Changes to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa Route
04 February 2013
Following the discovery of evidence that the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route was being abused, a ministerial statement has been laid out in Parliament detailing the following important changes that will be made to the route:
- A 'genuine entrepreneur test' will be introduced, allowing the UK Border Agency to evaluate the credibility of suspicious applicants. Extra checks will be made regarding the applicant's source of funds, business plans, education, experience and immigration history; other relevant information will also be checked as deemed fit by the UKBA.
- The minimum funds required to be held by / invested in the business must be held or invested on an ongoing basis, not just at the time of application.
- The UKBA will continue to check the applicant's viability and credibility once they are in the UK, particularly regarding the funds available to the business and the applicant's genuine status as the director of the company.
These changes came into effect on 31 January 2013 and will apply both to new applicants and those already in the UK under a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
These tightened measures are being put in place to prevent abuse of the Immigration Rules whilst ensuring that sincere Entrepreneur applicants can still contribute to the growth of the UK. Previously, funds were being moved between applicants and artificial businesses were being created to support disingenuous applications.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: "We have acted quickly to stamp out abuse by those looking to play the system." He added that 'legitimate applicants' would not be deterred by these checks.