Skip to main content

£50,000 investment for Post-Study Work (PSW) visa holders – 15/03/13

The final group of Post-Study Work (PSW) visa holders will have their visas expiring some time next year in 2014. Due to the difficult economic climate, many have been unable to find an employer who is willing to sponsor them under the Tier 2 General visa. Therefore, this £50,000 entrepreneur investment is an option for them to consider if they wish to remain in the UK long-term. Having actually done both this £50k PSW visa as well as the standard £200,000 Entrepreneur visa for a variety of businesses, we can analyse and inform you what the UKBA are looking for to grant the visa. All our clients wish to ensure they are able to obtain the Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years and so we will describe what should be done once the £50k visa is obtained. Stricter immigration rules that were enforced from 31 January 2013 will also be analysed. In making our analysis, we hope that applicants can succeed in their visa for both their benefit, and to the benefit of the UK economy by creating more jobs.

Background to the £50,000 PSW visa

This PSW £50,000 investment category was created on 6 April 2012 for those who are holding a PSW visa. This is not like the other £50,000 investment programs where a world class project is required and the UK Border Agency only gives 1,000 visas a year. This new PSW Entrepreneur Visa does not have a quota at all. This visa is similar to the £200,000 Entrepreneurship visa, in that the visa will first be granted for 3 years, followed by 2 years upon extension. Then after 5 years, the applicant can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, the difference is that more documents are required in order to obtain the £50,000 PSW visa in the first place and therefore early preparation is crucial.


The main requirements to obtain the £50k PSW visa is:

  • The applicant is currently holding a PSW visa.
  • He has £50,000 available in funds. He can use the monies of a third party, such as a family or friend but a lawyer’s declaration is required to confirm the validity of the third party’s declaration. A maximum of 2 people can apply as business partners to invest a total of £50,000, but both must be PSW holders. For example, both people are PSW holders and they just need to have £25,000 each.
  • He must still be registered as self-employed or as a company director with evidence dated within the last 3 months before his application. A lot of people ask us if this means that they must only register within the last 3 months and the answer is no. He can be registered before 3 months of the application, but he must show evidence that he is still registered as self-employed or a director within 3 months of the application.
  • He must be engaged in business activity equivalent to at least NVQ Level 4 as stated in the Codes of Practice under the Tier 2 General visa.
  • He has held £900 everyday for a 3 month period before the application.

Being engaged in business activity

The criteria of ‘being engaged in business activity’ requires more explanation. The applicant can be engaged in business activity as a self-employed or an employed person. There is no salary requirement but the title of his work is what is important. For example, if the business is a taxi firm, the main occupation is driving a taxi and this will not qualify for the visa because this is not on the job list for Tier 2 General visas.

However, if for example, the applicant opens a bubble-tea business and makes himself a “Manager, then this title can satisfy the Immigration Rules. This job can satisfy the NVQ Level 4 requirement if his main job role was:

  • to determine staffing, financial, material and other short and long term requirements;
  • ensures that adequate reserves of stock are held and that stock keeping is carried out efficiently;
  • authorises payment for supplies received and decides on sale prices; and
  • examines quality of products and ensures that effective use is made of advertising and display facilities.

We are working with various bubble-tea businesses throughout the UK including their franchises for the £50k PSW visa (e.g. BoboQ Bubble Tea & Coffee). If this is something that is of interest to you, please contact us.

In addition to the job occupation requirement, the applicant needs to provide one or more of the following:

(i)     Advertising or marketing material that has been published locally or nationally, showing his name (and the name of the business if applicable) together with the business activity.

(ii)   Article in a newspaper or other publication showing his name (and the name of the business if applicable) together with the business activity.

(iii)  Information from trade fairs that he has had a stand or given a presentation to market his business.

(iv) Personal registration with a trade body linked to his occupation.

For example, we have assisted clients in advertising their business in the local newspapers and online. We submitted the newspaper itself as well as the webpage printout as the evidence.

A contract is also required which must show:

  • The applicant’s name and the name of the business;
  • The service provided by the applicant’s business; and
  • The name of other party involved in the contract and their contact details.

For example, we have drafted contracts for applicants in the industry that they wish to invest in, such as property development, television production and bubble-tea cafés.

£900 requirement


The maintenance is now £900 which used to be £800. This sum of £900 must be held in your own name for 3 consecutive months before the application.

Genuine investment


The UKBA became suspicious about students misusing the £200,000 funding to obtain the entrepreneur visa and have implemented new rules from 31 January 2013. There is a new requirement that the applicant “genuinely intends to invest the money”. In order to prove this, the following is suggested:

  • A business plan is submitted.
  • The job title (e.g. Manager) is linked to his education (e.g. Business Studies) or his previous experience. A CV can be submitted to help the UKBA.

What to do once you obtain the visa


With the new law, UKBA have the power to cancel an applicant’s visa if they discover that the £50k is no longer ‘available to him’. For example, this could occur if they discover the monies have been used for another application for someone else.

In order to help ensure that the visa can be extended after 3 years and to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain thereafter, the following should be done:

  • Continue to be registered as a director or self-employed.
  • Hire an accountant from the start.
  • The applicant is still engaged in business.
  • The applicant recruits 2 full-time workers (30 hours per week) from at least the start of the 3rd year.
  • Do not work for other businesses.
  • Do not use public funds.

The requirement to register as a director or self-employed within 6 months of the visa grant applies to the £200k entrepreneur visa only as the applicant for the £50k PSW visa will have of course done this before their application.

The £50k PSW visa application is more difficult than the £200k entrepreneur visa because of the additional documents required. Professional legal advice should be sought before making the application. Maxwell Alves can assist from the beginning of the application until ILR has been granted. We also have links to various businesses throughout the UK including Scotland if you require additional assistance. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.