MAC Urge Clampdown on Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Rules
The Migration Advisory Commission (MAC), the body which advises the Home Office on immigration matters has called for an overhaul of the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa scheme. The call follows a report by the MAC which judged the current scheme not fit for purpose. Home Office officials are said to be considering the MAC’s report, but past precedent suggests that a major overhaul of the system is now inevitable.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is open to any non-EU citizen willing to invest a minimum of £200,000 in a new UK-based venture (this figure may be reduced to £50,000 in certain circumstances). The current system has seen 13,746 visas granted since the scheme came into operation in 2008. Both Prime Mister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May have stressed their determination to reduce the level of UK immigration, although business leaders have made strong counter claims for the need to recruit overseas staff.
MAC chairman Sir David Metcalf, summarising the latest report, has suggested that the scheme has, in his words, granted visas on the basis of low quality businesses that do little or nothing to advance the interests of what he called ‘UK plc’. The notion that a new business should be simply sufficient to support the visa applicant and their family is categorically rejected.
A specific recommendation of the report, which was published on October 28th, was that industry practitioners and experts rather than civil servants should be tasked with assessing the merits of Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications. This is a recommendation that is likely to find favour with applicants as well as Home Office staff – the bureaucratic mind-set of civil servants unaccustomed to the realities of starting and running a business has drawn criticism from a number of observers. However, the practicalities of recruiting and paying for people who are themselves businessmen and women – and not immigration experts – suggests that there may be some distance between the rhetoric and the reality of such an approach.
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.