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