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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Conditions

Tier 1 Investors, entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented individualsTier 1 of the points-based system is for investors, entrepreneurs and individuals with exceptional talent from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland who want to come and work or invest in the United Kingdom. More on Tier 1

You do not need a job offer if you are applying under Tier 1, but you must pass a points-based assessment.

Tier 1 includes the following categories:

Entrepreneur - for people who want to invest in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, one or more businesses in the United Kingdom. The assessment will be based on your financial resources and English language skills.

To be eligible to apply, you must score 75 points for your attributes. You must show that you have:

  • access to £ 200,000 that is in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the United Kingdom; or
  • invested £ 200,000 in United Kingdom business and are engaged in a business activity if you are applying to extend your stay; or
  • access to £ 50,000 held in a regulated financial institution which has been funded by a listed organisation;

You must also score 10 points for your English language skills and 10 points for available maintenance.

More on entrepreneurs

Graduate entrepreneur - for graduates who have been identified by UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) as having developed genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills, to establish one or more businesses in the UK.

To be eligible to apply, you must score 75 points for your degree and an endorsement by a UK HEI or UKTI. If you are applying to extend your stay in this category, the organisation which endorsed you must be satisfied with your progress in developing your business.

More on graduate entrepreneurs

Investor - for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the United Kingdom. The assessment will be based on your financial resources.

To be eligible to apply, you must score 75 points for having access to £ 1,000,000 that is disposable and in a regulated financial institution, or for having £2 ,000,000 in personal assets and £ 1,000,000 in a loan from a regulated financial institution. If you are applying to extend your stay, the method of scoring the 75 points is different.
More on investors

Exceptional Talent - for world leaders and potential world leaders in the fields of science, humanities, digital technology, engineering and the arts. To be eligible to apply, you must be endorsed by an organisation (known as a 'Designated Competent Body') that is considered to be an expert in the field by the Home Office.

You must apply in two stages, firstly to be endorsed by a ’Designated Competent Body’, and secondly to apply for entry clearance or leave to remain.

To be eligible to apply initially under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), you must score 75 points for your attributes (endorsed by Designated Competent Body). To be eligible to extend your stay in the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), you must score 75 points for attributes and an additional 10 points for your English language skills.

Tier 1 (General) - this route is now closed but Tier 1 (General) migrants who are already in the United Kingdom can apply to extend their permission to stay under this category.

More on Tier 1 (General)

Procedures

Self-employed workers: Tier 1 Investors and entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented individuals?
Where and how to applyApplying from abroad
Applying from abroad If you are applying to come to the United Kingdom under Tier 1, you should make your application at a visa application centre in the country where you are legally resident.

More on applying from abroad

Applying from inside the United Kingdom
There are rules about which categories of migrants can switch into the various Tier 1 categories whilst remaining in the United Kingdom. They are listed in the relevant Tier 1 guidance.

Tier 1 (Investor) application form and guidance

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application form and guidance

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application form and guidance

Tier 1 (General) application form and guidance

If you are applying from inside the United Kingdom to extend your stay, you can submit your application by post, by courier or in person.

More on applying from inside the United Kingdom - Tier 1 (General)

More on applying from inside the United Kingdom - Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

More on applying from inside the United Kingdom - Tier 1 (Investor)

More on applying from inside the United Kingdom – Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

Self assessment
You can do a self-assessment online using the Home Office’s points-based calculator to see whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
Visa
If you want to come to the United Kingdom under Tier 1, you must obtain a visa at a UK Border Agency visa application centre in the country where you are legally resident.
Documents requiredThe supporting evidence you must provide depends on the Tier 1 category you are applying to.

More on supporting documents for Tier 1 (General)

More on supporting documents for Tier 1 (Investor)

More on supporting documents for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

More on supporting documents for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

More on supporting documents for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

Duration of validity of permitsIf you successfully apply to Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), you will be given permission to stay in the United Kingdom for one year. You can apply to extend this for a second year, but if you wish to remain in the United Kingdom after that, you will need to apply to switch into another category.

If you successfully apply to any other Tier 1 category, you will be given permission to stay in the United Kingdom for three years. You can then apply to extend your permission to stay.

More on extension of stay for Tier 1 (General)

More on extension of stay for Tier 1 (Investor)

More on extension of stay for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

AppealsIf you apply unsuccessfully from inside the UK, you may have a right of appeal. Your refusal letter from the Home Office will explain why your application has been refused and whether and how you can appeal. If you can appeal, an appeal form will be included with your refusal letter.

If you apply unsuccessfully from outside the UK, an administrative review is available, which is free of charge. You must request a review within 28 calendar days of the date when the refusal notice was issued. An appeal against a refusal of a visa is possible only on the grounds of discrimination by public authorities or a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights by public authorities.

More on appeals and administrative reviews for Tier 1 (General)

More on appeals and administrative reviews for Tier 1 (Investor)

More on appeals and administrative reviews for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

More on appeals and administrative reviews for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

Further requirementsYou may need to register with the police upon arrival.
Further informationMore on Tier 1

Rights

Tier 1 Investors, entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented individuals
Permanent residenceYou may be able to apply for settlement in the United Kingdom after a certain period of continuous residence under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 1 (General) or Tier 1 (Exceptional talent).

You must meet all the requirements of the United Kingdom's Immigration Rules at the time when you apply for settlement. The Immigration Rules are subject to change.

At present:

  • Tier 1 (General) migrants can apply for settlement if they have been in the UK for a continuous period of five years in an eligible immigration category.
  • Tier 1 (Investor) migrants who invest £ 1 million can apply for settlement after five years, those who invest £ 5 million can apply for settlement after three years, and those investing £ 10 million or more can apply for settlement after two years.
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants can also apply for settlement more quickly if they create 10 full-time jobs or turn over £ 5million within a three-year period. They can also apply for settlement after five years if they create two full-time jobs.

More on settlement for Tier 1 (General) migrants

More on settlement for Tier 1 (Investor) migrants

More on settlement for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants

More on settlement for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants

Family reunification

  • If you are in the United Kingdom under Tier 1 (Investor), your spouse or partner, and any children under 18, can join you provided they have a visa for this purpose.
  • If you are in the United Kingdom under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (General) or Tier 1 (Post Study work) your spouse or partner, and any children aged under 18, can join you provided that:
    • they have a visa for this purpose; and
    • you can show you have enough funds to support them without any help from public funds.

Your partner (civil partner, married, unmarried or same-sex) must intend to live with you, and the relationship must be genuine. He/she must not intend to stay in the United Kingdom beyond any period of permission granted to you.

More on family members for Tier 1 (General) migrants

More on family members for Tier 1 (Investor) migrants

More on family members for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants

More on family members for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants

More on family members for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants