Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa update – Popularity increases in the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa has grown in its popularity since the Home Office announced their plans to scrap/amend the Tier 1 Investor visa route. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa was designed for high net worth individuals who wish to establish or take over an existing business in the United Kingdom. The key requirements for this visa are that Applicants must show that they have at least £200,000 ready and available for investment. In addition to this, Applicants must show that they meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test, maintenance and English language requirements.

What is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa was designed for high net worth business people who wish to set up or take over an existing business in the United Kingdom. There are a number of different business ventures Applicants often explore in the United Kingdom such as establishing consulting/advisory firms, businesses in the financial sector/IT sector and restaurants. In recent years, Applicants also choose to invest in popular franchises such as Costa, Subway and other popular food outlets.

What are the requirements for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications are considered under Paragraph 245D of the Immigration Rules. The Home Office will also take into consideration the relevant appendixes to the Immigration Rules and Policy Guidance. Applicants are required to score 95 points for a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa 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.

To score 75 points for the attributes requirement Applicants must show that they have at least £200,000 readily available to use for their proposed business. The money must also meet a list of specific requirements and be held for at least 90 consecutive days. Applicants must also meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test (please see below).

To score 10 points for the maintenance requirement Applicants must show that they have sufficient funds (£3310 or £945) available to accommodate and maintain themselves in the United Kingdom without recourse to public funds. The money for maintenance must also be held for 90 consecutive days.

To score 10 points for the English language requirement Applicants must have passed an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening or have an academic qualification that was taught in English. Applicants can also meet the English language requirement if they are from a majority English speaking country.

What is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa Genuine Entrepreneur Test?

The Home Office introduced the Genuine Entrepreneur Test to deter applications of convenience. The Home Office alleged that in the past wealthy individuals often applied for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa by meeting the required financial requirement of £200,000 but did not peruse their business venture once in the United Kingdom and switched into another category. In order to overcome this issue, the Home Office introduced the Genuine Entrepreneur Test to encourage genuine business people to apply for this visa.

Under the current UK Immigration rules, in order to obtain a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, Applicants must satisfy the ‘Genuine Entrepreneur’ test.  A Home Office caseworker must assess whether an applicant satisfies some or all of the following;

  1. The applicant must show that he genuinely intends, and is able, to establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within the next 6 months;
  2. the applicant genuinely has established, taken over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK and continues to operate that business or businesses;
  3. the money is genuinely available to the applicant and will remain available to them until such time as it is spent for the purposes of their business or businesses;
  4. if the applicant is relying on one or more previous investments to score points, they have genuinely invested all or part of the investment funds required in table 4 of appendix A into one or more genuine businesses in the UK; and
  5. the applicant does not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom other than working in their business.

The Home Office requirements are strict to ensure that the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route is not open to abuse, whilst still allowing genuine business persons to remain in and come to the United Kingdom.

Using Legal Representation to Submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa Application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application.

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 UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa 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 Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa 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 Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application and the merit of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK Visas and Immigration 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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application. 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 for you to discuss a successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application.

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

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