UK Tier 1 visa requirements have changed – what you need to know

Tier 1 is the top-tier points-based visa category and caters for high-net-worth migrants. We look at the changes that came into effect in November and the impact they will have on prospective applicants.


The Tier 1 visa has four active categories: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent). Each of these categories has undergone some changes in 2015.


The genuine entrepreneur test for initial applications allows the Secretary of State to assess any previous investment into a UK business by an applicant. The Secretary must be satisfied that the investment was genuine for a visa to be issued.

The rules on acceptable evidence of funding and investment have been amended. As of 19 November 2015, the restriction on applicants investing in other businesses no longer applies, when the migrant is a director of the business or is self-employed.

Applicants investing with funding from a third party will benefit from the relaxed rules. Funds received from a UK government department or an approved seed fund will no longer need extra legal documentation to validate this agreement.

Graduate Entrepreneur

The letter from the body endorsing the applicant must confirm that the applicant has a genuine and credible business idea. The body also needs to confirm that the majority of the applicant’s time will be spent developing business ventures.


There have been minor changes to the Immigration Rules. When property is used as evidence for balance of funds, it can only be jointly owned with the spouse or partner of applicant.

Investment by way of share or loan capital in investment syndicate companies will not be accepted as evidence of funds for investment.

Exceptional Talent

The criteria used by Tech City UK for endorsing digital technology applicants in the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category have been revised. These aim to better reflect the skills and experience of target applicants who are most likely to add value to the UK digital technology sector.

Do you want to start the next phase of your career in the UK? We’re ready to help you with all your visa needs. Email us to start the process.

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