Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa ILR Requirements | UK Settlement Set(O)

This post describes the current requirements and processing time for settlement (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain) as a PBS Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant. and discusses the following points:

  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR Processing Time
  • 15 Points for Continuous Period in the UK
    • Qualifying Period
    • Settlement: Allowed Absences
    • List of Absences and Reasons
    • How 180 Days Per Year Are Counted?
    • Exceptions
    • Break in the Continuous Period
    • Settlement Applications from Jan 11, 2018
  • The Recurrent Criticism of 180 Days Rule
  • Genuine Entrepreneur Test
  • 20 Points for Investment Funds
  • 20 Points for Engaging in a Business Activity
    • Evidence
  • 20 Points for Creating Two Full Time Equivalent Jobs
    • Specified Evidence
    • Hourly Wage Rate and Part Time Jobs
    • Details of the Employees
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur Accelerated Settlement
    • Specified Documents – Accelerated Settlement £5 Million Business Activity

The applicants are required to refer to paragraph 245DF of the Immigration Rules and the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Policy guidance for further information on the points requirement for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants. A successful applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal, and must not be an illegal entrant and needs to score 75 points under paragraphs 35 to 53 of Appendix A. The migrant needs to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Appendix KoLL. The migrant must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded. The migrant must, unless he provides a reasonable explanation, comply with any request made by the Secretary of State to attend for interview.

Migrants can apply for accelerated settlement in the UK after three years continuous residence if they have created at least 10 new full-time jobs in their business for persons settled in the UK, or established a new UK business that has had an income of at least £5 million, or they have taken over or invested in an existing UK business, and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase of £5 million in that business’ income. Aside from these, all other requirements are the same as for an extension application.

For applying for settlement a migrant needs to provide all the necessary documentation to evidence that the requirements have been met. In all cases an applicant should provide the required evidence of investment and job creation. If a person is applying for accelerated settlement then he/she is required to provide the additional evidence specified so as to meet at least one of the two accelerated settlement routes.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa ILR Requirements | UK Settlement Set(O)

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa ILR Requirements

The settlement form is called ‘SET (O), which is used for applying indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom as a Main and Dependant Spouse/Child Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant. The normal specified fee is £2,389 per applicant for standard applications made by post or courier.

Postal Address: Home Office, SET(O), Indefinite Leave to remain, PO Box 591, Durham, DH1 9FS.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR Processing Time

The service standard of UKVI is to process ILR application made inside the UK within 6 months. The actual processing time may vary from 8 – 32 weeks due to workload, complexity of the application and documents verification.

My progress on Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR application (myself + 1 dependant)

Date Posted: 28/02/2017
Payment taken: 02/03/2017
Biometrics letter: 03/03/2017
Email acknowledgement: 06/03/2017
Biometrics reminder email: 16/03/2017
Biometrics submitted: 20/03/2017
Email confirming under progress: 03/04/2017, 03/05/2017
Approval with Documents and passport received: 12/05/2017 (approval 10/05/2017)
BRP: 13/05/2017

15 Points for Continuous Period in the UK

A applicant can apply for settlement (aka ILR) under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) once he/she reached 5 years continuous leave in the UK under the route.

However, if an applicant can meet additional criteria then he/she may be eligible to apply for accelerated ILR after a continuous period of 3 years.

The applicant cannot combine Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) leave with leave in any other category to meet the continuous leave requirement.

Qualifying Period

The qualifying period can include time from the date of approval of the initial application and once can apply for settlement up to 28 days before an applicant will reach the end of the qualifying period. If an applicant apply earlier than that then the application could be refused.

The qualifying period will be the 3 or 5 years immediately before the date an applicant applies for settlement or the 3 or 5 years immediately before the date the settlement application is decided, depending on which is most beneficial for the applicant.

If an applicant has spent more than the required time in the UK then only the most recent 3 or 5 years will be considered.

Settlement: Allowed Absences

One cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the UK during any consecutive 12 months of the qualifying period.

List of Absences and Reasons

An applicant needs to list details of the absences from the UK, including the reasons for those absences, on the form but an applicant is not required to provide any specified evidence to support his/her claim.

