Edinburgh - 0131 228 2083
Glasgow - 0141 248 6552

McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

The UK Government promotes three main immigration categories for individuals wishing to come to the UK for investment or to run a business: the Tier 1 (Investor) visa, the Start-up visa (formerly Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), and the Innovator visa (formerly Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). We are highly adept at securing the appropriate visa for our clients wishing to do business in the UK. 



Tier 1 (Investor) visa

This category caters for high net worth individuals who are making a substantial financial investment in the UK.

Applicants must show that they have funds amounting to at least £2 million, held in a regulated financial institution, and available to invest in the UK. The funds should be held for a period of 2 years prior to the date of application. If held for less than the 2 years you will be required to show the source of the funds and that you are free to invest them in the UK. This can occur when money is received as a gift, from sale of property, from sale of a business, from a will, from a divorce settlement, or from a financial award or winnings.

The investment must be made within 3 months of entry to the UK. The investment must be maintained throughout the duration of the visa. The visa is valid for 3 years and can be extended for a further 2 years. After 5 years in the UK and application can be made to remain permanently.

Start-up visa

This category is for people seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. This category will give you a 2 year visa. Within this 2 year period you must apply for an Innovator visa. Any time spent in the UK with a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa will be deducted from this 2 year period.

There is no investment requirement for the Start-up visa. All that is required is endorsement by an endorsing body. In order to be endorsed you must demonstrate that your business venture meets the following criteria:

  • Innovation – you have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.
  • Viability – you have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
  • Scalability - there is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

You must also sit and pass a Home Office English language test and show that you have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK.

Innovator visa

This category is for more experienced businesspeople seeking to establish a business in the UK. You will be granted a 3 year visa and, if your business is successful, will be able to apply to stay in the UK permanently after 3 years. If you cannot meet the criteria for remaining in the UK permanently, for instance because your business is not as successful as anticipated and you decide to start a new business, you can apply for a further 3 year visa. There is no limit on the number of times this visa can be extended.

As with the Start-up visa, endorsement is required. The same criteria of innovation, viability, and scalability are applied (albeit in a slightly amended form). In addition to endorsement, you must have access to at least £50,000 to invest in to your business. This has been reduced from £200,000; the investment funds required under the Innovator category’s predecessor, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. The investment can be your own money or money which is being invested in your business by another person or organisation. It is also possible to rely on money already invested in the business.

You must also sit and pass a Home Office English language test and show that you have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK.

McGill & Co have assisted numerous clients to obtain the necessary visa to start a business in the UK. We have assisted entrepreneurs across a variety of industries including in the renewable energy, food manufacturing, mechanical engineering, entertainment, legal, IT, sports, and hospitality sectors. We provide advice to our clients about eligibility under the rules, review all supporting evidence to ensure compliance with the rules, and prepare a detailed letter of representations outlining how all of the legal requirements have been met. 

Many of our clients have had atypical circumstances which required detailed advice on how to evidence the investment of funds into the business, on some occasions requiring restructuring of assets prior to submission of the application to the Home Office to ensure compliance with the rules.

Clients have been grateful for our expert advice assisting them through the process. Their business, their livelihood, and often the livelihood of several employees working for the company, all depend on a successful outcome.

Contact our Immigration Solicitors in Edinburgh and Glasgow

We understand the importance of efficiency and cost-effectiveness in handling immigration matters for our business clients, which is why we always strive to make the process as straightforward as it can be. We act strategically, and our niche practice allows us to provide in-depth, bespoke and specialist advice unavailable from large corporate firms.


The service was, in one word, fantastic! We had the pleasure of dealing with both Darren and Iain, at the Glasgow office, for our extension application on an Entrepreneurial visa. They liaised with our accountant directly to obtain the necessary information, and made life as easy as possible for us during the whole process. I can recommend this company without any hesitation - Zelda Roberts
google local reviews

Call now

Subscribe to our Blog>


Average rating for Our Testimonials, McGill & Co is 4.99 Star of 5 stars - based on 113 Review

Make an enquiry

Please note this form is only for use of previous McGill & Co clients. For new enquiries, please contact Burness Paull via their website at www.burnesspaull.com

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.
Please enter a valid phone number
Please let us know the nature of your enquiry
Please let us know your message.
Invalid Input

Latest Tweets