How do Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) show they have £200,000 available for investment?
If you want to enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), you will need to have £200,000 available to invest into your proposed business. However, having the money available, and showing you have the money available, are two entirely different jacket potatoes.
We’re going to have a look at the Home Office requirements where you have the money in your own personal account - either in the UK or abroad – for the required 90 day period, and the evidence that you need to think about collecting before applying for the visa.
If you are relying on third party funding, or have not held the funds for 90 days, look out for our separate article on that.
Please note: we have done our rip-roaring best to make sure this information is accurate at the time of writing, but it is not legal advice! It you want that, then speak to a lawyer.
I have £200,000 in my own account in the UK
Evidentially, this is the most straightforward way of meeting the requirement.
The key point is that the money must have been held by applicants in their personal accounts for a 90 day periodbefore it becomes ‘available’ for the purposes of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) rules.
The money must also be held in your bank as cold, hard cash (Annex A - 40(a)). Funds tied up in ISAs, stocks and shares, IOUs or postage stamps will not count for the purposes of the entrepreneur capital requirement.
The lower evidential burden for applicants holding UK based capital – rather than funds held abroad – reflects (perhaps unsurprisingly) a greater level of trust on the part of the Home Office with regards to banks operating within the UK.
But you should double-check the institution is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). This is a requirement of the rules: (39(f)(i)). You can have a butcher’s here.
The core evidence applicants need to provide is as follows:
- recent original* personal bank statements
- most recent statement dated no earlier than 31 days before the date of application
- shows that £200,000 available; and that
- the sum has been held for a consecutive 90 day period of time immediately before the date of the statement
*It is possible to provide printouts of electronic statements via online banking platforms. However, if you do this, you will need to get the issuing bank to either
- stamp each one of the pages of the printouts; or
- provide a supporting letter from the institution, on its headed paper, confirming the authenticity of the statements
Going back to the bank statements, it is important that they meet the requirements of the rules. Each statement must be on the institution's official stationery showing the institution's name and logo, and confirm (39(f)(ii))
- the applicant's name
- the account number; and
- the date of the statement.
The cash can be held in several UK accounts and can be combined together so long as the evidence listed above is provided for each account where the funds are held.
If you rely on more than one account to show that you meet the funding requirement, the statements must cover the same dates, otherwise the Home Office worry about double counting funds which are transferred from one account to another.
If all of these criteria are met, the Home Office should agree that the funds are ‘available’.
I have £200,000 in my own account, outside of the UK
Where the capital is held outside of the UK, the evidential hill steepens.
While the money must still have been held for a 90 day consecutive period, we say goodbye to bank statements, and hello to letters from the financial institutions(s) holding the capital.
And of course, any letter from a financial institution for these purposes must meet the requirements of the rules. As a minimum, the letter must
- be issued by an authorised official of that institution,
- confirm the minimum balance available from the applicant's own funds held in that institution on the date of the letter; and
- during a consecutive 90-day period of time ending on the date of the letter
The letter must also be in English or accompanied by a translation. Indeed, this goes for all evidence submitted in visa applications. There are strict rules governing the way translations can be prepared, which means your friend whose English is ‘really good’ can’t do it for you. The translation must:
- confirm it is an accurate translation of the original document
- be dated
- include the full name and original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company
- include the translator or translation company’s contact details
You should not assume (never assume) that the Home Office know that any given individual is an ‘authorised official’ of the bank. The writer of the letter from the institution needs to state it in terms. In addition, the letter must also
- be an original document and not a copy
- be on the organisation's official headed paper
- be dated no earlier than 31 days immediately before the date of application
- state the applicant's name or the name of the applicant’s business
- include the contact details of the person or (where relevant) an official of the organisation issuing the letter
- show the account number
- confirm that the financial institution is 'regulated by the appropriate body' (see below)
- if not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), that the money can be transferred into the UK (‘is freely transferable to the UK and convertible to sterling’)
Funds in a foreign currency will be converted by the Home Office into £GBP using the spot exchange rate which appeared on www.oanda.com on the date of application. If currency fluctuations are a possibility at the time of your application, then it is probably advisable to have more than £200,000 in the account.
‘Regulated by the appropriate body’
First and foremost, you need to make sure your financial institution is not on the Home Office naughty list, also known as Appendix P: no points will be awarded where the money is held in a financial institution with which the Home Office is unable to make satisfactory verification checks.
However, in addition to this, the financial institutions used in the evidence must be regulated by the home regulator, which ‘is an official financial regulatory body, appropriate for the type of financial transaction required, in the country of operation where the transaction is made’ (see the relevant guidance, p.74)
Money held in a financial institution not regulated by the home regulator cannot be accepted for the award of points.
Home Office guidance prompts caseworkers to ‘check if a financial institution is regulated by the home regulator by accessing the appropriate website and/or by contacting the institution directly’ and by checking for information on:
- Companies House list of overseas regulatory institutions under Worldwide registries
- the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) general membership lists
Finally, if the funds are overseas and subject to any applicable financial sanctions regime, the migrant must provide confirmation from HM Treasury that the funds are transferable and disposable in the UK.
This post has covered some the evidential requirements for an applicant who has the necessary capital in their own account, either in the UK or abroad. It is up to date at the time of writing (17 January 2018), and reflects the changes recently made to the immigration rules.
However, there is more guidance available, unhelpfully dispersed across the GOV.UK website, but primarily focussed in two riveting policy documents: the ‘Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) of the Points Based System – Policy Guidance’ and the ‘Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Modernised Guidance – Version 20.0 – Published for Home Office staff on 11 January 2018’.
Although weighing in at a collective 200 pages, you should read these documents thoroughly before making an application.
The evidential requirements which apply in other situations – e.g. where the capital requirement is met by third party funding, or where the money has been held for less than 90 days – will be covered in other posts to maximise our SEO impact and because science tells us that very few people will have read this far.