Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)

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Switch to this visa

If you’re already in the UK you may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:

  • you’re on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • you switched to a Start-up visa from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year

You must meet the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. You must have:

  • £50,000 in funds to spend in the UK
  • a viable business plan

You must apply before your current visa expires.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 3 years if your application to switch is successful.


It costs £1,277 to switch to this visa.

You’ll also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll pay as part of your application.

How to apply to switch your visa

You should read the full guidance on the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa before you apply.

You must apply online.

Providing biometric information and supporting documents

When you apply, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).

You’ll also need to submit your supporting documents. You can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

Get help to apply online

You can get help with completing the online form if you:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

You can only use this service if you’re applying to switch to this visa in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

How long it takes

A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer. This could be because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Switching to this visa if you’re outside the UK

You can apply to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if you have:

  • a valid Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • a valid Start-up visa, and you switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year
  • a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa that expired less than 12 months ago
  • a Start-up visa that expired less than 12 months ago, and you switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year