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Tier 1 strives at ‘high-value migrants’ such as investors and entrepreneurs who have funds unrestricted to set up or invest in a company in the UK, graduates with an approved company plan and those considered to have special talent within their domain of expertise. As such, the visas which make up the Tier 1 immigration route offer a rather profitable duration and eligibility provisions for visa holders.

What Are The Diverse Visas Under The Tier 1 Visa Scheme?

Within the tier 1 visa scheme, there are four separate classifications:

We take a short look at the eligibility and application standards for each of the Tier 1 visas for investors and entrepreneurs.

Tier 1 Visa For Investors

This tier 1 visa is for investors and the eligibility standards for applications are as tails:

  • You have £2,000,000 or more that you wish to fund within the UK, which is kept in one or more regulated financial organisations and is available to spend willingly in the UK on-trade.
  • The £2 million acquisition is the price paid by you preferably than the demand deal.
  • You must show the source of reserves if £2 million has been kept for less than 2 years (previously 90 days).
  • You’re established outside the EEA and Switzerland
  • You’re over 18 years old
  • You have obtained a UK bank account
  • You have evidence that the budgets belong to you, your spouse or your partner
  • You consider meeting a minimum points score of 75

How to apply 

When you apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, you will need to be competent to supply the subsequent proof to sustain your application:

  • A recent and accurate passport that has one page that is blank on both sides or a travel label record
  • Evidence of your unrestricted investment budgets, where it’s being kept, where it came from (if you haven’t had it for 3 months at least) and that it can be repositioned into sterling
  • Outcomes from a negative tuberculosis test if appropriate
  • A criminal history certificate if you have resided in any country for 12 months or more over a 10-year time span
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Under a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, the maximum allowed stay is 3 years and 4 months, at which point you would be needed to apply to expand your visa for a further 2 years in order to stay in the UK legally.

Tier 1 Visa For Entrepreneurs

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is now closed to new applicants. Individuals looking to set up a company in the UK should look at the new Innovator route.

People already in the UK under the Entrepreneur visa have until 5th April 2023 to apply to extend their visa, and until 5th April 2025 to apply for UK compensation under this route.

Start-Up Visa

The new Start-Up visa is for people wanting to set up their first company in the UK. It replaces the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, which is now shut to new applications. The Startup visa is open to graduates and non-graduates who can indicate a high possibility, and there is no need to show investment accounts as part of your application.

How to apply 

The application procedure for the Startup visa is in two parts. First, you will need to apply to be endorsed by a government-accepted endorsing body. The application process and precise measures can alter between bodies, but in general, you’ll need to evidence via a business plan and production pitch that your company idea is feasible, creative and extensible, that you have not yet launched a company in the UK unless you are applying to swap from the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) classification. If you reserve an endorsement, you have three months to make your visa application to the Home Office.

Innovator route 

The innovator route was presented in 2019 for participating enterprise people with a viable UK company idea.

Substituting the prior Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, the UK innovator route needs a lower capital asset than its predecessor (£50,000), but endorsement must be confirmed by applicants from an approved entity before the Home Office visa application can be made.

How to apply 

The first step is to make your endorsement application to a suitable endorsing body. Your company will be evaluated against measures consisting of creation, activity and extensibility, and you will also need to show will be dedicated to the company and your time in the UK under the visa will be spent entirely on the growth of this industry. If endorsed, you can then make your visa application.

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Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa 

This tier 1 visa is for exceptional talent and the eligibility standards for applications are as follows:

  • You work in the domains of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, fashion or the arts
  • You are approved by the Home Office as a prominent leader or an arising leader in your respective domain
  • You’re established outside of the EEA and Switzerland
  • You fulfil a minimum points score of 75

How to apply

Before making an application to the Home Office, you must first reserve an endorsement from the relevant industry body to confirm your status as an ‘exceptional talent’ in one of the subsequent specified fields:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Societies
  • Medicine
  • Digital Technology
  • The Arts
  • Fashion

This is done through an online application form.

If you are successfully endorsed, you can proceed to the next stage, applying to the Home Office for your visa. When you apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa, you will need to be able to provide the following evidence to support your application:

  • A recent and accurate passport that has one page that is blank on both sides or a travel label record
  • An acceptance letter from the Home Office
  • You must be able to supply proof of your skills, abilities and achievements within your distinct domain
  • Evidence that you have completed the required English language norm
  • Outcomes from a negative tuberculosis test if relevant

You will be needed to pay a cost for both stages in the application procedure. You can only apply for 3 months before you travel. The max that you can stay within the UK is 5 years and 4 months if you make your application outside the UK or 5 years if you make your application inside the UK. You can then apply for a lengthening of up to 5 years.

Do You Require Aid With a Tier 1 Visa Application?

Before making a UK visa application, take experienced legal guidance to ensure you have selected the most appropriate route, and for guidance on how to meet Home Office requirements and make a successful application.


Overall, it can be quite overwhelming to choose which visa you want to apply for, and which one does suit you best. Hopefully, this guide will help you to choose which one to choose from. B&F Services can provide you with all the information that you would need for each visa.

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