Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Accelerated Settlement (ILR) Applications
The Immigration Rules for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) settlement can be found at paragraph 245EF. Under the Immigration Rules, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants can normally apply for settlement once they have spent five years continuously in the UK with leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). However, if certain additional conditions are met, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holders may be eligible to apply for accelerated ILR after a continuous period of 3 years.
Which Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are eligible to apply for ILR after 3 years?
You may be eligible to apply for fast-track settlement as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) after 3 years if:
- You have established a new UK business or businesses that has or have created the equivalent of 10 new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK; or
- You have taken over or invested in an existing UK business or businesses and your services or investment have resulted in a net increase in the employment provided by the business or businesses for persons settled in the UK by creating the equivalent of 10 new full-time jobs; or
- You have established a new UK business that has had an income from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3 year period in which you had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant; or
- You have taken over or invested in an existing UK business and your services or investment have resulted in a net increase in income from business activity to that business of £5 million during a 3 year period in which you had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, when compared to the immediately preceding 3 year period.
The transitional arrangements for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants who successfully applied to enter the route before 6 April 2014 do not apply to accelerated settlement applications. Therefore, if you are applying for accelerated settlement on the basis of creating 10 jobs, you may not combine the time periods together from different part time jobs, which have existed for less than 12 months, to make the equivalent of a 12 month job. In order to qualify for accelerate settlement on the basis of job creation, the jobs must have existed for at least 12 months during your last grant of leave.
To meet the requirement for accelerated settlement on the basis of business income, if the business is a new business then the business must have had a gross income (turnover) of £5 million as a result of business activity during your initial 3 years of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) leave. You can qualify either if your income reaches £5 million in a single year in that 3 year period, or by adding income per year together to form £5million. If you invested into an existing business, the business must have had an increase in gross income (turnover) of £5million as a result of its business activity when compared to the 3 period immediately before you became involved with the business as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). For example, if the income was £4 million in the previous 3 years, it would need to be £9 million when you apply for accelerated settlement.
When does the 3 year qualifying period start?
The start of the 3-year qualifying period can run from the date on which your initial application for either entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) was approved. This means that if you entered the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category following an application from overseas, you could include the time between your entry clearance being granted and actually entering the UK as part of your continuous period. If you are considering this as an option, do note however that you cannot have had more than 180 days absent from the UK during each of the 12 months of the continuous period. And, importantly, the days that you spent outside the UK between your visa being granted and entering the UK would form part of the 180 days allowed within the relevant 12 month period.
What is the earliest date of application?
An application for accelerated settlement can be made up to 28 days before you reach the end of the 3 year qualifying period. If you have been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in 12 months, this will break the continuous residence period and you will need to start the qualifying period for settlement again. Depending on the expiry date of your current leave, this may mean that you need to obtain a further grant of limited leave to remain in order to demonstrate a 3 year continuous period.
What other conditions will I have to meet?
In addition to the job creation/business income and residency requirements, you will also need to demonstrate that you have invested not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if previously awarded points for funds of £50,000) in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK. The good news, however, is that if you were awarded points for having made an investment into a UK business in your previous application, you will not need to provide additional evidence of this investment when applying for accelerated settlement as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
You will also need to demonstrate that you remain registered with Companies House as a director or with HMRC as self-employed on a date no earlier than 3 months prior to the date of your ILR application.
When you apply for accelerated settlement as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), you will also be required to show that you have knowledge of life and language in the United Kingdom (unless you fall under an exemption). You can demonstrate this by passing both the Life in the UK test and holding an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above.
Contact Our Entrepreneur Visa Barristers Today
For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application for accelerated settlement as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), contact our Entrepreneur Immigration Barristers & Lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or via our online enquiry form.