Businesses large and small are the backbone of our economies, and enterprise is the engine of our prosperity. That is why Britain is – and will always be – open for business: open to investment in our companies, infrastructure, universities and entrepreneurs. – Theresa May, Davos, January 2017

how we help investors header image


This route is suitable if you want to set up a new business, or invest in an existing business, in the UK.

The basic requirements for the initial three-year visa are:

  • You have £200,000 available to invest in the UK (or £100,000 if you join with another individual who is also able to invest £100,000)

  • You can show a maintenance funds balance of £900 (or £3,100 if outside UK) for 90 days prior to application

  • You have the required English language capability. You should be a national of a majority English-speaking country, or the holder of an accepted English language degree or accredited English language qualification

To secure the two-year extension visa, you will need evidence to show that:


You were appointed as a Director of a UK company within six months


You have invested £200,000 in UK business(es) via equity or unsecured loan


Your investment has resulted in the creation of the equivalent of two full time jobs for 12 months

Following the five-year period, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You will need to show that:

  • You met the residency requirement – this means you must have spent at least 185 days per year in the UK

If you have created 10 jobs or a total turnover of £5m then you can accelerate your route to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Graduates with a UK Post-Study Work Visa

The Post-Study Work visa was abolished in April 2014. However, (if you already hold one of these visas) you can switch into the Entrepreneur Visa programme scheme by investing £50,000 (instead of £200,000) providing that your business is already established. Invest UK is able to assist you with this process. Please see page 8 of our guide for details.

Further options

Additional Tier 1 Entrepreneur routes are available for Graduate Entrepreneurs, Prospective Entrepreneurs and for those who raise investment via a Venture Capital fund, Seed Funding Competition or UK Government Department.

For further information on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa please visit the UKBA website