How 180 Days Per Year Are Counted?

Whatever the reason for absences from the UK they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days ( but see delayed entry to the UK below). This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.

Exceptions

The only exception is where an applicant has been absent from the UK assisting with a national or international environmental or humanitarian crisis overseas, such as the Ebola crisis which began in West Africa in 2014 and an applicant can provide evidence that this was the purpose of the absence.

An applicant can include the time between the entry clearance being granted and applicant’s entering the United Kingdom as part of the continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance being granted for entering the UK are treated as an absence from the UK and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12 month period.

For example, if an applicant entered the UK 100 days after he/she obtained entry clearance and have a further 81 days absence during the remainder of the continuous 12 month period, then he/she will have exceed the number of absences permitted from the UK. Consequently, the applicant would not qualify for settlement 5 years or 3 years (as appropriate) after the date the entry clearance was granted. The applicant would need to wait until a date where none of the qualifying period included absences of more than 180 days in any consecutive 12 month period, before he/she could qualify.

Break in the Continuous Period

If an applicant has been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any consecutive 12 month period, this will break the continuous period and the applicant will need to start the qualifying period for settlement again. If this happens the migrant may need to obtain a further grant of limited leave to remain to reach the continuous period in the UK.

Settlement Applications from Jan 11, 2018

For settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, the absences from the UK will be considered on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If the qualifying period includes leave granted before this date any absences during that leave will be considered under the previous rules – in separate 12-month periods, ending on the same date.

For example: An applicant applies for settlement on 30 June 2020. The continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • One grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered in separate 12 month periods, ending on 30 June each year.
  • One grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered on a rolling basis. The absences during the previous grant of leave will not be included.

The Recurrent Criticism of 180 Days Rule

Many immigration experts opined that the 180 days rule is unreasonable in the global business market. As indicated above, the 180 days rule states that the entrepreneur cannot spend more than 180 days in any one-year period outside of the UK in order to qualify for settlement.

The recurrent criticism of this rule was that it was simply too harsh, both in terms of how the twelve-month period is applied, and the restriction itself. Since developing international business ties is crucial to develop a successful business and, as such, there should not be such strict limits on the entrepreneurs’ ability to operate internationally.

TABLE 6 – Applications for ILR as referred to in para 38 Appendix A
CONTINUOUS PERIOD
Points
(a) The applicant has spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK with leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, or

(b) The applicant has spent a continuous period of 3 years lawfully in the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, and has:

(i) created the equivalent of at least 10 (including the two jobs already relied upon to score points under row 3) new full time jobs which meet the requirements in row 3 above, or

(ii) established a new UK business or businesses that has or have had a gross income from business activity of at least £5 million during the 3 year continuous period, or

(iii) taken over or invested in an existing UK business or businesses and the applicant’s services or investment 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 the applicant became involved with the business.

15

Genuine Entrepreneur Test

Applicants applying for indefinite leave to remain are subject to the genuine entrepreneur test and need to satisfy that they:

  • have established, taken over or become a director of one or more genuine businesses in the UK, and have genuinely operated that business;
  • have genuinely invested the required level of funds into one or more genuine businesses in the UK to be spent for the purpose of that business or businesses;
  • genuinely intend to continue operating one or more business in the UK.

If an applicant’s situation is unusual or particularly complex, then he/she may include a covering letter with the application. The covering letter should explain how the documents provided with the application demonstrates that the applicant has met the requirements for indefinite leave to remain. The application can be processed without a covering letter, but it may speed up our consideration.

20 Points for Investment Funds

The applicant has invested or has caused investment to be made by one or more third parties, totaling at least £200,000 (or £50,000 if they were awarded points for £50,000 funding or investment in their last grant of leave) in cash directly into one or more UK businesses.

The applicant does not need to provide evidence of this investment if they were last granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, having been awarded points under Table 5 of Appendix A.

TABLE 6 – Applications for ILR as referred to in para 38 Appendix A
INVESTMENT
Points
The applicant has invested or has caused investment to be made by one or more third parties, totalling at least £200,000 (or £50,000 if they were awarded points for £50,000 funding or investment in their last grant of leave) in cash directly into one or more UK businesses.

