Entrepreneur Rules for Business Visas

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Rules

On 31 January 2013 the Immigration Rules changed to tackle abuse on this route, while leaving genuine entrepreneurs unaffected.  These changes will apply to all applications decided from 31 January 2013; including those who applied earlier than this date and whose applications have yet to be decided.

The changes are:

  • Where UKBA has concerns, they may ask you to demonstrate that the funds you have used to apply remain available to you beyond the date of your application. The full amount of this money – must continue to be available to you after your application is made, until it is invested in your business in the UK.
  • ‘Available to you’ means that the funds must be:
    • in your own possession, or
    • in the financial accounts of a UK incorporated business of which you are the director, or
    • available from the third party or parties named in your application (if applicable);
  • If you are applying on or after 31 January, the declaration from your third party fundsdonor must confirm that the funds will remain available to you until they are transferredto you or to your business.
  • Where there are concerns about whether you are genuinely intending to pursue a business in the UK, UKBA reserves the right to ask for more information and may ask you to attend an interview.
  • If you already have leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) UKBA may curtail your leave if thefunds you have used to apply cease to be available to you (unless you have spent them in the establishment or running of your business or businesses).
  • ‘Spent’ excludes: spending on your own remuneration.

Renouncing British Nationality

If you applied to give up (renounce) your British nationality between 2 April 2007 and 5 April 2010 you could be eligible for a refund. In December 2012 UKBA wrote to applicants asking them to complete the form included with a letter so that the UKBA could check if they qualified for a refund. If you have received a letter, please complete the form and send it to the address below as soon as possible.

UK Border Agency
Resources and organisation directorate
Dept 141, Walk number 0141
Floor 0, (Red Zone) The Capital
New Hall Place, Liverpool
L3 9PP


If you receive an unexpected email, telephone call or letter from someone who claims to be from the UK Border Agency, it may be a scam. UKBA will never contact you to ask for money or your personal details.

This is an update on the UKBA website, after reports of deceiving calls from UKBA asking for bank account details or offer a visa for the UK, or state that there is a problem with your application or visa. They will try to make themselves seem very genuine. They may use language that sounds official and may already seem to know something about you, such as your name and address, or that you have applied for a visa. Then they ask you for money or for your personal information.

They are trying to reach by:

  • telephoning people in the UK and other countries;
  • using websites to offer fake services; and
  • using email addresses that look official but are not.

How to identify a scam:

According to UKBA there are:

  • Websites that offer jobs in the UK that do not exist. If you apply for one, they tell you that you have the job and ask you to pay visa and work permit fees. That is not how our visa system works, and there are no shortcuts to a job in the UK.
  • People pretending to be a UKBA officer and making house visitsasking for money to process his partner’s visa. UKBA will never visit you at home to collect money.
  • Calls from people who claim they work for the UKBA and tell you there is a serious problem with your visa; they often target students. They appear to be genuine and convincing, and may give a false name and return phone number. They tell you to send money as soon as possible to prevent some kind of action, such as deportation or cancellation of your visa.
  • They may call and ask you to pay a deposit as proof that you have enough funds to support you in the UK until you receive your first salary. UKBA will never ask for money.
  • Agents who tell you they can get you a visa using forged documents. UKBA has an advanced method of identifying forgeries and will refuse your application if you use them.
  • Agents who say they can speed up the process of getting a visa. They cannot.
  • People outside the UK who pretend to be one of our visa officers and offer to meet you somewhere. Legitimate visa officers will only meet you at their offices and will never contact you to ask for money.
  • Fake websites designed to look like official ones for the UK government or its official visa enquiry services. Always get your visa information from http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/website.

These scams have been reported by UKBA to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre.


Our Other Immigration Services:

  • UK Employment Visas    read more