What are the special rules on entry for work and business for self employed creatives or investors?

What do the immigration rules deal with in terms of entry for business?

The relevant part of the immigration rules to look at here is part 6. This outlines the rules on leave to enter or leave to remain for people seeking to set up a business. Also in part 6 you find provision to enter the UK as an investor. No specific type of business is specified at any time in the immigration rules. Similarly, according to paragraph 200 of part 6, a business may refer to any of: a sole trader, partnership or company.

The business may be a new business or an existing one but the applicant must have at least £200, 000 of their own money to invest. The money must be new money (i.e. not already invested in the business), held in an account in the applicant’s name and not tied up otherwise e.g. in a house. Basically, they should show that the money is fresh and readily available should the application be successful. The applicant must also demonstrate that the business needs this much investment. It is less important to show that the business will be profitable and that there is a gap in the UK market for such a business. According to paragraph 201 of part 6, the applicant must also show that two new jobs will be created as a result of either a start up of a new business or new investment in an existing one. This demonstrates the economic benefit to this country of this migrant being permitted to enter or remain here.

General visitors are not permitted to switch into a business category but a certain range of highly skilled migrants may be permitted, if they meet the requirements. However, the rules strive to ensure that no disguised applications for employment are successful on a business application using false information. The applicant must show that they are financially self sufficient and this category must not be used by a business for an employee (as opposed to a partner) as this would be classed as subverting the existing work permit system.

What are the immigration rules for writers, composers and artists?

The rules for writers, composers and artists are not nearly as extensive as they are for those wishing to enter to start or join a business. There are no detailed requirements for a minimum amount of investment or creation of new jobs, for instance.

The individual must be established in their work, firstly. This means that they have had their work published, exhibited or performed. It also means that they must be able to support themselves (and any dependents on the application) from this ‘self employment’ alone.

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For more information on:

  • In creative careers, who may apply under the immigration rules and who should apply for a work permit?
  • What are the immigration rules for investors?