Further to the previous Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules on 6 December 2018 where the new Entrepreneur Visa Routes were first mentioned, the recent Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 1919 on 7 March 2019 fully introduces these new routes. The Start-up and Innovator categories will replace the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur categories. Understanding the UK’s Immigration Rules can be complex, therefore it is best to seek legal advice from our qualified Immigration Solicitors who can explain the recent Statement of Changes and how it will affect your UK business visa application.
What are the new Entrepreneur Visa Routes?
According to the recent Statement of Changes, two new categories are going to be introduced into the UK’s immigration system for those who wish to establish a business in the UK. The Start-up visa and Innovator Visa will replace the current Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) categories respectively. These changes will come into effect on 29 March 2019. Applications submitted before 29 March 2019 will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 28 March 2019. The new categories are set out in a new Appendix W to the Immigration Rules. They do not form part of the Points-Based System and do not include points-scoring tables. Appendix W is designed to easier to read than existing rules for Points-Based System applications.
What are the main changes from the current Tier 1 categories?
The Immigration Minister states that initial applications for both categories will require an endorsement based on whether the Applicants’ business ideas are innovative, viable and scalable. Some of the main features of the new categories are summarised as follows:
The Start-up category – is for those starting a new business for the first time in the UK. Unlike the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route, Applicants will not need to be graduates and will not need to have secured any initial funding. Successful Applicants will be granted 2 years’ leave as opposed to 1 year under the current Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route and will be able to progress into the Innovator category to continue developing their businesses in the UK after that time.
The Innovator category – is intended for more experienced businesspeople. As well as an endorsement, Applicants will need £50,000 to invest in their business from any legitimate source, which is reduced from £200,000 for most Applicants applying under the current Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. The funding requirement will be waived for those switching from the Start-up category who have made significant achievements against their business plans. This category may lead to settlement in the UK.
An English language requirement is being set to level B2 level both categories to ensure that successful applicants have the good command of English they will need to interact with a variety of business organisations and potential customers. There will also be a maintenance requirement for both Applicants and any dependants.
What do I do if I have leave under the current Entrepreneur Visa Routes?
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applications can continue to be made until 5 July 2019. This is because Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Applicants apply on the basis of endorsement letters from Higher Education Institutions or the Department for International Trade. These letters are valid for three months and may continue to be issued until 5 April 2019.
Extension applications for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will remain open until 5 April 2023, and settlement (otherwise known as indefinite leave to remain) applications until 5 April 2025. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants, including those who switch into the Start-up category, will continue to be able to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category until 5 July 2021. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extension applications will remain open for these individuals until 5 July 2025, and settlement applications until 5 July 2027.
The current rules state that a transitional arrangement, relating to job creation, for Applicants who entered the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category under the rules in place before 6 April 2014, will close on 6 April 2019. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the various changes to the Immigration Rules relating to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur routes and what is expected of you as a migrant with leave to remain in the UK on this basis; then contact our business immigration team immediately to arrange a consultation with our solicitors.
You can access the full Statement of Changes here: Statement of CHanges in Immigration Rules HC 1919 March 2019 LEXVISA Solicitors and Barristers
Using Legal Representation to submit successful Applications under the new Entrepreneur Visa routes
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit success applications under the new Entrepreneur Visa routes.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Applications under the new Entrepreneur Visa routes
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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa 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 immigration 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.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.