Individuals interested in entering the United Kingdom with the intention of setting up a UK business may apply for a visa under the Prospective Entrepreneur category. This may include prospective entrepreneurs who are yet to secure funding for their new business, and entrepreneurs currently under consideration for funding by a recognised British financial body or a government department. There are also cases where formal discussions and agreements reached with venture capitalists or financial institutions in the UK can open the door to a Prospective Entrepreneur visa eligibility.
In order to apply for a visa under the Prospective Entrepreneur pathway, legislation states that the applicant must:
- Have the genuine intention to enter the United Kingdom for entrepreneurial purposes for a maximum period of six months.
- Be able to provide supporting documentation from the UK government department or recognised financial institution supporting their application.
- Demonstrate their intention to exit the UK prior to the expiration of their visa, or switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa to extend their stay.
- Have sufficient finances to accommodate and maintain themselves for the duration of their stay in the UK.
- Actively pursue funding for their entrepreneurial project while residing in the UK.
Forbidden Activities for Prospective Entrepreneurs
There are also several activities and undertakings the prospective entrepreneur must not participate in during their stay, which include:
- Attempt to secure employment in the United Kingdom
- Intend to provide services or produce goods in the UK
- Enrol on a course with a UK educational provider
- Apply for an entrepreneur visa before reaching 18 years of age
- Enter into a civil partnership or marriage
- Access free public healthcare on the NHS
- Be in transit to a country outside the common travel area
Length of Stay
Most prospective entrepreneur visas are granted for a maximum stay of six months.
Applications submitted on the basis of interest from venture capitalists should be made from outside the UK, while ensuring that the venture capitalists are fully FCA-regulated. Please note that successful applicants are unable to apply with dependants and have no recourse to public funds. There is no requirement to meet the minimum English language level to qualify for a Prospective Entrepreneur visa. However, applicants must pass a recognised English language test if they choose to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa to extend their stay.
This can be done without exiting the United Kingdom, though there is no allowance for individuals residing in the UK on other visa categories to switch to a Prospective Entrepreneur visa.
Prospective Entrepreneur Visa Lawyers in Luton
If you have a viable business plan and require legal support to set up your business in the United Kingdom, we can help. Aristone Solicitors specialises in bespoke business immigration services for existing and prospective entrepreneurs alike. We’ll ensure your application is backed by all the supportive documentation deeded to ensure a prompt and positive outcome.
Whether planning ahead or already in the process of applying for a prospective entrepreneur visa, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Contact one of our UK business immigration experts today to book your obligation-free consultation.