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Citizenship guide
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Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

From 29 March 2019, Tier 1 Entrepreneur route has been closed. New applications are not accepted and switching from another category is not possible, except when you switch from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. Applicants that had their visa granted before that date can still extend their visas, apply for permanent residence (ILR) and bring family members.

Establishing business in the UK after 29 March 2019

If you want to set up a business in the United Kingdom, you have two options now:

  • Innovator visa
  • Start-up visa

If you are in the UK on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

Your initial visa is valid for 3 years and four months. It can be extended for another 2 years.

Requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension

Businessmen need to score 95 points and pass the Genuine entrepreneur test by establishing the local company, investing the money there and intending to continue trading in the United Kingdom. They must also demonstrate the compliance with the requirements below:

  • Two jobs or more must be created.
  • Entrepreneurs have been directors of the company almost from the onset.
  • Compliance with immigration laws.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Entrepreneurs can apply for ILR in 3 or 5 years from the first entry, based on the company’s performance:

  • Fast-track route. ILR in 3 years, if during these 3 years turnover has exceeded £5m or 10 settled people have been hired.
  • Standard route. ILR in 5 years, if at least 2 settled people have been hired.

Other criteria:

  • Absences from the UK cannot be more than 180 days in any 12 months before applying for settlement. Dependants are given ILR on the basis of the main applicant.
  • At least £200,000 have been spent on running a UK company.
  • English language test.
  • Life in the UK test.

Citizenship and passport

You and your family can apply for citizenship in 1 year after settlement. It means that under the Entrepreneur route, you can get your passport in 5 years (Fast-track) or 6 years (Standard) after your first entry, subject to you complying with all the criteria:

  • Not more than 450 days can be spent outside the UK during those 5 years prior to applying for naturalisation, and no more than 90 days in the last year.
  • No criminal and immigration offences.
  • English language test.
  • Life in the UK test.

VIP service

You can use the VIP service to extend Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa or apply for settlement. In this case the Home Office will come to you to take your fingerprints and photograph. However, this does not put your application at the front of the queue.

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