The Types of UK Visa Available

The UK has a long history of encouraging international collaboration in its continual drive to develop and expand its economy, and remains welcoming of entrepreneurs looking to migrate to the UK to start a business.

In 2011, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) outlined plans for a 5-year investment and growth strategy, in a concerted effort to both ‘develop and encourage international investment’ in the nation’s economy. This effort shows no sign of slowing, with Theresa May reiterating in January 2017 that, half a year on from the country’s decision to leave the European Union, the UK remains ‘open for business’.

If anything, the decision to pursue Brexit, has further reinforced the country’s need to remain globally accessible to those seeking to come to the UK to run and invest in businesses. While the UK government is keen to encourage you to do so, you’ll need a relevant visa in order to make the most of these opportunities.

So, what is a visa and why do you need one?

A visa is a formal endorsement from a country that allows an individual to enter and temporarily remain within, or leave, the country. Visas are awarded with particular conditions, including the duration of your visit, where you are allowed to go within a country, the dates you may enter and leave, your number of permitted visits as well as any right you may have to work in the country.

Visitors must abide by these regulations – failure to do so can result in deportation and potential barring from future entry.

For those seeking to move to the UK to set up their own business, there are two visa options available – the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, and the Tier 1 Investor Visa. The differences between these two options may initially appear obvious, but it is important to understand the large and the subtle differences between the two, and which would be most suited to your circumstances.

There are a number of conditions to satisfy and boxes to ‘tick’ – once you settle on the kind of application you’re going to make, getting your application right can prove crucial in getting your application accepted. Engaging an immigration specialist for assistance with your application would be a sensible move.

We will be explaining the difference between the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Investor visas in our coming blog posts. In the meantime, further information on visa types and the application process is available on the UK Government website.