Tier 1 Entrepreneur – Genuine Test requirements getting tougher
The ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test for Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants was introduced in April 2014 as a means to counter what Home Office officials perceived as abuses of the points-based system. The test requires applicants to demonstrate that they are both sufficiently resourced in financial terms – ordinarily this requires a minimum of £200,000 – and that they have a viable business plan and track record of entrepreneurial activity.
A further requirement is that applicants are able to demonstrate that they have held those funds for a minimum of 90 days, or to show documentary evidence that proves that they have access to those funds, as well as their legitimacy.
Migration Advisory Committee recommendations
Last October the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee made a series of recommendations relating to Tier 1 Entrepreneur application processes, including those that relate specifically to the genuine entrepreneur test. Amongst their recommendations were that applicants’ business plans should be assessed by people qualified to make an informed judgement as to their worth, rather than civil servants. The MAC suggested that UK Trade and Industry and the UK Business Angels Association might be useful partners in this. However, to date no formal tie-ups have been announced.
Changing terms of engagement
Refusal rates for Tier 1 entrepreneur visas currently stand at 48% and, whilst a high level of rejection is indicative of a generally cautious approach on the part of the Home Office, it may also be a facet of applicants’ uncertainty as to exactly what is required of them and just how detailed their business plans need to be.
The MAC’s report also found that there needed to be continuing attention paid to Tier 1 entrepreneur visa holders to ensure that their ventures remain operational and of benefit to the wider community beyond the visa holder themselves.
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.