Immigration Specialists London

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Requirements 2024: Transitioning from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in 2024 requires a thorough understanding of the post-March 29, 2019, criteria. This guide delves into key requirements such as maintenance funds, English language proficiency, the Genuine Entrepreneur Test, and job creation. Although the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has been replaced by the Innovator Visa as of March 29, 2019, ILR transitions from Tier 1 are still accepted until April 5, 2025, with visa switches possible until July 5, 2027. This resource is designed to navigate you through the complexities of securing ILR under the Tier 1 pathway.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Requirements

1. Transitioning from Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR

Introduction to Transitioning from Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

The journey from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a crucial pathway for entrepreneurs looking to permanently establish their lives in the UK. This guide is dedicated to outlining the process of transitioning from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR, covering all the necessary steps, requirements, and valuable tips to facilitate a successful application. It aims to provide comprehensive insights into the specificities of acquiring ILR status for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa holders.

Eligibility Criteria for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR

  1. Job Creation for ILR:
    • Demonstrate the creation of at least two full-time jobs for settled UK workers.
    • Each job must last 12 months and exist for two years prior to the ILR application.
  2. Financial Investment Criteria:
    • Provide proof of a minimum investment of £200,000 (or £50,000 in specific cases) in cash into UK businesses.
  3. Genuine Entrepreneur Test:
    • Showcase genuine business involvement through evidence such as contracts, invoices, and management decisions.
  4. English Language Proficiency:
    • Demonstrate English language proficiency via an approved test, an English-taught degree, or nationality from a majority English-speaking country.
  5. Life in the UK Test:

By adhering to these criteria, holders of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa can effectively navigate their path to ILR, securing the opportunity to reside and work indefinitely in the UK. This guide serves as a roadmap for the transition from Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain, ensuring a well-informed and structured application process.

2. Requirements for ILR as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant

The table below summarizes the requirements an applicant must meet for indefinite leave to remain under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category as per Paragraph 245DF of the Immigration Rules:

General Grounds for RefusalThe applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal and must not be an illegal entrant.
Points RequirementThe applicant must have a minimum of 75 points under paragraphs 35 to 53 of Appendix A.
Knowledge of English and Life in the UKThe applicant must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, in accordance with Appendix KoLL.
Compliance with Immigration LawsThe applicant must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws, with exceptions as noted in paragraph 39E of these Rules.
Genuine Business RequirementThe applicant must have established, taken over, or become a director of one or more genuine businesses in the UK and genuinely operated and invested in the business or businesses.
Assessment of GenuinenessThe Secretary of State will assess the genuineness of the business on the balance of probabilities, considering various factors including the viability of the business, credibility of financial accounts, and job creation.
Right to Request Additional InformationThe Secretary of State may request additional information to support the assessment and may refuse the application if the information is not provided within 28 calendar days of the request.
Points-Scoring Requirement GenuinenessIf not satisfied with the genuineness of the application related to points-scoring in Appendix A, those points will not be awarded.
Decision on AssessmentThe Secretary of State may forego the assessment if the application falls for refusal on other grounds but reserves the right to conduct this assessment in any reconsideration of the decision.
Compliance with Interview RequestThe applicant must comply with any request to attend an interview, unless a reasonable explanation is provided.
Application DeadlineThe application must be made before 6 July 2027 if the applicant had leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant, or before 6 April 2025, in all other cases.
Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant

Meeting these requirements is essential for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrants to successfully obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

3. Document Checklist for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR

CategoryRequired Documents
Personal Documents– Current and previous passports
– Two recent passport-sized photos
– Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
– Police registration certificate (if applicable)
– Proof of English language proficiency
– Life in the UK test pass certificate
Business Documents– Business registration documents
– Financial investment evidence (bank statements, share certificates)
– HMRC documents (VAT registration, Corporation Tax, NI contributions)
– Company accounts and financial statements
– Evidence of day-to-day business involvement (contracts, invoices)
Job Creation Documents– Employment contracts for each job created
– Payslips and payment records for employees
– HMRC documents for employee tax and NI contributions
Document Checklist for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Transition
  • Start Early: Begin collecting documents well in advance.
  • Authenticity: Ensure all documents are originals or certified copies.
  • Orderly Presentation: Use dividers or tabs for easy document navigation.
  • Translation: Provide certified translations for non-English or non-Welsh documents.
  • Comprehensive Review: Double-check against the checklist to ensure all necessary documents are included.

A carefully organized and complete set of documents is key for a successful transition from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR. This structured approach ensures that all necessary paperwork is presented clearly and correctly, enhancing the likelihood of a smooth and successful application process.

4. Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Application Process

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a holder of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is a detailed process. Here’s a step-by-step guide and additional information on fees and processing times to help streamline your application.

