The Tier 1 Entrepreneur application is an attractive UK visa for high net worth non-EEA nationals’ looking to set up or take over an existing business in the UK. Unlike the Tier 1 Investor visa, the required funds for this application are £200,000. However, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur application also has a strict set of rules which must be met. In addition to the Immigration Rules Applicants are required to consider the Home Office Policy Guidance and ensure there is enough evidence showing that the Genuine Entrepreneur Test is satisfied. One way of meeting the Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur test and eliminating doubts on the credibility of the business is by investing a small portion of the required funds prior to submitting the Tier 1 Entrepreneur application.
Meeting the Tier 1 Entrepreneur application requirements
In order to submit a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur application Applicants must meet the requirements listed under paragraph 245 of the Immigration Rules. In addition to this, Applicants must be aware of the Home Office Policy Guidance which further elaborates on the requirements and provides further information on how to meet the requirements. In particular, the Home Office Policy Guidance provides information on the Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur Test. It should be noted that the Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur Test is not referred to in the Immigration Rules and Applicants often make the mistake of ignoring this requirement. Applicants should note that the Home Office Policy Guidance is as equally important as the Immigration Rules. The Home Office Policy guidance is what a caseworker will use to assess your application.
As the Tier 1 Entrepreneur application is a points-based system application 95 points must be scored for a successful application. Applicants will be awarded points for the following:
- 75 points for meeting the Attributes requirement;
- 10 points for meeting the Maintenance requirement; and
- 10 points for meeting the English language requirement.
However, it should also be noted that it is possible for you to score 95 points and have your application refused on the credibility and viability of the business in question. Therefore it is crucial legal advice is sought prior to submitting a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application.
Investing in advance of submitting your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application
One obstacle encountered by Tier 1 Migrants is being able to show that the Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur test is satisfied and that the funds are ready and available to invest into a new or existing business in the UK. The Home Office has made it clear that the funds in question must meet the following requirements:
- Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have access to at least £200,000 which is held in one or more regulated financial institutions and the funds are disposable in the UK;
- The funds must be held for a consecutive 90 day period of time, ending no earlier than 31 days before the date of the application;
- Applicants must provide recent personal bank statements from the financial institution where the funds are held, which confirms the money being available and that it has been held for a consecutive 90 day period with the last statement being dated no more than 31 days;
- Applicants must also obtain a letter from the financial institution holding the funds to confirm the amount of money available. Each letter must be an original document and not a copy, be on the institutions official headed paper. Each letter must also confirm each of the following details:
- Account number, the institution is regulated by the appropriate body, date of the document; and
- the minimum balance available from your own funds that have been held in that institution during a consecutive 90-day period of time, ending on the date of the letter.
We understand that in some circumstances it may be difficult to meet all the above requirements. Especially in situations where English is not the primary language and where the institutions are unwilling to prepare a letter to the UK Visas and Immigration requirements. One way of overcoming these difficulties is by investing the monies prior to submitting the Tier 1 Entrepreneur application. By doing this you are in essence eliminating any doubts in respect of whether the funds are genuinely available for investment. Further, you are also showing that you are in fact a genuine Entrepreneur migrant. By taking these steps, you are giving the decision maker fewer reasons to doubt the credibility and viability of your business and Tier 1 Entrepreneur application. This will assist the Home Office caseworker to assess your application and reward you merit on your Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur test.
In order to invest monies into the business in question, there are preliminary steps which must be taken such as setting up the business in the UK with Companies House. In addition to this, you must also list yourself as a director of the business. It should be noted that if you make an investment in a business prior to submitting your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application there are additional documents which must be provided.
However, there are risks involved with investing in the business prior to receiving the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. One of the key concerns for Applicants is investing the money without assurance that they will be granted the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. A simple mistake could result in devastating effects for Applicants which could lead to a number of problems for the logistics of the business and for the Applicant. This is why it is crucial for Applicants to instruct expert immigration solicitors to assist with the preparation and submission of these types of application.
What are your next steps once your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application is granted?
If your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application is successful you will be granted leave to enter and you will be given permission to stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months. Once you enter as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant you will need to take serious steps showing the following:
- You have taken over or become a director of the business referred to in your Tier 1 application;
- You are genuinely running that business in the UK; and
- You must invest the relevant funds required or invest the remaining funds if you had already made some investment prior to your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application.
If you fail to carry out the above steps it is likely that your Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application will struggle to meet the requirements. You can apply for an extension of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur application 28 days prior to the expiry of your visa. Following this, you can consider applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain and subsequently British Citizenship.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur 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 application to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
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 Tier 1 Entrepreneur application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application
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 prospects of submitting a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur 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 to discuss a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.