If you are an entrepreneur with plans to start up a business in the UK, or to move an existing business that you have established in another country to the UK, successfully attaining a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is an essential component in allowing you to achieve this. Similarly, international students who have recently graduated from a UK university and wish to continue living in the UK and to establish a business here will only be able to do so if their application for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is successful.

Whatever the nature of your business, the team of Immigration Solicitors at Wilford Smith can provide critical legal support to ensure that you meet all UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

What is a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is a particular category of visa for individuals from outside the EU who wish to start up or take over a business in the UK, move their business into the UK market, or who plan to invest in the UK by being actively involved in the day-to-day running of a company operating in the UK. Using a points-based system, UKVI have a range of set requirements that applicants must satisfy in order that their visa is granted. Key requirements include:

  • Demonstrating that you have access to personal wealth – this may consist of third-party funding. Alternatively, entrepreneurs may apply if they can show they have access to funds provided by a UK registered venture capital firm, seed funding competition or through a government department.
  • That funds are held in one or more regulated financial institutions with these banks being required to provide letters of confirmation to this effect.
  • That funds are disposable in the UK – they must be kept in such a way that they are accessible for investment as and when needed.
  • An English language requirement – applicants must show that they have a good knowledge of the English language.
  • A maintenance funding requirement – applicants must show that they have sufficient funds to cater for themselves while operating in the UK, over and above other funding requirements.
  • Applicants must show that they have the required skills, knowledge and experience to operate a business in the UK – a business plan should be submitted to demonstrate this, with evidence provided to support your proposals.

What is a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa?

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is open to graduating international students who wish to stay on in the UK to conduct business within the UK market. As is the case with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, UKVI requires applicants to satisfy a range of criteria to prove that both they and their business are credible before their visa will be approved. The requirements for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa include:

  • Applicants must be able to show that they have been a student at a higher education institution in the UK.
  • Applicants must have completed their course of study and have passed and been awarded a degree from their UK university.
  • Applicants are required to show that their business idea is a credible one – they must prove that their business has scope to build and grow in the UK.
  • The applicant's business idea requires to be endorsed as credible by their university – the university itself must be endorsed and recognised by the UKBA as a participating institution in the UK's Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme.

Why choose Wilford Smith?

Our Immigration Solicitors have years of experience working with international commercial clients who wish to live and conduct business in the UK. Our lawyers offer a service that is client-focused, providing legal support and guidance throughout the application process. As well as helping you to complete your application and evidence your credibility as a candidate, our extensive experience of working in the commercial sector makes Wilford Smith the perfect choice for those seeking to apply for an entrepreneur visa. We can provide legal advice on setting up your business and incorporating your business in the UK, as well as drafting corporate documents and renting and purchasing commercial property. Renowned for our strategic approach and attention to details, the solicitors at Wilford Smith can provide exceptional support to ensure your business in the UK will be a success.

Contact our Immigration Lawyers in Sheffield

Wilford Smith's teams of experienced immigration solicitors are based in Sheffield and advise clients throughout England and Wales. Find out more information on our fees here. Contact us today on 0808 164 1349 to find out how we can help.


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  • Rotherham S60 1AP
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


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2024 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.