Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

4. Access to £50,000 investment funds

You can apply if you have access to £50,000 in investment funds from one or more of the following:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business
  • a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

You can also apply if you’ve already invested £50,000 in a UK business. You must have invested the funds less than 12 months before you apply.

The funding rules are different if you’re changing (switching) from another visa, or if you’ve already had a UK visa.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

You can apply if you have a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa and want to change (switch) your visa.

Your funding can come from any source.

You can rely on investments from up to 24 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (Post-study worker)

You can apply if you have a Tier 1 (Post-study worker) visa and want to change (switch) your visa.

You can apply with funding from:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by DIT
  • a UK government department funding the setting up or expansion of a UK business

You can also apply using your own funds or money from a venture capital firm if you have been either:

  • involved in running one or more UK businesses since before 11 July 2014
  • working in a job on the list of occupations at the regulated qualifications framework (RQF) level 4 or above since before 11 July 2014

You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Apply as a former Tier 1 (General)

You can apply if you have a Tier 1 (General) visa and want to change (switch) your visa.

You can apply with funding from:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by DIT
  • a UK government department funding the setting up or expansion of a UK business

You can also apply using money from a venture capital firm if you have been either:

  • involved in running one or more UK businesses since before 6 April 2015
  • working in a job on the list of occupations at the RQF level 4 or above since before 6 April 2015

You can’t apply using money from any other source, including your own money.

You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

Apply as a former student

You may be able to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you’re already in the UK and you’re a Tier 4 visa holder.

You can apply with funding from:

  • a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by DIT
  • a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business

Your investment funds can’t include:

  • your own money
  • money from any other third parties
  • money from a UK venture capital firm

The funds must be held in the UK if you’re applying for leave to remain.

You can rely on investments from up to 12 months before your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

If you have financial sponsorship

If your course fees and living costs have been paid for by a government or international scholarship agency, you must get written consent from them to re-enter or remain in the UK without any conditions.