04 Dec The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension period under COVID-19 pandemic
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur (Ent) visa category was abolished in March 2019. However, migrants can still apply for an extension and settlement if their initial Tier 1 (Ent) LTE/LTR were granted prior to 29 March 2019.
Please note that extension applications for Tier 1 (Ent) migrants will remain open until 5 April 2023, and settlement applications until 5 April 2025.
In addition, it will be possible to continue switching from the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme until 5 July 2021. Tier 1 (Ent) extension applications will remain open for these individuals until 5 July 2025, and settlement applications until 5 July 2027.
Migrants who hold leave as a Tier 1 (Ent) and have had their businesses disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, will no longer need to employ at least 2 full-time settled workers for 12 months in order to qualify for an extension. The 12-month period employment requirement can be made up of multiple jobs across different months, but must be the equivalent to 2 full time jobs when combined.
The latest Tier 1 (Ent) guidance states that ‘Time when their employees were furloughed under the UK Government scheme will COUNT towards the 12-month period if they have been paid at least 80% of their normal salary’.
Applicants who have not been able to employ staff for 12 months by the time their visa expires, will be allowed to extend their stay for a further 2 years if:
- They can show they have created at least 2 jobs for settled workers at the point of making the application; and
- They have been unable to meet the normal requirement due to the impact of the pandemic.
If the applicant has already been granted a Tier 1 (Ent) extension and is applying for a further extension, they can score points for job creation in either of the following ways:
- If the jobs created in their initial grant of leave were maintained for at least a further 12 months during their most recent extension;
- If the jobs from the previous leave no longer exist, they must show they have created 2 new jobs which have existed for at least 12 months during their most recent extension.
Please note that if the applicant is applying for a second extension or a 5-year settlement application under the Tier 1 (Ent) scheme, they can only score points for employment activity from their most recent extension period of leave, except if the most recent extension was granted less than 12 months ago.
For more detailed information, please refer to the official guidance below:
Contact Our Immigration Team
For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 1 (Ent) visa extension and settlement application, please contact our team on 0203 384 3075.