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Tier 1 Visa

Tier 1 Visa

Tier 1 of the UK’s Point-Based System is open to prospective migrants who are of high worth to the UK economy. There are five categories of Tier 1 visa, each with different eligibility requirements:

Our immigration lawyers have a good deal of experience in successfully applying for Tier 1 visas and will be able to advise you should you wish to start the application process.

 

a) General – no longer available to new applicants

 

If you are outside the UK you are no longer able to apply for this category of visa. You can contact a member of our immigration team who will be able to advise you on your eligibility to enter the UK through some other form of entry clearance.

If you are currently in the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa you may be able to extend your visa if you still meet the requirements. One of our immigration lawyers can advise you how to submit a successful application to extend you right to live and work in the UK.

 

b) Exceptional Talent


The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is available to foreign nationals who are internationally recognised as outstanding in their field of expertise. A limited number of these visas are granted each year and applications are considered on a rolling basis.

 

Initial Application - Endorsements
If you are applying for this category of visa for the first time, you will have to prove that you satisfy the ‘exceptional talent’ requirement. To do this your application will need to be endorsed by one of four designated ‘Competent Bodies’:

  • The British Academy
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • The Royal Society
  • Arts Council England

The UK Border Agency applies for the endorsement on your behalf once they have received your application on which you should have indicated which body will endorse you.

 

Maintenance and English language requirements

Unlike most other PBS visas, you do not have to prove that you can support yourself financially or that you have a high level of English when you initially apply for an Exceptional Talent visa.

 

Extending your visa
If you already hold a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, you will be eligible to extend it if you can show that you have earned money in the UK by working (either for yourself or an employer) in the field in which you have been found to be exceptionally talented.

 

Our immigration lawyers will be able to advise you on how you can prove you meet this requirement and put together a successful application to extend your visa.

 

c) Entrepreneur

If you want to come to the UK to be involved in business activity, by setting up, taking over or running a business, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

 

Proving your application is genuine
The immigration authorities now require you to show that your business intentions are genuine. To do this you will have to show them evidence of market research and in-depth business plans. Our specialist fee earners will help you compile the right documentation to show that you meet this requirement.

 

Funds

In order to meet the funds requirement for this visa you will need to show that you have at least £200,000 available. If you can show that your funds are from a venture capitalist firm that is regulated by the Financial Services Authority then a minimum of sum of only £50,000 will be required.

 

English language and Maintenance requirements
To meet the requirements for this visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have the appropriate funds for your business activity and to support yourself, and that you meet the English language requirement.

 

d) Investor

Tier 1 visas are available to high net worth individuals who can demonstrate that they are coming to the UK for the purpose making a ‘substantial’ investment in the UK.

 

Investment potential
Applications will be accepted if you can show that you have the ability to invest £1,000,000 in the UK. You must be able to show that these funds are under your control and not leveraged.

 

Visa extension
If you are currently in the UK on a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, you will have to show that your investment in the UK has been maintained and that you have not used your investments as securities on any loans.

 

English language and Maintenance requirements
When applying for an Investor visa in the Tier 1 category you will not have to prove that you meet the English language requirement. You will be asked to provide details of a translator should you require one.

 

You will not have to meet the maintenance requirement because if you have sufficient funds to qualify for this visa you will be deemed capable of supporting yourself without relying on government funding.

 

If you do want to come to the UK to take advantage of an investment opportunity and you think you meet the requirements for this visa, contact our immigration team to speak to a lawyer who will be able to advise you on the documentation you will need to provide. Our teams includes fee earners who are specialised in business related immigration and will be able to prepare and submit an application for this visa on your behalf.

 

e) Graduate Entrepreneur

 

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa is available to international students studying in the UK who want to stay on after their course finishes to pursue business activities. There are a limited number of Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visas that can be given out by the UK Border Agency each year.

 

Endorsement
Your application for this category of visa must be endorsed by a UK Higher Education Institution. You will be expected to provide a business plan which your endorsing institution will have to approve.

 

English language and Maintenance requirements
To meet the requirements for this visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have the appropriate funds for your business activity and to support yourself, and that you meet the English language requirement.

Our Immigration lawyers and immigration Solicitors will be able to advise and assist you relation to the complex Visa rules.

 


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