How to extend your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa: business activity

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In order for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) to extend their visa in the UK, they need to meet three broad requirements

  • Business activity
  • Job creation
  • Investment

In this post we look at the business activity requirement. We have also put together similar posts on job creation and investment.

Please note that this guide is correct at the time of writing (January 2020). The immigration rules change regularly. If you are reading this and it is not January 2020, then check the current rules.

Business activity

The business activity requirement is probably the most straightforward, and is contained at paragraphs 47-48 of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules.

We concentrate here on the evidence for directors of companies as this is the route that most Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) take. There are separate rules for those who are self-employed.

To satisfy the business activity requirement, company director applicants must provide

  • Companies House documentation confirming listing as a company director within 6 months of grant of leave

  • Companies House documentation dated no earlier than 3 months before the application is submitted showing

    • the address of the registered office in the UK
    • the applicant’s name, as a director or member
    • the date of the applicant’s appointment as a director or member, and
    • that the business is actively trading
  • Evidence from HM Revenue & Customs confirming that the company is registered for corporation tax

  • A business bank statement from a UK account which shows business transactions

  • An overview of the business’s activity, including an explanation of the goods or services it provides to its customers or clients

  • Confirmation of their job title and job description, setting out

    • their role within the company
    • how they are implementing their business plan; and
    • what their main tasks and responsibilities are in running the business on a day-to-day basis.

The rules also make clear that points will only be awarded for an applicant’s business if it is a UK business (39(b)), meaning that (i) it is trading within the UK economy (ii) it has its registered office in the UK (iii) has a UK bank account and (iv) it is subject to UK taxation. These requirements will generally be met if all of the evidence listed above can be supplied.

Points will not be awarded for being the director of a UK business if the applicant is on Companies House’s list of disqualified directors.

Problem areas

We have prepared separate posts on questions we most commonly receive from clients in relation to the business activity requirement

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs): working 9-5? Entrepreneurs must ‘genuinely operate their business’. We look at what this means in terms of time commitment
  • What is a UK ‘bank’? Entrepreneurs must open a UK bank account to meet the business activity requirements. We look at the definition of 'bank' for these purposes

Main image credit: Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash