The UK government has proudly claimed that “Britain is open for business”, but are also eager to ensure that entrepreneurs attracted from abroad are well-positioned to make a positive lasting contribution to the national economy. This explains why the government has recently toughened up the requirements for obtaining a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.
This type of visa is mandatory for foreign businesspeople to acquire before they can set up or invest in a business that they will have active involvement in operating in the UK. To qualify for it, the candidate must demonstrate that they have access to a minimum of £50,000 of capital from a government department, registered venture capital firm or seed funding competition. Alternatively, they can show that they have, optionally including third party support, personal wealth of at least £200,000.
Statistics show that a high number of applications for the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa have been unsuccessful. This has been partly as a result of the government’s introduction of a “genuine entrepreneur test”, an attempt to crack down on abuse in corporate immigration.
From 6 April, this test will also be carried out for businesspeople applying for visas permitting extensions and indefinite leave to remain. It is expected that, from this date, each of these applicants will be interviewed by an immigration officer and have to supply further evidence that the business they are running in the UK is “genuine” and credible.
This change is intended to help the government to discern businesspeople who have good business acumen and sufficient relevant experience. The requirements for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa may seem high for entrepreneurs applying for extension or settlement visas, but the future for those whose applications succeed seems promising. Furthermore, Farani Taylor can provide suitable legal advice to entrepreneurs who are eager to make successful applications.