The genuine entrepreneur will be conducted by the UKBA caseworker taking into consideration the factors set out below in deciding whether or not he or she is satisfied the applicant is a genuine one :
- the evidence the applicant has submitted
- the viability and credibility of the source of the money
- the viability and credibility of the applicant's business plans and market research into their chosen business sector
- the applicant's previous educational and business experience (or lack thereof)
- where the applicant has already registered in the UK as self-employed or as the director of a business, and the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and or insurance has been obtained
- the applicant's immigration history and previous activity in the UK and
- any other relevant information.
This means as much information as possible in relation to the above factors should be provided with the application to prevent refusal or a UKBA request for further documents and information. The UKBA can request further documents to satisfy themselves of the genuineness of the applicant and the applicant would have 28 days in which to provide them.
There is also a new requirement that the investment funds are held on an ongoing basis until their investment in the business and this will need to be satisfied by a confirmation to this effect by way of a legal declaration. (This will apply only to applicants who apply after 30th January 2013).
Applicants are required to score at least 95 points in total to successfully apply for the required visa and can claim points in the following ways :
The applicant has to score 75 points under this section in the following manner :
Tier 1 ( Graduate Entrepreneur) migrants applying to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category need only show access to £50,000. These funds can already be invested in a business or part-invested together with access to cash funds of the balance of the £50,000.
Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrants applying to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category need only show access to £50,000 of investment funds. Again, these funds can already be invested in a business or part-invested together with access to cash funds of the balance of the £50,000. However, the Post-Study Work applicant must also be registered as a director of a business or registered self-employed within the three months before submitting the application and the main business activity must be in a graduate occupation according to the UKBA Codes of Practice.
The applicant must claim 75 points in total using the points earned in all of the above-mentioned subsections.
For Tier 1 (Entrepreneur),evidence provided that show speaking,communicating and understanding the English language of applicants is at a certain level:
- By being a national of one of the majority English-speaking countries, i.e. USA, Australia, Canada, etc.
- By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
- By having passed an English Test level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference required, please refer to the approved English Tests Providers List)
This will give 10 points to the applicant.
Following persons, however, will automatically be given 10 points under this section :
- Those who have leave to remain/entry clearance under Tier 1 (General) or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and are seeking an extension of leave to remain.
- By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
- Those who have leave to remain/entry clearance under HSMP given after 5th December 2006 and are seeking to switch to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
10 points under the English language requirement will also be awarded automatically to those who were granted their initial leave under the Business Person category under the previous Immigration Rules. They were required to satisfy the stringent English language criteria but the rules have been relaxed to acknowledge that the English language requirement was not a requirement when they were granted their initial leave.
Applicants need to score 10 points under this section by providing evidence confirming sufficient money for the maintenance and accommodation of themselves and any dependants. It is necessary to provide evidence that a specific amount of money was held for at least 3 months prior to making the
evidence provided that applicant has access to the following amounts of money:
- £ 3100, if the applicant is making an entry clearance application from outside the UK
- £ 900 if the applicant is making an in-country application either to extend his existing visa or an initial application while remaining in the UK
- £ 1800 for each family member where the main applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months
- £ 600 for each family member if the applicant and the family members are residing in the UK and the main applicant has been in the UK for more than 12 months
Please note that the applicant must have the above mentioned funds in addition to the £ 200,000 that he intends to invest in the business.
SOURCE OF FUNDING
It is not necessary for the applicant to show £ 200,000 (or £ 50,000) of his own money to seek entry clearance or further leave to remain under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category.
He can rely on third party funding for the required £ 200,000. The third parties may be one of the following :
- Family members (within the UK or overseas)
- Any other investor (within the UK or overseas)
- Any corporate body (within the UK or overseas)
DURATION OF TIER 1 (ENTREPRENEUR) & SETTLEMENT
First-time applicants will be given 3 years and 4 months stay whether they apply for entry clearance or switch from another immigration category.Those who are already on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa will be granted an extension for 2 years to enable them complete five years residence in the UK and thus apply for ILR. All other applicants will be granted an extension of stay of 3 years
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will also be eligible for accelerated settlement upon completion of 3 years time, provided they fulfill one of the following requirements :
- Creation of 10 full-time positions for resident workers for at least 12 months or
- Generation of a turnover of at least £ 5 million over a 3 years period
The requirements relating to naturalization applications have not been affected and even if they obtain ILR on completing three years residence they would still be required to wait for another 2 years and comply with the residence and other requirements in order to apply for naturalization.
If a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant is not eligible for accelerated settlement upon completion of 3 years residence he will need to obtain an extension for 2 years to enable him complete five years residence in the UK and thus apply for ILR.
The applicant has to score 75 points in the following manner :
- By providing evidence that the applicant has invested, or had invested on his behalf, not less than £ 200,000 (or £ 50,000 if the initial application was made on this basis) directly into one or more businesses in the UK. (max. 20 points).
- By providing evidence that the applicant has registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a self-employed person or registered a new business in which he is a director or registered as a director of an existing business. (Max. 20 Points). This requirement must be met within six months of the grant of the initial visa if the applicant was granted his last leave to remain/entry clearance under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and wishes to seek an extension of stay.
- By providing evidence that the applicant is engaged in the business activity at the time of this application for leave to remain (max. 15 points).
- By providing evidence that his business has created two full-time positions for persons settled in the UK (max. 20 points). If the applicant`s last grant of leave is as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) then these two jobs must have existed for at least 12 months
The applicant can only claim 75 points if he can provide the relevant documentary evidence and claim points under all of the sub-sections mentioned above.Existing Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) will no longer be required to provide evidences of English language or maintenance to obtain extensions of visas.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants will be allowed to remain outside the UK for maximum 180 days in any calendar year without losing their right to apply for permanent settlement after 3 (if they create 10 full-time jobs for 1 year or generate a turnover of £ 5 million) or 5 years.
Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category will be allowed to work only for the business in which they have invested money. They will not be allowed to take supplementary employment. However, their dependents will be allowed to seek work or engage in self-employment activities for the duration of their visas. The only restriction for them is that they cannot work as trainee doctors or dentists or professional sportspersons or sports coaches in the UK.
Applicants can also apply in an entrepreneurial team of two people but each must have equal access to the investment funds. They can apply at the same time for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa using the same level of funds, i.e. either £ 200K or £ 50K funded by one of the above-mentioned establishments. Each one of them will still need to pass the language and maintenance requirements.