OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected UK immigration law firms in London. By making an appointment with one of our immigration Solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. Our business immigration solicitors, have extensive experience in assisting entrepreneurs to create tailored business plans and pass the Genuine Entrepreneur Test.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on +44 (0) 207 936 9960.
TOP TIP NUMBER 1
According to 2014 statistics, since the introduction of the Genuine Entrepreneur Test in 2013, up to 50% of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applications are refused.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route provides a way for people with investment funds of £50,000 or £200,000 to enter the UK and achieve settlement. Depending on whether you meet the relevant criteria, the latter may be achieved within three years.
The key to successfully obtaining entry into the UK via the entrepreneur route is:
a) meeting the eligibility requirements; and
b) passing the Genuine Entrepreneur Test
This article concentrates on the latter.
An immigration solicitor will provide you with the best advice on preparing and passing the Genuine Entrepreneur test. Understanding what is required by the Home Office and the motivations behind entry clearance officers’ decisions can make the difference between your application for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa being accepted or rejected.
The Genuine Entrepreneur test is applied strictly, and the test is subjective. You will be expected to provide swathes of relevant supporting documentation, perhaps attend an interview with Home Office officials and ensure your application is filled out and submitted correctly.
However, you may still be rejected, despite all your preparation. Although engaging an immigration lawyer to manage your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application will involve a further investment of time and money, it may provide you with the best opportunity for your application’s success.
This is key. The test is a subjective test, meaning you will need to convince the immigration official looking at your application. He or she will be following the Home office guidance, but it is their independent assessment and decision that will ultimately decide whether you are granted entry into the UK.
You therefore need to understand the motivation behind the Genuine Entrepreneur Test. A great place to start is by reading the guidelines(link is external) and the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) 2015 report on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.
The British government’s goal for the past seven years has been to drive net migration down below 100,000. It has never come close (last year the figure for net migration was 273,000).
Unfortunately, the immigration official evaluating your claim will be looking for reasons to refuse you, rather than reasons to accept you.
This statement is not meant to be negative. The UK welcomes and encourages ‘genuine’ entrepreneurs who invest in or launch a scalable business, capable of achieving high turnover and creating jobs for ‘settled’ people. However, the Home Office is highly alert to examples of ‘investor-lite’ applicants. investor-lites use their £200,000 to invest in an existing UK business, in exchange for (usually) a small equity stake, often a few percent. They usually become a Director of the company into which they have invested, which is enough to evidence the requirement that they are actively involved in the running of the business. However, in the ‘investor-lite’ model, the migrant is typically not involved in the day to day running of the business.
This type of activity is referred to as ‘investor-lite’ because the activity is similar to that under the Tier 1 (investor) visa route, in that the migrant is providing a capital injection. However, the financial threshold is substantially lower at £200,000 rather than the Tier 1 (investor) threshold of £2 million.
If you plan to invest in an existing company, you must prove that you will be actively working in the organisation, are experienced in the industry and have concrete, achievable plans to grow the business.
immigration officials are also on the lookout for low-skilled, low growth businesses that are sometimes launched by Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants. Often these operations are in the catering, retail and wholesale industries.
Keep these factors in mind when applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. If you plan to enter a market which is relatively low-skilled or invest in an existing business, your application is likely to be heavily scrutinised. Make sure you understand and are prepared for this by taking expert advice on how to prepare a solid application with the right supporting documentation.If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on +44 (0) 207 936 9960. or visit www.otssolicitors.co.uk/immigration