StepAction Required
1. Eligibility VerificationConfirm you meet all criteria: job creation, financial investment, and the Genuine Entrepreneur Test.
2. Language and Life in the UKPrepare and pass the English language requirement and the Life in the UK test.
3. Document PreparationGather all required documents ensuring they are original, certified copies, or translated where necessary.
4. Application FormComplete the SET(O) Form available on the UK government’s website.
5. Submission and PaymentSubmit the form online along with supporting documents and pay the application fee.
6. Biometric InformationAttend a UKVCAS appointment to provide biometric details.
7. Awaiting DecisionExpect a waiting period for the Home Office’s decision, which can take several months.
Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for ILR
  • Application Fee: £2,389 (subject to change – check the latest on the UK government’s website).
  • Processing Time: Typically around 6 months, but can vary based on individual circumstances and application complexity.
  • Early Preparation: Start early to meet all criteria and gather necessary documents.
  • Accuracy: Double-check your application and documents for errors.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly check for updates on ILR requirements and fees.
  • Patience: Be prepared for the waiting period.
  • Professional Advice: Consider consulting an immigration expert for guidance.

By meticulously following these steps and staying informed about the process and requirements, Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa holders can enhance their chances of a successful transition to ILR. Patience and attention to detail are key, and seeking professional advice can provide additional assurance and efficiency in your application journey.

5. Avoiding Common ILR Refusal Reasons

Reason for ILR RefusalStrategy to Avoid Refusal
Insufficient Evidence of Job CreationEnsure clear, detailed documentation of job creation, including employment contracts, payslips, and HMRC records.
Inadequate Proof of InvestmentPrepare and submit organized financial documentation like bank statements, invoices, and receipts to demonstrate your investment in the business.
Failing the Genuine Entrepreneur TestProvide a robust business plan, financial forecasts, and market research. Demonstrate your active involvement in the business’s daily management.
Failing English Language or Life in the UK TestInvest time in preparing for these tests, including taking English language courses and studying the Life in the UK test materials.
Incomplete or Inaccurate ApplicationCarefully review your application for completeness and accuracy. Consider professional assistance for reviewing your application before submission.
Common Reasons for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Refusal and Strategies to Avoid Them

By being aware of these common reasons for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR refusal and implementing the suggested strategies, you can significantly enhance the likelihood of successfully securing your Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

6. Alternative Routes after Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

For Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa holders exploring alternative immigration routes due to ineligibility for ILR or other reasons, several visa categories are available. Below is an overview of these visa categories, comparing their requirements and benefits:

  1. Innovator Visa
    • Requirements:
      • Endorsement from an approved body.
      • £50,000 in investment funds (exceptions for certain visa holders).
    • Benefits:
      • Stay in the UK for up to 3 years, extendable.
      • Eligibility for ILR after 3 years, meeting specific criteria.
  2. Innovator Founder Visa
    • Requirements:
      • Endorsement from an approved body.
      • No minimum investment requirement.
    • Benefits:
      • Stay in the UK for up to 3 years, extendable.
      • Eligibility for ILR after 3 years, meeting specific criteria.
  3. Start-up Visa
    • Requirements:
    • Benefits:
      • Stay in the UK for up to 2 years, with a switch to Innovator Visa possible.
      • No minimum investment requirement.
  4. Global Talent Visa
    • Requirements:
      • Endorsement from a UK recognized body in your field.
      • Evidence of exceptional talent or promise.
    • Benefits:
      • Stay in the UK for up to 5 years, extendable.
      • Eligibility for ILR after 3 or 5 years, based on specific criteria.
  5. Scale-up Visa
    • Requirements:
      • Job offer from a recognized UK scale-up company.
      • Salary of at least £33,000 per year.
      • B1 level English proficiency.
    • Benefits:
      • Stay in the UK for up to 2 years, extendable.
      • Eligibility for ILR after 5 years, meeting specific criteria.
  6. Tier 1 Investor Visa
    • Requirements:
      • Minimum £2 million investment funds.
      • Opening a UK bank account.
    • Benefits:
      • Stay in the UK for up to 3 years and 4 months, extendable.
      • Eligibility for ILR after 2, 3, or 5 years based on investment.

Transitioning from Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to Other Visa Categories

When transitioning from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to another category, it’s important to evaluate each option’s requirements and benefits. This comparison helps in determining the most suitable visa route for your specific circumstances and future aspirations in the UK.

7. FAQs on Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR

  1. Can My Dependents Apply for ILR with Me?

    Yes. Dependents (spouse/partner, children under 18) can apply alongside you, provided they fulfill the necessary requirements including proof of relationship and continuous UK residence.

  2. What is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to ILR Application Processing Time?

    Typically, 6 Months. Most applications are processed within this timeframe. Ensure your application is complete and well-organized to facilitate smoother processing.

  3. What is the impact of Time Spent Outside the UK on ILR Application?

    Possible with Conditions. You’re eligible if absences don’t exceed 180 days in any 12-month period during your qualifying residence. Document and explain any absences in your application.

  4. What If My ILR Application Is Refused?

    Review or reapply. You can request an administrative review for errors or reapply for ILR. Exploring other visa categories is another option to continue your UK stay.

  5. Can I Work in the UK While Waiting for ILR Decision?

    Yes. You can continue working as long as your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is valid.

  6. Are the Life in the UK Test and English Language Requirement Necessary Again for ILR?

    Yes. These requirements for ILR are separate and must be met independently, even if previously completed for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.

  7. What is the Success Rate for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs Achieving ILR?

    Varies Annually. From 2008-2017, there were 819 settlements under Tier 1 Entrepreneur and pre-PBS categories. The number of grants increased steadily from 2012, peaking at 414 in 2017, predominantly among Pakistani, Chinese, and Indian nationals.