The applicant does not need to provide evidence of this investment if they were last granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, having been awarded points under Table 5.

20

20 Points for Engaging in a Business Activity

An applicant is required to be engaged in business activity {Self-Employed as a sole trader, Director of company, Member of a limited liability partnership, Member of a partnership (which is not a limited liability partnership)} at the time of the application. Therefore, an applicant needs to demonstrate that he/she was:

  • registered with HM Revenue & Customs as self-employed, or
  • registered with Companies House as a director of a UK company or member of a UK partnership.

The above requirement must have been met:

  1. within 6 months of entering the UK (if they were most recently granted entry clearance and there is evidence to establish their date of entry) or, in any other case, within 6 months from the date the most recent leave was granted, and
  2. within the three months before the date of application.

Immigration Rules Appendix A: Attributes

47. The applicant must provide the following specified documents, showing that they obtained the necessary business registration within the 6 month period referred to in Table 5 or 6

Evidence

An applicant needs to provide the appropriate evidence to demonstrate registration with HM Revenue & Customs and Companies House. However, an applicant does not need to provide evidence of (1) if they were last granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant.

TABLE 6 – Applications for ILR as referred to in para 38 Appendix A
BUSINESS ACTIVITY
Points
The applicant was:

(a) registered with HM Revenue & Customs as self-employed, or

(b) registered with Companies House as a director of a UK company or member of a UK partnership.

The above requirement must have been met:

(i) within 6 months of entering the UK (if they were most recently granted entry clearance and there is evidence to establish their date of entry) or, in any other case, within 6 months from the date the most recent leave was granted, and

(ii) within the three months before the date of application.

The applicant does not need to provide evidence of (i) if they were last granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, having been awarded points under Table 5.

20

20 Points for Creating Two Full Time Equivalent Jobs

During the period of leave as an Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), an applicant is required to create 2 full time jobs for 12 months each across applicant’s business(es). If an applicant has created 2 jobs in the initial application then an applicant can use these jobs to claim points for settlement, if they were maintained for at least 12 months during the extension period of leave.

Alternatively, if the jobs created during the initial period of leave no longer exist then an applicant can create 2 more in the extension period of leave, and claim points for them, if they exist for at least 12 months.

Accordingly, an applicant needs to demonstrate that he/she has:

  • established a new business or businesses that has or have created the equivalent of at least 2 new full time jobs for settled workers, or
  • taken over or invested in an existing business or businesses and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase in the employment provided by the business or businesses for settled workers by creating the equivalent of at least 2 new full time jobs for settled workers.

Immigration Rules Appendix A: Attributes

49. (a) A full time job is one involving at least 30 hours of paid work per week.

The jobs must have existed for at least 12 months during the applicant’s most recent grant of leave or, where that leave was granted less than 12 months ago, for at least the 12 months immediately before the date of application.

Immigration Rules Appendix A: Attributes

50. If the applicant is required to score points for job creation in Table 5 or Table 6, they must provide all of the following specified documents:

Specified Evidence:

Am applicant is required to provide the following specified documents to demonstrate job creation:

  • Documentation to prove the employee was a settled worker; for example, the biometric page of a British passport showing the employee’s photograph and personal details.
  • For directors of a company – a printout from Companies House of the company’s filing history page and of a Current Appointment Report to show that the applicant is/was a director of each business for the period.
  • For members of a limited liability partnership – a printout from Companies House of the partnership’s filing history page and of a Current Appointment Report to show that the applicant was a member of each partnership for the period.
  • Employee Payment Records, original HM Revenue & Customs P45 or P46.
  • Real Time-Full Payment Submissions.
  • Wage or pay slips to cover total period of employment created for each worker
  • Additional Specified Documents – A duplicate HMRC Full Payment Submission for the year before the jobs were created and the year that the jobs were created and signed by the applicant; or if the business started employing staff for which points are being claimed before they were reporting under Real Time, a form P35.
  • If an applicant has joined or taken over an existing business then the applicant is required to supply an accountants letter to confirm the job creation.

