The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category was introduced as part of the Points Based System of the UK Immigration Rules in order to attract non-EEA nationals to set up and invest in businesses in the UK.
The requirements of a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa may seem straightforward initially however, the policy guidance published by UKVI seems to further expand but complicate the requirements. It is worth noting that nearly half of all Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa applications are refused and as such, applicants are encouraged to seek legal guidance and instruct competent immigration solicitors to undertake the application successfully.
One of the most common reasons a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is refused by UKVI relates to the supporting documents submitted with an application. UKVI are extremely strict not only in their comprehensive set of requirements but also in terms of the format that all supporting documents must be. Applicants may also not always be able to easily locate the policy guidance for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa application, making it even more difficult to ensure that the requirements are met. All supporting documents submitted with an application must be the original and in circumstances, where bank statements are simply printed from an online account, the statements must be certified by the relevant bank or printed with the bank’s official letterhead. Applicants have previously failed to satisfy the maintenance requirement by not providing bank statements showing that the maintenance funds were held for the relevant period required by UKVI thus failing to meet the maintenance requirement rendering the application as incorrect.
Contact us if you have previously been refused a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa and you are intending on submitting a fresh application. We have specialist immigration solicitors who have been able to successfully obtain Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas for our clients despite previous refusals.
A further common reason for the refusal of a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa application relates to applicants failing the genuine entrepreneur test which was only introduced into the Immigration Rules in January 2013. The main purpose of the genuine entrepreneur test is to determine whether the applicant is a genuine entrepreneur and is seeking to actually set up a business in the UK and is not simply coming to the UK for the sole purpose of obtaining leave. UKVI usually schedules the interview time, date and requests applicants to attend the interview, during which applicants are questioned about a variety of topics surrounding their experience, education and business plan. UKVI must be satisfied that the applicant holds the relevant capabilities and knowledge to run a business in the UK and as such, successfully passing this test is depends on the answers given during the interview as well as the supporting documents submitted with the application.
Contact us if you concerned about meeting the above requirements or whether you have an interview scheduled with UKVI and feel unprepared. Our team of immigration experts can provide you with detailed advice as to the requirements and fully prepare you for the interview.
This brings us to the next point which relates to the requirement of a business plan. Applications have previously been refused due to the business plan lacking the required information and failing to coherently detail the purpose of the business as well as its projected income and earnings. Although UKVI have not specifically set out the requirements of a good business plan, applicants are strongly advised to seek legal advice and gain an expert’s opinion as to the quality of their business plan. A true entrepreneur with the relevant education and experience should be able to successfully compile a very detailed business plan; applications go wrong when applicants compile a business plan for the purpose of obtaining the visa rather than for the purpose of outlining the actual business venture and the likelihood of the business’ success.
Further to the above, applicants are sometimes under the impression that the application for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) can be made without expert legal advice and guidance which is a huge mistake. As previously mentioned, the requirements and policy guidance published by UKVI are complex and at times, can be quite ambiguous. The entire application requires thorough checking and amending several times before submission, not to mention the legal representations that should also be drafted and submitted with the application. Legal representations provide the applicant with a further opportunity to provide more information on their business, set out their intentions and clarify any points that may potentially be an issue with UKVI during the assessment of the application.
If you are interested in applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa or you require further information on submitting an appeal following a refusal, contact us today. We can assist you in determining whether you are eligible to make a successful application and advise you on the supporting documents required to make a successful application or appeal.