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    Issues with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa: Why It’s Important to Consult Immigration Lawyers

    Currently, the UK offers a variety of immigration routes, each falling into different categories. These routes include options specifically designed for business owners and investors, as well as those intended to attract talented individuals to the country.

    The Importance of Experienced Entrepreneurs

    The UK values experienced entrepreneurs, and periodically new immigration routes are developed for them. However, the requirements remain strict, aiming to select entrepreneurs capable of meeting these criteria.

    One such category was the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, which closed to new applicants on March 29, 2019. This means you can no longer apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa if you don’t already hold one. The UK government replaced this route with the Innovator and Start-up visas, aimed at those looking to establish a business in the UK.

    Nonetheless, there are still migrants holding this visa who are now seeking permanent residency, often encountering challenges in the process.

    Requirements for Permanent Residency

    To obtain permanent residency under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category, specific requirements must be met, including:


    • You must invest at least £200,000 (or £50,000 if your initial application was based on funds from an approved source) in one or more UK businesses.

    Job Creation:

    • You must create a minimum of two new jobs for employees eligible for permanent residence in the UK.
    • These jobs must be full-time (at least 30 hours per week) and exist for at least 12 months within 5 years.

    Active Entrepreneurial Activity:

    • Your business must be active and operational, with evidence of economic activity such as bank statements, tax returns, and invoices.

    Financial Independence:

    • You must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents without seeking public assistance.

    Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Business and Immigration

    The COVID-19 pandemic created numerous challenges for private businesses worldwide, including in England, causing many Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holders to struggle to meet the requirements for permanent residency.

    A Real-Life Example of Successfully Resolving an Issue

    One of our clients successfully extended her visa during the pandemic despite facing unusual circumstances. She couldn’t meet the job creation requirements during the pandemic. We managed to secure an exemption for her, allowing her to extend her visa. However, after being granted an exemption for job creation during the pandemic, she was required to create four jobs instead of two, complicating the requirements further.

    In her case, after a detailed document analysis, it became clear that meeting all the requirements was unlikely. What to do in such a situation? Would all her efforts and time spent in the country go unrecognised, forcing her to leave? Unfortunately, in such cases, considering alternative immigration routes is essential. Consulting lawyers knowledgeable in immigration law to explore all possible options is crucial at this point.

    Long-Term Residency and Strategic Solutions

    Fortunately, by the time she contacted us, our client was very close to reaching 10 years of residency in the country, which we discovered after a thorough review of her immigration documents and a Subject Access Request to the Home Office.

    However, her visa was set to expire a few months before reaching 10 years of residency. Without action, her long residency could have been interrupted due to the visa expiration. We advised a two-step approach:

    1. First Step: Attempt to apply for permanent residency under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category. Even if unsuccessful, this would allow her to remain in the country legally and reach 10 years of residency.
    2. Second Step: Cancel the first application and submit a permanent residency application based on long-term residency. This approach was successful, and our client obtained her permanent residency.


    This example demonstrates that seemingly hopeless situations can be resolved with the coordinated efforts of experienced immigration lawyers. Preparing visa applications and other immigration documents requires a lot of work. Lawyers can help gather all necessary documents, properly prepare applications, and submit them within established deadlines. In case of problems or the need to attend hearings, lawyers can represent your interests to immigration authorities and courts, ensuring the protection of your rights. The immigration process can be long and stressful, but lawyers provide support at every stage, from initial consultation to the final decision, helping you navigate any difficulties and uncertainties.

    Contact us — we always strive to achieve success for our clients and deliver the best possible results.

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