UK Business Immigration Update: Latest Figures show low number of Appendix W Innovator Visa applications in previous quarter

The latest Home Office data has been published which has highlighted that in the last quarter; only a small number of Appendix W Innovator Visa and Start-up visa applications had been made. This comes at little surprise to Immigration practitioners and potential non-EEA business people as the Home Office’s new high net worth visa routes for experienced business people is highly complex, especially in comparison to the former Tier 1 Entrepreneur route which closed to new applicants earlier this year. LEXVISA’s business immigration team specialises in Appendix W and Points Based System applications and we are happy to arrange an initial consultation in order to discuss the merits of each individual case.

What do the latest figures show regarding the Appendix W Innovator Visa?

Recent Home Office data has highlighted that in the last quarter, between April 2019 and June 2019, there have only been 4 applications made for the new Innovator Visa. This is compared to 1,900 applications which were made for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in 2018.  In the same period, there had been 32 entry clearance applications for the Appendix W Start-up visa, of which 23 have been granted thus far.  The Home Office had previously stated that under the new Appendix W categories they expected to grant fewer business visas than under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route, however, these latest figures pose the question as to whether the overhaul of the business visa categories was worthwhile.

What is the Appendix W Innovator Visa and why is it so controversial?

Appendix W of the Immigration Rules has replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visa routes for high net worth and experienced business people who are looking to set up a business in the UK. Potential Innovator Visa Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their potential business is innovative, viable, and scalable. Applicants must first receive an endorsement from one of the Home Office authorised endorsing bodies. Once an endorsement has been received, the Applicant can then submit their application to the Home Office and be able to demonstrate they have at least £50,000 in capital to invest in the business.

The controversy with the new Appendix W visa routes largely in getting an endorsement from one of the endorsement bodies. When the new routes were launched in March 2019, many of the endorsement bodies were not actually aware that they were placed on the Home Office approved list, or were not equipped and prepared to deal with the endorsement process. This had left many potential Applicants as well as Immigration practitioners confused as no one was aware of how to go about getting an endorsement. The UK claims that it is open to accept the world’s top business people, yet in practice, this new visa route seems to be part of the Hostile Environment Policy to deter as many migrants from the UK as possible, even if there would be an economic benefit to the UK. These latest figures prove that this hostile environment is working.

Using Legal Representation to submit an Appendix W Innovator Visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an Innovator visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for a visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject visa applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Innovator visa application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Appendix W Innovator Visa applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your Innovator visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss the Appendix W Innovator visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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