Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Alternatives to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Route: July 2019

18 July 2019 #Setting up in the UK #UK Immigration

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur route was very popular with overseas investors. It allowed entrepreneurs the freedom to enter the UK with a minimum investment of £200,000. This route was closed to new entrants on 29 March 2019. In this article we look at the most popular alternatives to this route for businesses.

The most popular routes available to businesses are:

  1. Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

You can apply to come to the UK as a Representative of an overseas business if you are a non-EEA national and you are either:

  • The sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company; or
  • An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.

2. Tier 1 Investor Visa

The Tier 1 Investor route is more suited to those who wish to invest £2,000,000 by way of share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. The rules are slightly more relaxed for investors in the sense that they do not have to meet the English language or maintenance requirements. There is also an option to accelerate settlement depending on how much you initially invest.

3. Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

This route is more suited for individuals but allows flexibility to successful applicants to set up their own business or to work for an employer. This route requires an endorsement from a Designated Competent body who will assess your suitability for this route.

This route is for those exceptionally talented individuals who have been endorsed in their field in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts as a recognised leader or an emerging leader. 

There are only limited places available under this category.

4. Tier 2 Visa

Tier 2 is for those who intend on being sponsored for employment in the UK. Their employer (the business) must have a Sponsorship Licence in place in the relevant category before they can sponsor the applicant. Tier 2 is further divided into sub categories which include a Tier 2 (General), for those applicants intending on remaining in the UK permanently, and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer or ICT), for Intra Company transfer of linked overseas companies on a temporary basis.

5. Innovator Visa

This is a re-design of the Entrepreneur visa, and whilst it requires lesser investment of £50,000, this route requires approval from an endorsing body. The endorsing body is only likely to grant an endorsement if the applicant’s business idea is innovative, viable and scalable.

We understand that most endorsing bodies are only endorsing those individuals who are a part of their existing programme.

At Clarkslegal LLP, we can guide you throughout this process and provide advice on the route which is best suited to your needs.

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Hamza Malik

Hamza Malik

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M: 07990 595 483


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