If you currently hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can apply to settle in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur until 5 April 2025. If your application is successful, you will be granted Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR and be free of immigration time restrictions.
Requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain 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 (as appropriate) 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 have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK with leave as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant, with not more than 180 days absent from the UK each year;
- You have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom.
There is also an accelerated route to settlement as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur after 3 years if you create at least 10 new full-time jobs or your business has a turnover of at least £5 million.
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.
To discuss your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR lawyers on 07810 447971 or complete our enquiry form below.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR 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 of 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 earlier period of leave can be relied upon in a settlement 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.
If you were previously granted a covid-related extension of leave, then in order to qualify for the settlement you will need to demonstrate that you have created 2 full-time jobs for the 12-month period in addition to the existing job creation requirement for settlement. For example, if you rely on having created 2 full-time jobs for settled workers that existed in 12 months during your most recent grant of leave, you will also be required to show that 2 full-time jobs existed for an additional 12 months. These can be the same jobs, providing they meet the requirement of existing for at least a further 12 months.
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.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) timeline
You can apply for ILR under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route once you have resided in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur for a continuous period of 5 years.
As a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you may apply for accelerated ILR after a continuous period of 3 years if you have created the equivalent of at least 10 new full-time jobs for members of the settled population. You may also qualify for accelerated settlement after 3 years if your UK business has had a gross income from business activity of at least £5 million during the last 3 years. If you invested in an existing business then your services or investment must have resulted in a net increase in gross income from business activity of £5 million during the 3-year continuous period, when compared to the 3-year period immediately before the date you became involved with the business.
You can apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR up to 28 days before you reach the relevant qualifying period. Your qualifying period will be the 3 or 5 years immediately before the date you apply for settlement or the 3 or 5 years immediately before the date your settlement application is decided, depending on which is most favourable to you. Advice from an immigration lawyer will ensure the correct timing of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR application.
The residence requirement for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR settlement application
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period during your qualifying 3 or 5-year period.
For any absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the Rules in place before 11 January 2018, you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during each consecutive 12 month period, ending on the same date of the year as the date of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR application. For any absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the Rules in place since 11 January 2018, the Home Office will consider a rolling 12-month period.
In either case, days spent traveling to or from the UK will not count for the purpose of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR residence and absence requirement.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR settlement application processing times
If you apply for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur via UK Visa & Immigration’s standard service, you can normally expect to receive a decision within 26 weeks of your ILR application date. The Home Office does not currently offer a priority service for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR applications. However, we have been informed that a 30-day service for Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR applications is being planned.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR settlement applications from outside the UK
Unfortunately, it is not possible to apply for ILR as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur from outside the UK. Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR applications can only be submitted from within the UK.
UK Entrepreneur visa ILR settlement application: How our immigration barristers can help
The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the documents that must be provided in support of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa ILR 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.
Berkshire Law 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 indefinite 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 ILR application 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.