Tier 1 Entrepreneur Advice Prompts Concern Over Business Failure
Although the three-year visa that is granted under the terms of the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa appears generous, the vast majority of visas issued under the scheme are not renewed beyond that initial term. The report by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which was submitted in September, spelt out the extent of this attrition rate and highlighted it as showing a significant failing in the scheme’s operation.
With almost three quarters of all applicants failing to progress to longer-term arrangements, the authors of the MAC report were quick to point to the ‘long tail’ of poor quality applications. They were equally straightforward in advising a comprehensive overhaul of the scheme. Their report can be accessed here.
The report also noted that the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa category produced the highest number of dependent applications relative to direct applicants of any category of visa. Given that entrepreneur visas tend to be applied for by people who have already established a business profile overseas – and who may therefore be expected to be relatively mature. On average Tier 1 entrepreneur applicants also applied for two dependent visas.
One of the MAC’s recommendations was that during the initial three-year term of the visa a more stringent observation of the relevant businesses should take place. Whilst this, along with certain other measures outlined in the report, hints at some form of business assistance being provided to such enterprises, no such mechanism has yet been put in place.
A less optimistic view is represented by the suspicion voiced by some activists that a business which fails to gain early traction and is subject to such an inspection may put the status of the holder’s Tier 1 entrepreneur visa in jeopardy. Needless to say, this would be a matter of grave concern to those business owners affected as well as their families.
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