Q) How long will it take for me to be granted a visa?
A) Assuming you meet all the criteria (including preparation of your business plan) we usually expect it to take 28 days from application submission to the Home Office.
Q) Are there any additional fees that need to be paid to the UK Government or other institutions?
A) Yes, there are fees that are needed depending on your specific situation, such as application fees and a National Healthcare Surcharge (NHS). Currently, Government visa application fees are £963 for each person applying and £600 NHS surcharge for each person applying.
Q) What proof do I need for the English Language Test?
A) Unless you have an advanced degree from a university in an English speaking country, you will have had to complete the ISE 1 test that can be taken at Trinity College London (TCL), either in the UK or in China4. We can assist to make arrangements.
More information about TCL in China is available here: https://www.trinitycollege.com/
Q) Will a Mandarin speaker be available to help?
A) Yes, we have native speaking staff that will be able to assist you in China and London.
Q) How do I provide evidence of funds?
A) There are a number of ways to prove evidence of funds, listed below. These documents will need to be translated into English before the application is submitted:
- An official letter from each financial institution holding the funds.
- For money held in the UK only, a recent personal bank or building society statement which confirms the amount of money available to you or your entrepreneurial team.
- For money provided by a venture capital firm of seed funding company a letter from an accountant confirming the amount of money made available to you or your business.
- For money provided by a UK Government department, a recent letter from an accountant or authorized official confirming the amount of money made available to you or your business.
- Funds provided by a third party, following evidence of a third party contributing funds towards your application or if you held the money for less than 90 days. Confirm that they have made money available to you. You will also need a letter from a legal representative (Independent from those providing funds) confirming the signatures on the declaration are valid.
Q) How do I show I can support myself in the UK?
A) You must prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK by demonstrating that you have more than £3,310 in your bank account. You must display that you have had this money for more than 90 days
Q) When does the money need to be moved to the UK?
A) When you make your application you have to demonstrate that the entire amount is available to be transferred to the UK but the actual investment of these funds in to the company can be carried out over your first 3 years in the UK.
Q) How long can I stay in the UK?
A) You can go to the UK with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months. You can APPLY TO EXTEND this visa for another 2 years if you are already in this category, and 3 years if you are SWITCHING to it from another category. You may then apply for settlement (Known as ‘indefinite leave to remain) once you have been in the UK for 5 years.
Q) How much time to I need to be in the UK to comply with visa rules?
A) You will need to be resident in the UK for 185 day each year. Family members are not required to meet these specific day requirements but must be able to prove residence in the UK.
Q) Is there a way to settle in the UK before five years?
A) Yes there are a number of ways you can speed up this process. If your business has turned over £5m you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 3 years. You can also be fast tracked if you employ 10 or more staff within three years.
Q) Do I have to prove I do not have tuberculosis?
A) Yes, you will need to provide a copy of your Tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country that requires a test.
Q) Can I start or work in any other businesses as part of my visa in the UK?
A) No, as an entrepreneur you will be required to focus your attentions on the success of your business.
Q) Can I apply for a visa as part of a team?
A) Yes, there is a possibility of applying as a joint Entrepreneur with another applicant and sharing the financial investment of £200,000 requirements 50/50. However, both applicants must invest in the same business or businesses