Recent changes to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas

22 July 2014

On 11 July, a number of changes to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas came into force.

The entrepreneur route is intended to allow non-EU foreign nationals "to set up businesses in the UK in order to create jobs and growth." However, the Home Office decided that revisions were necessary due to both individuals and criminal groups abusing the route: "people on expiring student visas are transferring to entrepreneur status under the pretence of setting up a business when they are actually working in low skilled jobs." This abuse has arisen since the closure of the Tier 1 Post Study Work visa in 2012.

The following changes have been made to ensure all Tier 1 applicants meet the investment and legitimate business requirements:

· Students will only be able to switch to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route if using funds from government-approved sources, which are:

o Seed funding companies endorsed by UK Trade and Investment

o UK government departments

· Post-study workers will need additional evidence of their businesses

· There has been clarification of the fact that entrepreneur applicants must only be working for their own businesses (i.e. can have no other employment)

· Those who have not yet started businesses and who do not have evidence of a genuine business will not be able to switch from the old post-study route onto an entrepreneur visa

For more information about Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas, click here.

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