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Tier 1 Extension Entrepreneur Refusal Why And What Can Be Done thumbnail

Tier 1 Extension Entrepreneur Refusal - why, and what can be done?

Although the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route has been closed to new applicants as of March 2019, those already holding this visa can still apply to extend their visa up until 2023, with settlement being permitted until 2025.

If you have been living in the UK on a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa for a while and are getting towards the end of your initial grant of leave, you may be considering extending your visa to continue to living and operating your business(es) in the UK. While an extension may seem straightforward, there is a large burden on you to prove you have complied with the various rules. For this reason, unfortunately, refusals are all too common. So, in this article, we are going to explore why your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extension might be refused and help you to ensure your application progresses as smoothly as possible. We also offer some practical advice on what to do if you are refused.

Applying For a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Extension

While most visa extensions are straightforward, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa extension is rarely so. This is usually because the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is all about starting and growing a business, investing £200,000 (or £50,000 in some instances) in the specified manner as well as meeting the stringent requirements on job creation. You will be required to provide a large amount of information and supporting documents about your business in the UK and prove it has been successful.

So, what are the requirements that you must have met? To comply with the minimum standard laid out, you must have achieved the following in your UK based business(es):

  • Employed 2 full-time staff members - these jobs have to have existed for at least 12 months during your granted leave period, be for 30 hours a week each and paid in line with the National Minimum Wage.
  • Invested your either £50,000 or £200,000 into your business in a specified manner
  • You must have registered your business with either HMRC as self-employed (for sole traders), or Companies House (for all other businesses) as a director of a new or existing business within 6 months of your entry to the UK
  • Been actively and genuinely operating your business (the so collated 'genuine entrepreneur' test)
  • Held the requisite maintenance funds of £945 for 90 days and £630 for each dependant thereafter for 90 days

You will need to be able to prove you have satisfied these criteria with documentary evidence.

Reasons For Refusal

Many applications are refused because of an interview that the Home Office would have arranged to ascertain whether or not you have met the above requirements. It is therefore important that you have played an active role in the collation of the documents so that you understand the specific information that the Home Office will want to know of any interview process. We can guide and assist you in advance of any interview in the event that we are formally instructed to represent.

Another basis in which applications are refused is that the investment relied on have not followed the specified route that the Home Office accept. For example, a Directors's Loan must be unsecured and insubordinated in favour of third party creditors and the relevant documents attested to confirm this.

In the event that you feel like you would benefit from having legal representations to guide you and review the relevant documents, please feel free to contact one of our Senior Associates who can assist you further.

Appealing A Refusal

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa comes with no right of appeal. This means that the only way to challenge the outcome is to either reapply for an extension or apply for an Administrative Review - so that the decision is reviewed by a senior immigration official. This review asks for the Home Office to take a second look at your application if you feel the decision was incorrect the first time. Often, unless there is a significant error in their judgement, it is unlikely this decision will be changed.

Switching To An Alternative Visa

One option for those who are in the UK on a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa and are struggling to extend it is to switch to an alternative visa route. While this may not be the ideal solution, the Tier 2 (General) Visa is an excellent way out for those on a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

So how do you go about switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa? Well, first of all, you will need to find a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder (the government holds a list of them) and apply for a relevant position fulfilling the eligibility criteria for a Tier 2 General Visa, for example being offered a salary of at least £30,000 for most workers - though other options exists. If you are successful in your application, you will be given a Certificate of Sponsorship which you can use to support your Tier 2 (General) visa application. If you have been in the UK for a few years, you can use this time as part of the 5 years or 10-year routes to settlement to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You can combine time spent as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 2 (General) visa to qualify after 5 years.

Getting More Help

If you wish to discuss your options after a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa extension refusal then please get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers. We can help to make representations on your behalf in order for your application to be reconsidered, or we can help you to switch to an alternative visa route such as the Tier 2 (General) visa. Whatever you choose, we can be here to give you advice and support along the way.

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ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
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O.L

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I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

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"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

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"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

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"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

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"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

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"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".

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"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".

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Top Notch Immigration Service

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"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife'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".

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Fong Li

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"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".

Amir Sandeep

"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".

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