Landlord Immigration Checks threaten Chaos for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs
There has been considerable press coverage of the government’s intended introduction of landlord immigration checks under October’s Immigration Bill. Once it is passed the legislation will impose new responsibilities on UK landlords, but in the process it threatens to make the conditions of applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa especially difficult.
Under the terms of the legislation landlords will be required to check that anyone they let property to has a legally established right to reside in the UK. The proofs for this so-called Right to Rent may take the form of an EU passport, a residency permit, a travel document showing indefinite leave to remain or a Home Office immigration status document.
Such checks will be difficult enough for landlords to make under ordinary circumstances, but the notoriously bureaucratic process of securing a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is likely to severely test the system. Since many Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas are frequently applied for by students changing their status, the gap between the completion of their formal studies and their establishment of the right to residence under an entrepreneur visa provide an awkward period that could see applicants cast into a very difficult situation.
The wider concern is that landlords, who are threatened with a prison sentence if they fail to police the Home Office’s new conditions appropriately, will simply play safe and let their properties to UK citizens. Claims that a trial in Birmingham has proven the viability of the system glaringly miss the point that alternative accommodation was available outside the city.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application process is already extremely demanding. The courts have already shown judgements over the rejection of applications to be ‘irrational’. If applicants now additionally have to contend with their rights to rent property being determined by people with no formal training and every reason to overlook them the practicalities of setting up a business and living in the UK will only be made more difficult.
YDVISAS specialise in all visa categories and are specialist immigration lawyers in the UK. Please contact the expert team at YDVISAS, should you need any professional help with your visa application.