Overcoming the Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur Test

Following the introduction of the Genuine Entrepreneur Test in January 2013, all Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications must satisfy this subjective test in order to submit a successful visa application to the UKVI. Applicants who fail to demonstrate a genuine intention to set up a viable business in the UK will fail the Genuine Entrepreneur Test and subsequently have their Tier 1 Entrepreneur application refused. In circumstances where a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application is refused, there are limited legal remedies available for Applicants, therefore it is crucial a well-prepared application is submitted. As there is no Statutory Right of Appeal, where an application is refused, Applicants may wish to exercise their right to challenge the decision by way of an Administrative Review if there has been a key case working errors. Alternatively, Applicants may decide to submit a fresh Tier 1 Entrepreneur application. These are very complex exercises and should be submitted with the assistance of specialist immigration solicitors and barristers to give Applicants the best chance of success.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur and the Genuine Entrepreneur Test  

In order to deter Applicants from submitting a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application which lacks credibility, the Home Office introduced a Genuine Entrepreneur Test in January 2013. It is now mandatory for all Applicants applying under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route to satisfy the Genuine Entrepreneur Test which is often vigorously applied. The Purpose of the Genuine Entrepreneur Test is to ensure only Genuine Entrepreneurs apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and they would like to set up and run a viable business in the UK. It is essential for Applicants to submit the correct supporting documents in support of their application.

Credibility Assessment in the Genuine Entrepreneur Test

The Home Office will carry out a detailed assessment of an Applicants credibility as a Genuine Entrepreneur and would expect Applicants to have some expertise or specialist knowledge of their business area. The difficulty Applicants often encounter is not knowing what they must do or provide to be considered as a Genuine Entrepreneur. The Immigration Rules and Policy guidance does not specify a definitive list of documents required to meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test. This can lead to Genuine Entrepreneurs having their application refused or in some cases Applicants may be invited for a Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview in which they would be asked a range of questions directly related to the credibility of their application and centred on whether Applicants have a genuine intention to invest the minimum level of investment of £200,000 into an existing or new business in the UK.

Viability Assessment in the Genuine Entrepreneur Test

Once the Home Office acknowledges an Applicant to be a Genuine Entrepreneur with a credible application the next step would be to assess the viability of the business. Similar to the Credibility Assessment, it is up to the Applicant to prove that the business is viable and the correct steps have been taken in setting up the business. Whilst there is a lack of guidance and information on how to meet the Viability Assessment, it is important for Applicants to have thoroughly researched their proposed business in the UK. Applicants must be able to provide a detailed and comprehensive business plan which addresses but is not limited to the following: market research as to the potential or actual customers, competitors and a 5 years cash flow forecast. If Applicants are invited to a Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview, they must be able to show that they know their business inside out and be able to answer basic questions about their business model, who their potential competitors will be, how will the business survive if competition increases, strengths and weakness and the future growth of the business.

Tier 1 Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview

Our Solicitors and Barristers can assist Applicants in preparation for the Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview to overcome and satisfy the Genuine Entrepreneur Test by:

  • Reviewing documents ensuring the correct supporting documents are submitting with the application such as a well-prepared business plan, CV, evidence of education/employment amongst other documents;
  • Preparing detailed and comprehensive Legal Representations in support of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Application outlining how each of the legal requirement is met and why you should be considered as a Genuine Entrepreneur ensuring the Genuine Entrepreneur Test is satisfied; and
  • Preparation for a UKVI Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview, our Solicitors and Barristers can organise a mock interview and/or prepare mock questions that the Home Office may ask you as well as provide written guidance on how to prepare for the Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview.

It is vital for Applicants to obtain legal advice from specialist Immigration Solicitors and Barristers before submitting a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application to ensure the application has the best chance of success.

Challenging a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application refused on the Genuine Entrepreneur Test

The Home Office is likely to refuse a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application where an Applicant: (a) does not provide the specified evidence in support of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules and be awarded the required number of 95 points for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application; and/or (b) fails to demonstrate that the Genuine Entrepreneur Test has been satisfied. In respect of the latter, the Home Office has a wide discretion in deciding whether an Applicant meets the Genuine Entrepreneur Test and in most cases, the Home Office often hold a Genuine Entrepreneur Test Interview to determine this test. It should be noted that the Home Office applies the Genuine Entrepreneur Test vigorously and expects there to be considerable documentation to support the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application.

In circumstances where a Tier 1 Entrepreneur application is refused, there are limited legal remedies available. There is no statutory Right of Appeal for Applicants but Applicants may opt to apply for an Administrative Review if there has been significant case working errors which have resulted in the application being unfairly decided such as the Immigration rules incorrectly being applied or where important documents are not considered. Our Solicitors and Barristers have successfully assisted Applicants to submit successful Administrative Reviews where the Home Office has initially refused the application on the Genuine Entrepreneur Test.

It should be noted that Applicants cannot submit any new evidence for the Administrative Review and the Administrative Review is only considered on the evidence that was before the decision-maker when the original refusal decision was made. Therefore if Applicants wish to rely on further evidence to strengthen the application and address the reasons for the initial application being refused, the alternative remedy available for Applicants is to submit a fresh application with the correct legal assistance and guidance from our specialist immigration Solicitors and Barristers.

Using Legal Representation to Submit Tier 1 Entrepreneur Application and to Satisfy the Genuine Entrepreneur Test

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 a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application to the Home Office demonstrating that you satisfy the Genuine Entrepreneur Test. 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 visa application succeeds and meets the Genuine Entrepreneur Test, 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 Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur Application Satisfying the Genuine Entrepreneur Test

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 an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur 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 to discuss a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application and whether you satisfy the Genuine Entrepreneur Test.

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

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