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Tier 1 Visa

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Tier 1 Visa Overview

On 17 February 2022 during the Ukraine crisis amid concerns about investments by Russian Oligarchs into the UK the Tier 1 Investor visa scheme was scrapped.  This was the last visa under the Tier 1 visa category.  Other visa categories previously under Tier 1 visa have already been renamed.  There are no longer any visa categories under Tier 1 visa.

There have been significant changes in the way in which the UK visa department has named visa categories.  It seems that the word "tier" will increasingly no longer be used. Since 29 March 2019 the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa scheme has been replaced by the UK Innovator visa scheme and since 6 July 2019 the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme has been replaced by the Start-Up visa scheme.

There have been numerous concerns that, due to the requirement of having an endorsing body, it is too difficult to come under the Innovator visa and Start-Up visa schemes.  A tier 1 investor can gain entry based on investment funds of £2 million to invest.  In addition, a small number of people can come under the Global Talent visa category which has replaced the previous Tier 1 exceptional talent visa category.  

Tier 1 Visa categories

  • Tier 1 Investor visa If you have at least £2,000,000 available to invest in active and trading UK registered companies.

  • The UK Innovator visa scheme is for those with access to at least £50,000 to invest in the UK to set up a UK business, with endorsement from an endorsing body.  In practice likely to be more difficult to come under than the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category.

  • The Global Talent visa scheme is for those who are endorsed by a designated body as a leader or emerging leader in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, fashion or the arts.  Like the previous Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa category that it replaced, only a relatively small number of people meet the requirements for the Global Talent visa. 

  • The Start-Up visa scheme replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa category.  Like the Innovator visa may be difficult to come under due to the requirement that you are endorsed by an endorsing body.


Family members (dependants)

You should be able to bring your partner or children with you during your stay, but you must show that you have sufficient funds to provide for them. They will be able to apply under a family visa, please see our UK Family Visas page for more details.

Further information, help, and advice has over thirty years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. work in conjunction with OISC registered advisers who can help with your UK visa application. 

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at


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