The United Kingdom’s Tier 1 visa immigration scheme is part of the five tier points based visa system for immigration to the UK. Tier 1 visas are for eligible entrepreneurs, investors, and for the very small number of people who can come under the “Exceptional Talent” visa category.Tier 1 Route is broken up into a number of sub-categories:

      • Tier 1 Entrepreneurs
      • Tier 1 Investors
      • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent
      • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs – Investment required: £50,000 – £200,000

If you are a foreign businessman from outside the EU and would like to run your own business in the UK, you should seriously consider the UK Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. If you wish to invest in the UK by starting or taking over a business or by becoming a part-owner of a UK business, you can come to the UK under the Entrepreneur sub-category of Tier 1. Please be aware that you must be actively involved in the running of the business. In order to qualify, you must score at least 95 points under the Tier 1 points-based system.

Tier 1 Investors – Investment required: £1,000,000 minimum

If you are a wealthy individual and wish to live in the UK, you should consider the Tier 1 (Investor) visa. In order to qualify, you must score 75 points under the Tier 1 points-based system. You will score 75 points for one of the following:

      • If you have at least £1,000,000 of disposable funds that you can invest in the UK or
      • If you have £2,000,000 or more in personal assets and a loan of over £1,000,000 which you can invest in the UK.

Investors are exempt from both the English language requirement and the requirement to provide further proof of the ability to support themselves and any dependents.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa allows you to live and work in the UK if you have an exceptional talent in the arts or sciences. To be able to apply, you must score 75 points under the Tier 1 points-based system. You will score 75 points if you gain the endorsement of a “Designated Competent Body”which will need to confirm either that you are internationally recognized as a world leader in your field, meaning you are an exceptional talent, or that you are someone with the potential to be so. There are only four Designated Competent Bodies, all national societies for the arts and sciences. It is extremely difficult to qualify for a visa in this category. The annual gap for this category of visa is only 1, 000. You do not need a job offer or a sponsor in order to be successful and are free to seek employment anywhere in the UK.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category enables graduates who have been identified by a UK university as possessing world class entrepreneurial skills to apply to stay in the UK after graduation. In order to qualify, you must score 95 points under the Tier 1 points-based system. The scheme is designed to assist International Graduates in obtaining a visa to stay in the UK, initially for a year, in order to develop their business ideas. The rules have recently changed and applicants who have graduated at any time in the past are eligible. The visa will normally last for one year however it may in exceptional circumstances be extended by a further year.

For more information on any of the above categories or for detailed advice, call one of our expert Immigration advisers on 020 3695 4626. You can check your eligibility by submitting a case evaluation request here.