Personal Immigration
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Switching from Tier 1 Post-Study Work to Tier 1 Entrepreneur with £50,000

If you currently have leave to remain in the UK in the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category and wish to extend your stay in the UK, then you should consider switching into a different category of the Immigration Rules before your current leave expires.  If you hold a post-study work (PSW) visa, have established in business and have access to £50,000, then the good news is that you may be eligible to extend your stay by switching into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. 

In order to switch from a post-study work visa to an entrepreneur visa you must:

  • Be applying for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur);
  • Currently have leave as a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant;
  • On a date within the three month period prior to submitting your application have:
    • Been registered with HM Revenue and Customs as being self-employed; or
    • Been registered as a new business in which you are a director; or
    • Been registered as a director of an existing business.
  • Be engaged in business activity (excluding the administrative work involved in running your business) in an occupation which appears on the UKBA’s list of occupations skilled to National Qualification Framework level 4 or above; and
  • Have access to at least £50,000.

In order to show that you have access to at least £50,000, you can rely on money that is held inside or outside the UK.  You can rely on your own money or money that is held in someone else's account, provided that they confirm that it is available to you for investment in a UK business. You and one other person can also apply together as an 'entrepreneurial team', using the same investment funds, provided that you both have equal access to the money.  The £50,000 investment funds must, however, be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and be disposable in the UK.  If the £50,000 investment funds are not held in the UK, evidence will need to be provided to show that the funds are freely transferrable to the UK.

In addition, when applying to switch from a post-study work (PSW) visa to an entrepreneur visa you will also need to demonstrate that you have sufficient command of the English language.  Unless you are a national of a majority English-speaking country or have a degree taught in English, you will need to take and pass an approved English language test at Level C1 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning (CEFR) in all 4 components (equivalent to IELTS 7.0).

Finally, in order to switch from a PSW visa to an entrepreneur visa you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds available to satisfy the maintenance requirement.  Specified evidence will need to be produced to demonstrate that you have held at least £900 in your account for 90 continuous days immediately prior to the date of your application.

If your application to switch from the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is successful, you will be granted an extension of stay as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) for three years.  During this time you will need to invest your £50,000 in a UK business and create the equivalent of at least two new full-time jobs for a period of 12 months for members of the settled population.  You will not be able to undertake any work other than for the business that you have established.  However, once you have completed three years as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), you will then be able to apply for an extension of stay in the same category.  After a further two years you will, subject to meeting various requirements, be eligible for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.

For further information about applying to switch from the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) category to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, contact our immigration barristers in Covent Garden, London direct on 0203 617 9173 or email


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

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