Switch to this visa

You may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Tier 2
  • a visitor who has been carrying out permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur

You can also switch from one of the following categories if you have specific types of funding:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 4

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.

You must meet the extension criteria, not the switching criteria, if you have had leave in this category in the 12 months before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay a maximum of 3 years after switching to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

How to apply to switch your visa

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

Download the form and apply by post - the address is on the form.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

Biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20.

You can give your biometric information at certain Post Office branches.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

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.