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Entrepreneur Visa

Entrepreneur Visa

There have been quite a lot of changes in the immigration rules in the last couple of years or so, not least in the context of entrepreneur visas. 

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route has been closed to new entrants. This was the route designed for those who want to set up their own business in the UK. Those still on the route will be able to apply for extension or settlement when the time comes but eventually the visa will vanish. Tier 1 Entrepreneurs had to make an investment in their business: in most cases £200,000 but in some cases only £50,000. 

This route was replaced by two new visas: the Start-Up visa and the Innovator visa. The Start-Up visa, as its name might suggest, has been designed for “new” entrepreneurs. There is no specific mathematical figure for required investment, which of course will make things easier for many people. This visa is granted for two years, but there is no possibility of extension. 

The Innovator visa, on the other hand, does in many cases require an investment of £50,000. It is deemed to be more suitable for “experienced” entrepreneurs, but anyone can apply. This visa is granted for three years and, unlike the Star-Up visa, it offers the possibility of settlement. 

A useful thing to know is that somebody who switches from Start-Up visa to Innovator visa can escape the requirement for £50,000 investment – but of course any business requires some level of investment. 

Both the Start-Up visa and the Innovator visa require endorsement from an endorsing body which is separate from the Home Office. (This something quite different from the requirements for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa; these applications were assessed entirely by the Home Office.) The endorsing body must certify that the proposed business is suitable and viable.

If you are thinking of setting up a business in the UK we at GSN Immigration, will be able to advise you and help you. 



Oliver Westmoreland

OISC Level 3 Immigration Lawyer


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