uk immigration lawyers
uk immigration lawyers
Home / Blog

Switching From A Tier 4 Student Visa To A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

When you are at the end of your study period in the UK you are likely going to be wondering what you can do next. The Tier 4 Student Visa is clearly very useful for studying in the UK, but it is not a long-term solution if you want to remain in the country for several years after your studies. One option is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa allows would-be entrepreneurs with seed funding to start a business in the UK. It gives you an initial period of 40 months to get your business off of the ground, and even offers the opportunity to extend and apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. In this article, we will look at the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and the process that is involved in switching to it from a Tier 4 Student Visa.

What Visa Routes Are Available For Tier 4 Student Visa Holders?

There are several options available to Tier 4 Student Visa holders. These include the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa for those with a business idea and appropriate seed funding. Outside of this specialised route, there is the option to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa. This visa is for more generalised occupations and relies on the applicant being offered a job (and crucially gaining a Certificate of Sponsorship) from a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holding company.

Many people worry that the end of their Tier 4 Student Visa signals the end of their stay in the UK - this is not necessarily the case. There are significant options for those in this predicament and the UK is certainly actively trying to keep talent that has been developed in the UK in the country.

Can I Switch To A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa From A Tier 4 Student Visa?

Yes, though there are very specific eligibility criteria to meet. If you can meet the criteria, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is one of the more generous on offer and a quick route to gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain. In the next section we talk about the eligibility criteria for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa if you’re switching from a Tier 4 Student Visa. Do not give up hope if you do not fit it, there are other options available. If you would like to discuss your options, please get in touch and our team will be happy to help.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For A Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

To apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa as a Tier 4 Student, you must fit the eligibility criteria framework. This includes the following:

  • Meet the eligibility criteria for the £50,000 seed funding route and this funding must be coming from either a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by DIT or a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business.
  • You will also need to prove your English language skills - if you have graduated from a British higher education institution, this will be no problem.
  • You’ll need to show that you can support yourself during your stay.

As you can see, the criteria is pretty stringent for a former Tier 4 Student Visa holder. This doesn’t make it impossible - far from it. You will, however, be expected to meet this specific criteria before making your application.

What Businesses Are Suitable For A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

As you will require a very specific type of seed funding to switch from a Tier 4 Student Visa to a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, it is important that you have a suitable business.  Clearly your business will need to be legal and have high growth potential. Outside of that, it can be almost anything you can imagine. The most lucrative option for funding sources is likely to be seed funding from a so-called “accelerator”. These “accelerators” help to get start-ups off of the ground. Your business will need to have high growth potential to qualify.

It will be extremely wise to put some time into learning as much as you can about seed funding options before considering an application. Of course this will be secondary to having a strong potential business. But as long as your idea is good, you should have options for gaining the seed funding that you need to satisfy the eligibility requirements of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.

Are There Any Alternatives To A Tier 1 Entrepreneur For A Tier 4 Visa Holder?

Yes. You can also switch to a Tier 2 General Visa. You will have to meet quite stringent criteria for this also (eligible qualifications are needed), but on the whole, it is much easier to switch to a Tier 2 General Visa from a Tier 4 Student Visa than any other way of staying in the UK after finishing your studies. But looking at the restrictions, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is an excellent option to switch to at the end of your studies.

You can also opt to leave the country and apply via an alternative route. In some situations, this may actually be a better way of doing things. But if you are keen to remain in the UK and not return to your country of origin, there are these options available. If you would like to discuss your options for remaining in the UK after your studies, get in touch today and our team will be happy to talk you through your options.

Where Can I Get More Help?

If your studies are about to end and you’re not sure what your next move should be, get in touch today and talk to our team of experienced immigration specialists. Each year we speak to numerous students who are looking to stay in the UK and we have vast experience of helping them to do so. So for more information or advice, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.


Immigration Enquiry

subscribe to email and newsletters
Reiss Edwards Reviews
5 out of 5 stars 394 Google+ Reviews
reivew immigration lawyer

Our Brochure

Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers brochure

Arabic Brochure
Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers brochure

Immigration related Testimonials

Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers london that we would be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
The Home Office refused my Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application. This meant that my family and i would have to go back to Jordan and my business would close down. I needed a good immigration lawyer to put in a very strong appeal. I approached Reiss Edwards based on a friend's recommendation and they put together a very strong appeal. I read the grounds of appeal and I knew that this was a winner. A big thanks to Joe who worked tireless on my appeal.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter.

It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure.

To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me

A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative.

Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country.

The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed.

The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not.

At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months.

If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Fantastic Solicitors!!!

My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.

We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa.

We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question.

The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wifeÂ’s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.

Click to view all google reviews
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.

Click to view all google reviews
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.

Click to view all google reviews
I used Reiss EdwardsÂ’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.

Click to view all google reviews
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service.

I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice.

They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.

Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

Copyright © 2019 Immigration Lawyer London