Legal Guides

We use plain and simple English to give you an overview of the most common areas of law.

UK business immigration visas – which one do I need?

Many people from across the globe are looking to make the move to the UK to start a new business or to invest in an existing one. 

Before doing so, there are, understandably, certain requirements that must be met:

  • The individual must have at least £200,000 funded by themselves or a third party, eg a family member or investors,
  • They must have at least £50,000 from a regulated venture capital firm or an entrepreneurial seed funding competition in the UK.

Any funds that have previously been invested into the UK over the last 12 months count towards the funds, whilst an entrepreneur team consisting of two members can also qualify (with both members able to apply based on their access to the same funds).

You will also need the correct visa to ensure entry into the UK, but with so many different visa options available, it can be confusing as to which visa is the correct one.

The options available for business visas in the UK include:


Securing a UK Business Visa

When looking to secure your UK business visa, you must be able to prove that you can provide for yourself with additional money other than the funds you already have set aside for investing. As well as this, for those applying from countries that don’t speak English as their main language or people that don’t have a degree taught in English, the passing of an English language test is required.

It is common for visas to be granted for an initial three years, with an additional two years often an extension option, as long as a certain amount of funds have been invested by the individual, as well as having created at least two full-time jobs for people in the UK.

After a period of five years, the individual can then obtain settlement, with British citizenship following just a year later.

Author: Fletcher Day

DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances, and is merely a general comment on the relevant topic. If specific advice is required in connection with any of the matters covered in this article, please speak to Fletcher Day directly.

Published on 26th June 2018
(Last updated 7th May 2021)