Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds & Cost of Living in the UK

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds & Cost of Living in the UKThis relates to Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds to support the cost of living of the main applicants and their dependant family members. Certainly, Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa issues with a condition of no recourse to public funds. Therefore, applicants need financial savings to support the cost of living in the UK. Accordingly, as per Appendix C, an applicant requires to score 10 points for the requisite level of maintenance funds in financial savings.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds Requirements

For entry clearance and leave to remain applications, the main applicant requires £3,310  (or equivalent in local currency) and £945, respectively. Moreover, there are no requirements for maintenance funds for ILR (settlement) applications under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route. Certainly, for points scoring, the funds need to be in a personal savings account in a regulated financial institution for at least 90 consecutive days before the application date. Apparently, any money earned is not acceptable, when the applicant was in breach of the UK’s immigration laws, as evidence of maintenance funds.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Dependant Maintenance Funds

Any dependant wishing to either apply with the main applicant or subsequently join the main applicant need to provide evidence that they have sufficient funds. However, if a dependant is applying as the family member of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant then he/she cannot use the same funds to meet the maintenance requirement that the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) has already used to meet the attributes requirement (Appendix A of the Immigration Rules).

Accordingly, for entry clearance and leave to remain applications, each dependant usually requires £1,890 and £630, respectively. However, if the Main Applicant is already in the UK for more than six months then for an entry clearance application the dependant only requires £630/- instead of £1,890/-.

Dependants Joining the Main Applicant, who is already in the UK

As per Appendix E, the level of maintenance funds required for the dependant applicant(s) depends on the length of time the main applicant is in the UK.

If the main applicant is in the UK for less then six months then £1,810/- are required for each of the dependant family members i.e. spouse and children under 18 years of age. However, if the main applicant is in the UK for more than 6 months then the requisite maintenance funds per dependant are £630/-.

Example of Estimating Tier 1 Entrepreneur Dependant Maintenance Funds

The Tier 1 Migrant has been in the UK for 6 months and is making an application at the same time as their spouse and two children. Accordingly, the migrant requires to have £1,890 for spouse and a further £1,890 for each child. And also £945 for own support. In total, the family will require evidence that they hold £6,615 in available funds (£1890 x 3 = £5670+£945).

However, if the same migrant had been present in the UK for two years, the applicants would only require to have £2835 funds (£630 x 3 = £1890 + £945) for maintenance.

Proof of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds to Score 10 Points

For scoring 10 points for Tier 1 entrepreneur maintenance funds, an applicant needs to furnish a cogent and verifiable evidence of the financial savings in a regulated financial institution. However, if an applicant fails to do so then the caseworker/ECO is likely to refuse the application. Therefore, it is very important to furnish the requisite proof of maintenance funds in the regulated financial institution.

Types of Financial Savings Eligible for Points Scoring

The funds must be in the form of cash savings and not overdraft facilities. Other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds and pension funds, are not acceptable regardless of notice.

Evidence Required for Points Scoring

Accordingly, an applicant may provide one of the following evidence for scoring 10 points for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds:

  1. personal bank or building society statements covering 90 consecutive days, the most recent statement must be dated no earlier than one calendar month before the date of the application
  2. building society pass book covering the previous 90-day period
  3. a letter from the bank confirming their funds and that they have been in the bank for at least 90 days
  4. a letter from a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or, in the case of an overseas account, the home regulator (official regulatory body for the country in which the institution operates and the funds are located), confirming funds
  5. Any other types of bank statements printed on the bank’s letterhead as a proof of maintenance

The document must clearly show the applicant’s name, account number, date of the statement, name of the financial institution and its logo. And also transactions covering the 90 day period and that there are sufficient funds present in the account (the balance must always be at least £3,310 or £945, as appropriate).

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds Bank Letter

An applicant must provide evidence of personal savings, which cover a period of 90 consecutive days, and no more than one calendar month before submitting the application. Moreover, the documents must be original and on the financial institution’s official letterhead. And also have the organization’s official stamp and issued by an authorized official of the financial institution.

Electronic Bank Statement as Proof of Maintenance Funds

Perhaps, an applicant can furnish electronic bank statements of an account, if these contain all of the requisite details listed above. However, needs to provide a supporting letter from the bank, on a letterhead, confirming the statements provided are authentic. Moreover, the electronic bank statement has the official bank stamp on every page.

Evidence not appropriate for scoring 10 points

Certainly, an applicant needs to provide the proof of Tier 1 entrepreneur funds for at least 90 consecutive days. Therefore, these types of evidence are not acceptable:

  • mini-statements from automatic teller machines
  • statements which simply show the balance in the account on a particular day

Apparently, evidence such as ATM mini-statements and account balance certificate, do not demonstrate the applicant holds sufficient funds for the consecutive period of 90 days.

Cost of Living in the UK and Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds

Perhaps, the cost of living in the UK is much higher than the level of requisite maintenance. Therefore, at times, most prospective applicants really do not understand: why the level of maintenance funds for Tier 1 entrepreneur main and dependant applicants are lower than that for family settlement and Tier 4 student visa applicants.

Tier 1 Maintenance is the Cost of Living in the UK for One Month

Apparently, the requisite amount for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds is an estimate to cover the cost of living for the first month in the UK. Perhaps, with the assumption that an applicant will be able to generate reasonable income afterwards to support his/her living cost. And also for the living cost of the dependant family members i.e. spouse/civil partner and children under 18 years of age.

Actual Cost of Living in the UK is quite high!

Certainly, the requisite maintenance funds is an arbitrary figure as the cost of living varies from person to person and family to family. Therefore, it is expedient for an applicant to estimate the actual cost of living not only for the first but till the time an applicant thinks that business in the UK will not be able to generate income.

Consequently, if an applicant does not expect to get any income from business in the UK after the first month, then an applicant must ensure to have ample funds support himself/herself and any dependant family members.

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