Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa: ‘Before’ and ‘After’ Tests
The tier 1 entrepreneur visa conditions contain a requirement that the applicant prove themselves to be ‘genuine’ entrepreneur. There is an immediate requirement to convince UK Border Agency officials that the applicant has a business plan as well as a commercial background capable of establishing and sustaining a successful business in the UK. There is additionally a more long-term requirement to show how that business has progressed once the visa has been granted and the business has had a time in which to become established. This applies after a period of three years, which is the duration of the initial visa.
Before and After
The genuine entrepreneur visa therefore contains what is in effect ‘before’ and ‘after’ tests. The ‘before’ aspect of this relates to the application procedure proper, whist the ‘after’ element relates to the more long-term, ongoing satisfaction of the visa conditions. It goes without saying that for anyone committed to making a long-term future for themselves in the UK both sides of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ equation need to be satisfied.
Criticism of the Process
At the point of application the judgment as to the viability of the business plan is assessed by Home Office staff. This procedure has drawn criticism from various quarters – not least the Migration Advisory Committee’s Review of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur Routes. This objection is on the basis that lifelong civil servants are hardly the best qualified persons to make a judgment about business activity – something of which they may have no actual practical experience. The Government review suggested that this function could be better performed by industry experts.
The proof of what constitutes a successful venture after three years is less contentious. The business owner simply needs to show – in the most straightforward terms – that he or she has created a minimum of two full-time jobs. Even the most unworldly a civil servant can be trusted to make that assessment. Almost three quarters of those initially granted a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa fail to pass this ‘after’ part of the process.
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.