Contractors' Questions: Can I go 'Ltd' on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Contractor’s Question: I have applied for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. With this visa, I am not permitted to get a job in the UK directly, but I think I can be employed as a contractor through my own limited company – is this right? If so, can I apply for the jobs listed on ContractorUK?

Expert’s Answer: Yes, you are correct in saying that as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa migrant, you cannot obtain employment directly in the UK, other than working for the business or businesses that you have established, joined or taken over.

You will comply with this restriction if, for example, you are employed as the director of the business in which you have invested. You are not allowed to yourself work directly for clients. Your company would need to be engaged by the client and your services would be supplied through your company.

You may therefore use your initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa to set up your own company and be employed as a contractor. You may also enter into contracts through your UK business with the companies listed on the ContractorUK page you linked to.  

Just as a general overview, when applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you must ensure that at the time of your application you have £200,000 cash available and disposable in the UK. In addition, you must also have a proper business plan in order to meet UK Visas and Immigration’s “Genuine Entrepreneur Test”.

If you decide to stay in the UK and extend your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa past the initial three years, then at the point of application, you must be able to demonstrate that you have employed at least two full-time staff members and that you have spent the £200,000 in accordance with the rules. These points would need to be covered in your business plan since part of the purpose of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is to create jobs in the UK.

The expert was Amy Sarraff, solicitor at Redfern Legal LLP.

Monday 28th July 2014