Investor and Entrepreneur

If you are an international business owner, investor & entrepreneur (outside the EEA or Switzerland) who wish to start or run a business in the UK, you need to apply for a Tier 1 Visa.

While there are several visa categories under the Tier 1, the three categories that business owners and potential business owners can apply for include the Tier 1 Investor VisaTier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and the Tier 1 Graduate Visa. A successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Graduate or Investor Visa application depends on points scored using a point system. While investors need to score 75 points, entrepreneurs need to score 95 points. For example, an Entrepreneur Visa applicant can score 10 points, if they are proficient in the English language.


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With a high refusal rate, the Tier 1 Visa category is one of the toughest routes into the United Kingdom. The requirements are difficult to meet and your application is thoroughly scrutinized by the Home office. Therefore, it is prudent that you have expert legal assistance every step of the application process. Here at Optimus Law, our lawyers will ensure you choose the option that is best for you, guide you through the processes and ensure your business plan is well prepared. In addition, we will work with you to ensure you are ready for the interview. We will ensure we determine your eligibility for each Tier 1 visa option. We will fill out your application forms and make sure you have all the relevant documents for a successful application. We will liaise with the Home Office and communicate with all relevant institutions. We will also ensure you have sufficient documentation for a successful application.


Who is eligible for the Tier 1 Investor Visa?

If you are planning to make a substantial investment into the UK economy, then this may the category for you. Designed for high earners, you need to invest at least GBP 2 million to qualify for this visa. On the point-based system, you need to score 75 points. You do not need to prove you are proficient in the English language, nor do you need to prove that you have enough funds to meet maintenance requirements.

Who is eligible for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

This visa category is more suited for most business owners; however, the rate of refusal is high. You need to score a total of 95 points. You need to meet maintenance requirements, and be proficient in the English language as well as meet other requirements under Immigration Rules. The funds needed for this category is GBP 200,000 or GBP 50,000 if a seeding-funding agency, a government agency or a qualified venture capital firm provides the funds.

Who is eligible for the Tier 1 Graduate Visa?

If you wish to extend your stay in the UK after graduating from a UK university, you can apply for the Tier 1 Graduate Visa. To qualify for this visa category, you need to have obtained a degree (Bachelor’s or higher) from a UK higher education institution. You will need a letter of endorsement from a UK higher education institution or the Department for International Trade (DIT) and a business plan when applying for this Tier 1 visa.

What is the Genuine Entrepreneur Test?

This is a test that Entrepreneur Visa applicants need to pass before being granted a visa. This test covers qualification, business expertise, business plan and market research, among other information. To pass this test, the business owner needs to prove that they have access to the required funds and will invest these funds in the UK economy.

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