Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Setting up a business in the UK

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) allows those who wish to set up a business in the UK to do so.  There is a required investment amount of £200,000 in order to qualify for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Under Tier 1, applicants must accrue the necessary points to qualify for immigration to the UK. There are a number of areas where points can be gained (under ‘Attributes’ and ‘Controls’).


To qualify for Tier 1 you must gain sufficient points under the ‘attributes’ section.

There are three areas where points must be gained for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) initial application; applicants must gain the points in all three areas:

Access to £200,000 (25 points):

This amount can be money held by the applicant or can include money made available by one or more other persons.  It must be held for 90 days.

Regulated Financial Institution (25 points):

The money must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions, regulated by the official financial regulatory body in the country where the institution operates and the money is located.

Disposable in the UK (25 points):

The money must be freely transferable to the UK and able to be converted into pounds sterling.


To qualify for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) you must get 10 points for each of the controls (20 points in total).

English (10 points):

As English is the most widely spoken language in the UK you must demonstrate sufficient competence in the language to gain the 10 points. You can do this by:

  • being a national of a majority English-speaking country, or
  • passing a specified English language test (see the Tier 1: Entrepreneur Policy Guidance for tests which qualify), or
  • holding a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or above, and which has been verified by an organisation called UK NARIC as both equivalent to a UK degree in academic level and taught in English.

Maintenance (10 points):

You must demonstrate your ability to support yourself in the UK until you have income. To do this you must show that you have a certain amount of money (see the Policy Guidance for Tier 1 Entrepreneur for the current amounts for applying from outwith or within the UK). You must have held this amount for 90 days prior to applying, and not have dipped below that amount at any time during the 90 days.  This money is in addition to the £200,000 to be invested.


The documentary evidence of your points must meet specific requirements. These are laid out in the Policy Guidance for the relevant type of Tier 1 visa.

The immigration officers assessing the applications do not have authority to exercise discretion – if the documentary evidence is not exactly as specified in the Policy Guidance the immigration application can be refused, with no refund!

Tier 1 is difficult to get right on your own. Many people apply multiple times before getting it right. Why not use Nikki de Prey’s expertise and inside knowledge, and get it right first time?  She’d love to work with you!

Other types of Tier 1 immigration application:

About Nikki de Prey

de Prey Consulting is an immigration consultancy based in Edinburgh, UK. Nikki advises clients on the variety of visa applications for entering or remaining in the UK. For more information read about her background in About dPC.