EXTENSION OF TIER 1 ENTREPRENEUR VISA
If you currently hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension until 5 April 2023. If your application is successful, you will be granted an extension of stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur for a period of 2 years. Applications for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur can be made until 5 April 2025.
Requirements for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension
In order to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:
- You registered as a business director or as self-employed within 6 months of entering the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category;
- You are still registered as a business director or as self-employed within the 3 months prior to your date of application;
- You have invested at least £200,000 or £50,000 (depending on the amount your initial application was based on) in a business or businesses in the UK;
- You have created at least two full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK and these jobs have existed for at least 12 months;
- You have established, taken over or become a director of a genuine UK business, genuinely operated that business and genuinely intend to continue operating the business;
- You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking);
- You have enough additional money to support yourself without relying on public funds.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension job creation requirement
If you have established a new business or businesses or invested in an existing business, you must have created the equivalent of 2 extra full-time paid jobs for at least 2 people who meet the definition of settled workers in the Immigration Rules at the time their employment starts. Each job must have existed for at least 12 months.
A single job does not need to last for 12 consecutive months (for example it could exist for 6 months in one year and 6 months the following year), providing it is the same job, with the same job title (different jobs that have existed for less than 12 months cannot be combined together to make up a 12 month period).
Jobs created in an initial period of leave can be relied upon in an extension application if they are maintained for at least a further 12 months during the most recent extension.
If jobs relied on in a previous period of leave no longer exist, then 2 new jobs will need to be created and exist for at least 12 months during the most recent extension.
The jobs must comply with all relevant UK regulations, including the national minimum wage and the working time directive.
If your business has been disrupted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic then you do not need to employ at least 2 people for 12 consecutive months. Instead, the 12 month period you are required to employ someone for can be made up of multiple jobs across different months, providing that when combined this is equivalent to 2 full time jobs.
Any periods of time when your employees were furloughed under the UK Government furlough scheme can still count towards the 12 month period provided they were paid at least 80% of their
normal salary throughout.
If you are not able to employ staff for 12 months by the time your visa expires, you may still be granted further leave for a period of 2 years provided that you have created at least 2 jobs for settled workers and you have been unable to meet the normal requirements due to the impact of the pandemic.
The job creation requirement can be complex. You may wish to seek early advice from a specialist immigration lawyer in order to ensure that you can satisfy the requirement.
When should I apply for an extension of stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur?
You can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension at any time prior to the expiry of your leave. However, we recommend that you apply to extend your UK Entrepreneur visa not more than 1 month before your current leave expires. If you apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension earlier than this then you may have a shortfall in your leave when you apply for settlement. This is because the Home Office will grant an extension of stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur for 2 years from the date of decision, not the date when your current leave expires. This would necessitate a further application for an extension of stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur before becoming eligible for indefinite leave to remain. Advice from an immigration lawyer will ensure the correct timing of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application.
How long will it take for my application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension to be decided?
You will need to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension via UK Visa & Immigration’s standard service. You should normally expect to receive a decision within 8 weeks of your extension application date. UK Visa & Immigration does not currently offer a priority service for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension applications.
- 10 Tips for Making a Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension Application
- Your Guide To The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Job Creation Requirement
- UK Entrepreneur Visa Success Stories
Can I extend my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa if I am outside the UK?
Yes. If you hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa you can apply to extend your stay in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category from outside the UK.
How our immigration barristers can help your UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension
The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the documents that must be provided in support of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application. It can be helpful to get advice from an immigration lawyer in order to ensure that your application is professionally presented and technically correct.
Richmond Chambers is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading immigration practices for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs. The work of our immigration barristers and immigration lawyers on behalf of entrepreneurs has been recognised through membership of the Investment Migration Council and the Department of International Trade’s Investor Support Network.
Our team of immigration barristers has experience in assisting all types of entrepreneurs to secure further leave to remain in the UK. Whether you have set up a new business in the UK or invested in an established business, our barristers are experts in the requirements for a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team of immigration lawyers, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to entrepreneurs as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Drafting a Tier 1 Entrepreneur compliant business plan
As part of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application, you may wish to include a detailed business plan. If so, our immigration barristers can assist you to identify a suitably qualified professional business plan writer, instruct the business plan writer on your behalf and then liaise with the plan writer to ensure that your Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension business plan satisfies the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
Genuine entrepreneur interview preparation for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension applicants
If you are applying to extend your stay as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you may be invited to attend a genuine entrepreneur interview with the Home Office as part of the application process. Our Genuine Entrepreneur Interview Preparation sessions are designed to help Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension applicants familiarise themselves with the interview process and increase their prospects of success.
Our Genuine Entrepreneur Interview Preparation sessions provide Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension applicants with an opportunity to practice responses to a range of interview questions in accordance with UK Visas and Immigration’s assessment criteria and to receive constructive feedback in order to prepare for a successful interview. Each session lasts 1 hour.
Our Genuine Entrepreneur Interview Preparation sessions include:
- One-to-one interview practice – you will be questioned by an immigration barrister and lawyer about your business plan, work and business experience and qualifications in relation to your chosen business sector;
- Assessment as to whether the information provided by you matches the information that is set out in your business plan and any relevant documentary evidence;
- Constructive feedback on all aspects of your performance in the interview such as your general interview technique and the strength of your answers for specific questions;
- Advice and tips on further preparation and how to improve on any weak areas;
- Time for you to ask additional questions and/or address any other concerns that you have about the interview.
Applications for ILR (including accelerated routes) as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur
If you have invested in a new or existing UK business and your investment has created at least two new full-time jobs, you may apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur after five years.
You may qualify for accelerated settlement as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur after 3 years if you have created 10 new jobs or your business has received at least £5 million in income from business activity.
In addition, unless you are aged 65 or over, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
You will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you have established, taken over or become a director of a genuine UK business, genuinely operated that business and genuinely intend to continue operating the business.
You can spend up to 180 days (six months) outside the UK each year and still qualify for indefinite leave to remain. For settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, the Home Office will consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes time before this date and you believe that this change would cause you exceptionally harsh consequences, you must set out the reasons.
Fresh applications, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs
If your application for further leave to remain or settlement as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.