Hourly Wage Rate and Part Time Jobs

An applicant is required to give the hourly rate for the employee(s). If the hourly rate changed for an employee in the same job, then an applicant is require to enter this information as a fresh period of employment. If an applicant wish to combine part time jobs to make the equivalent of one full-time post, the part-time jobs must have existed for at least 12 months.

Details of the Employees

Details of all employees who filled these jobs for the required 12 month period. The jobs must exist for at least 12 months. Within the same job, another worker can replace a worker who is employed for part of a year and then leaves the job, so that the employment as a whole adds up to 12 months. The hours of workers in 2 part-time jobs can be combined to add up to 30 hours a week or more and form the equivalent of one full-time job, as long as the 2 part-time jobs exist for 12 months.

TABLE 6 – Applications for ILR as referred to in para 38 Appendix A
JOB CREATION
Points
The applicant has:

(a) established a new business or businesses that has or have created the equivalent of at least 2 new full time jobs for settled workers, or

(b) taken over or invested in an existing business or businesses and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase in the employment provided by the business or businesses for settled workers by creating the equivalent of at least 2 new full time jobs for settled workers.

The jobs must have existed for at least 12 months during the applicant’s most recent grant of leave or, where that leave was granted less than 12 months ago, for at least the 12 months immediately before the date of application.

20

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Accelerated Settlement

As indicated in the preceding paragraphs, a migrant can apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Accelerated Settlement i.e. 3 Years Settlement if he/she can demonstrate that he/she has:

  1. started a business that has a turnover of at least £5 million
  2. joined or taken over an existing business that has seen an increase in turnover
    of over £5 million
  3. has created 10 jobs which have existed for at least 12 months

The PBS dependant family members cannot benefit from the accelerated route. They can extend their leave as the dependants of a PBS migrant who has ILR, and then apply for indefinite leave once they reach five years in the category.

Specified Documents – Accelerated Settlement £5 Million Business Activity

Where an applicant is applying for settlement and relying on business activity from a new UK business or businesses then the applicant is required to provide audited accounts (if the business is legally required to produce audited accounts) or unaudited accounts which show the gross income resulting from the business’ activities and that this gross income reached at least £5 million.

Where an applicant is applying for settlement and relying on business activity from an existing UK business which he/she has taken over or invested in then the applicant is required to provide both of the following specified documents:

(i) Audited accounts (if the business is legally required to produce audited accounts) or unaudited accounts, clearly showing:

  1. the name of the accountant,
  2. the date the accounts were produced,
  3. the gross income from business activity for the 3 year period immediately preceding the date on which the migrant became involved with the business as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant, and
  4. a net increase of at least £5 million in gross income from business activity during the period migrant remained involved with the business that he/she is relying on to score points for settlement as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant.

(ii) An original, signed and dated accountant’s letter, confirming:

  1. the name and contact details of the business,
  2. an explanation of migrant’s status in the business,
  3. the net increase in business activity,
  4. the registration or permission of the accountant to operate in the UK, and
  5. that the accountant will verify the content of the letter to the Home Office on request.

Immigration Rules Appendix A: Attributes

51. (a) Where Table 6 applies and the applicant is relying on the business activity of a new UK business or businesses, they must provide audited (if the business is legally required to produce audited accounts) or unaudited accounts which show the gross income resulting from the business’ activities and that this reached at least £5 million.

Knowledge of Life and Language – settlement

When a migrant applies for settlement then he/she is required to demonstrate knowledge of life and language in the UK before settlement is granted (unless the migrant falls under an exemption).

The migrant can show this by passing both Life in the UK Test and holding an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above (please note: both Academic and General training are acceptable).

Back to Top | Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa ILR Requirements

UK VISA BLOG UK VISA CONTACT
UK VISAS AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES

Related Posts on UK Immigration Blog:

  1. Immigration Judicial Review Success Rate | Tier 1, Visitor Visa
  2. Tier 1 Visa Refusal Rate 2017- Extensions and Settlement Grants
  3. UK Entrepreneur Visa Success Rate
  4. Tier 1 Entrepreneur English Requirement | Appendix B
  5. Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance Funds | Appendix C
  6. Attributes for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Immigration Rules Appendix A