How to form Entrepreneurial Teams under PBS Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

This post explains the details relating to the formation of Entrepreneurial Teams under Tier-1 Entrepreneur category for high-value migrants and covers the following topics:

  • Two Applicants Can Claim Same Investment- Tier 1 Entrepreneur;
  • Consideration of Entrepreneurial Teams UK Tier-1 Entrepreneur;
  • Switching to Tier-1 Entrepreneur- Entrepreneurial Teams;
  • How Entrepreneurial Teams Formed under PBS Tier-1 Entrepreneur?

Two Applicants Can Claim Same Investment- Tier 1 Entrepreneur

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Under the Immigration Rules, two (2) applicants can apply to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route by claiming points for the same investment. The applicants must:

  • have equal control over the funds and the business or businesses:
  • be named in each other’s applications and in the specified evidence required.

The applicants must not have previously been granted leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) on the basis of investment and/or business activity with any other applicant (other than each other) if the same funds are being relied on as in a previous application.

Points will not be awarded for funds if they are also available to anyone else besides the entrepreneurial team members. This includes other business partners who are not applying for a visa (for example EEA residents).

Money held in an account, which the applicant has jointly with any of the people listed below, can be accepted, provided the money is also available to the other entrepreneurial team member. They are the applicant’s spouse (husband or wife), civil partner, and unmarried or same-sex partner.

An unmarried or same-sex partner is defined as a person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years before the date of application. Money made available from third parties to the team’s business is acceptable.

Consideration of Entrepreneurial Teams UK Tier-1 Entrepreneur

Team members may enter the category at different times and apply from different locations (for example one in-country applicant and one out of country applicant). Applicants are encouraged to supply a set of documents on each team member’s application, but this is not a requirement of the Immigration Rules. If an application is received for a team member, reasonable attempts would be made to link this to the other team member’s application. This makes sure you have consistency and all the required documents. Both team members will be relying on the same specified evidence, consequently, one applicant may provide a photocopy of the documentation instead of originals. If applicable, photocopies could be accepted under evidential flexibility.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants investing in the same business who are not part of an entrepreneurial team may not use the same evidence of job creation.

If either one or both members of the entrepreneurial team is applying in the UK, they may only rely on funds located in the UK.

The Immigration Rules are subject to revision and update. Therefore, if there is a delay between the submission of one application and that of their entrepreneurial team member, any changes to the Immigration Rules that take place during a period between applications may affect their ability to apply as an entrepreneurial team.

Switching to Tier-1 Entrepreneur- Entrepreneurial Teams

Applicants who want to form an entrepreneurial team using the reduced fund’s option must both qualify for this category in their own right.

For example, if one applicant has leave under Tier 1 (Post-study work) and meets the specific criteria for reduced funding and the other applicant has no previous leave in the UK, they cannot both apply using this option. This is because although the post-study worker meets the criteria for the reduced funding provision, the other applicant does not.

Entrepreneurial teams are able to rely on the same specified evidence but you must consider the applications individually. If an entrepreneurial team submits applications as explained in the example above, assuming they meet all other criteria, you must approve the post-study worker and refuse the other applicant.

How Entrepreneurial Teams Formed under PBS Tier-1 Entrepreneur?

A team which consists of one Tier 1 (Post-study work) applicant who applies in the UK and one applicant who applies from overseas, who have established a business together before 11 July 2014, with £200,000 held in a joint account in the UK to invest in the business.

In this example:

  • the Tier 1 (Post-study work) applicant qualifies as the team has over £50,000 funding and the applicant has been continuously engaged in business since before 11 July 2014
  • the overseas applicant qualifies as the team has access to £200,000 funding, and the funding is in the UK

A team consisting of one Tier 1 (General) migrant applying in-country, and one migrant applying from overseas who have established a business together before 6 April 2015 and have £200,000 held in a joint account in the UK to invest in the business.

In this example:

  • the Tier 1 (General) applicant qualifies as he has been continuously engaged in business since before 11 July 2014;
  • the overseas applicant qualifies as the team has access to £200,000 funding, and the funding is in the UK.