Genuineness Test Proves Positive for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs
Since 31st January 2013 the UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa has included a so-called ‘genuineness’ test. The principle aim of the test is to establish that the applicant is making an application for a visas with the intent to establish a business in the UK. Home Office figures have suggested that the scheme had previously been abused, or at least that many applicants’ proposed UK businesses had failed to take off.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa typically requires applicants to commit £200,000 to a new UK-based venture, but as well as this financial commitment applicants are now required to show that they have a viable business proposal as well as a suitable level of specific knowledge, experience or qualification. The genuine test requirement forms a key part of this process. In some cases the investment figure may be as low as £50,000, however the other criteria still apply.
MAC Point to Strengths and Weaknesses
The highly influential Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report in October 2015 made a number of practical suggestions as to how the scheme could be improved – to the benefit of all concerned. Most notable amongst those recommendations was that the scheme’s administration should be widened to include the input from industry specialists. The rationale for this is that UKVI staff are insufficiently experienced to be able to make a judgement about the viability – or otherwise – of a business idea.
The modified Entrepreneur visa application process now requires applicants to submit a comprehensive business plan as well as their own personal history. Such a mandatory requirement has obvious merit for the proposed investor in addition to any test for their commitment to their proposed venture.
The MAC report revealed that since 2008,746 Tier 1 entrepreneur visa or graduate entrepreneur visa were granted. They further reported that only 1,580 of these were still active in October 2015. The combined turnover of these companies was put at £1.45 billion with 9,850 jobs having been thereby created.
The intent behind the genuineness test is not only to weed out non-viable proposals but to improve on those statistics – for the benefit of everyone involved.
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.