UK Entrepreneur Visa Changes

31 January 2013

A written ministerial statement setting out the changes to the UK Entrepreneur visa route has been laid in Parliament.

The UKBA are introducing the following changes:

  • an introduction of a genuine entrepreneur test which will give UK Border Agency caseworkers the ability to test the credibility of suspicious applicants; and
  • a change that requires the necessary minimum funds to be held, or invested in the business, on an ongoing basis rather than solely at the time of application.
  • These changes are being made in response to evidence that the route is being targeted by applicants seeking to abuse the Immigration Rules.

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“We have acted quickly to stamp out abuse by those looking to play the system. The UK remains open to the brightest and best – genuine entrepreneurs with the ideas and motivation to drive economic growth will always be welcome in the UK.

Source: (UKBA Site)

Additional information for applicants has also been published as follows:

This following provides guidance on the changes to the Immigration Rules for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, in particular for applicants who applied before 31 Janaury 2013 and are waiting for a decision on their Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

If the UK Borde Agency have not decided your application before 31 January or you apply on or after this date, they will consider it under the new rules.

The UK Border Agency may ask you to:

  • provide additional information, for example business plans and evidence of market research, to confirm the genuineness of your application; and
  • demonstrate that you continue to have access to the funds ahead of them being invested in a UK business. You may have moved money into your business in the meantime. If so, you will need to provide the business accounts or accountant certificate showing that you have invested the funds in the business, together with the updated evidence of any remaining monies to make up your full investment.

You will have 28 days in which to provide the information the UK Border Agency request. The UK Border Agency may also carry out checks to verify the information provided and you could be invited to attend an interview to discuss your application.

If you are applying on or after 31 January and are relying on funds from a third party, the declarations you provide from those third parties will need to confirm that the funds will continue to be available to you until they are used.