Personal Immigration
Business Immigration

Closure of Tier 1 Entrepreneur category: deadlines for applications

The Home Office has today, 7 March 2019, published its statement of changes (HC1919) giving details to the anticipated Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) closure, and introducing the Tier 1 (Innovator) and (Start up) categories which replace it.  Details of those new categories are in separate blogs.

Paragraph 245Da is soon to read:

(i) This category is now closed to new applicants.

Deadlines for migrants making initial applications:


The closure of the route takes effect from 29 March 2019.  Applications must be submitted on or before 28 March 2019 to be considered under the Entrepreneur category.  

If an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain has been made before 29 March 2019, such applications will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 28 March 2019.

Graduate Entrepreneur:

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applicants apply on the basis of endorsement letters from Higher Education Institutions or the Department for International Trade. These letters are valid for three months and may continue to be issued until 5 April 2019. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applications can therefore continue to be made until 5 July 2019.

Deadlines for extensions / settlement applications for migrants already in the categories:

Transitional arrangements are being applied to mitigate the impact of the changes on those already in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and (Graduate Entrepreneur) categories:

  • Extension applications for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will remain open until 5 April 2023, and settlement applications until 5 April 2025.
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants will be able to switch into the new Start-up route if they have not yet had their maximum two grants of leave under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route. If their Start-up endorsement is from the same endorsing body as in their previous Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application, their business ideas will not need to meet the new Start-up criteria in relation to innovation and scalability.
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants (including those who switch into the Startup category as above) will continue to be able to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category until 5 July 2021. This can be in entry clearance / leave to remain.  Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extension applications will remain open for these individuals until 5 July 2025, and settlement applications until 5 July 2027.

Where extensions are granted in entry clearance applications, the period of grant is being shortened from 3y4m to 2y4m, to bring it more in line with in-country extensions.

Contact Our Entrepreneur Immigration Barristers

For expert advice in relation to an application for entry clearance, extension of stay or settlement as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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